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This project work reviews the concepts, measures, and strategies of two step flow of communication which is aimed at examining the impact of opinion-leaders in information dissemination in Nigeria with focus on Owo Township which was the case study. Opinion leaders’ campaigns can be used to catalyze wider political engagement on the issue and to promote sustainable people choices and behaviors. From past research, six relevant categories of self-designated opinion-leaders were outlined, detailing issues related to identification, recruitment, training, message development, and coordination. This study combines the recruitment of community opinion-leaders with traditional media strategies. In evaluating community opinion-leader campaigns, it was concluded that there are likely to be significant trade-offs in comparison to face-to-face initiatives. The challenge for both scholars and practitioners is to understand under what conditions are opinion-leaders effective and in which ways can online interactions strengthen or build on real-world connections with peoples in the community.
1.0 Background to the Study
Opinion leaders are defined as individual who exert an unequal amount of influence on the decision of others” [Rogers and Cartano ,1962: p435] in study of opinion leaders, there are two relevant parties — The opinion seeker or the recipient who seek advice or information and the opinion source or the leaders who give advice or information [Flynn —et al,1995]
Opinion leadership is a concept that arises out of the theory of two — step flow of communication propounded by Paul Lazarsfeid and Elihu kartz This theory is one of several models that try to explain the diffusion of innovation, ideal, or commercial product.
In identifying opinion leadership as a crucial factor in influencing decision making, research has used two alternative approaches. One approach is to ask the users to explicitly identify the personal source from which they could accept advice and analyzed the reason behind such behaviour in term of personal characteristic such as charisma, competence, or behaviour. This approach is applicable when there is direct interaction between every recipient and source in other case such as multi-agent system where direct information is always possible, the other approach is to use the Social Network Analysis [SNA] to identify opinion leaders by studying the social relation among the other in a social network.
A social network is a conglomentation of actors at different level [e. g people, communities, organisation, Nations ,e.t.cjand a set of social relation e.g [trust, friendship, communication ,social support e.t.c] among them SNA is the mapping and measuring of relationship and flow between these social actors. In social network, there is a wealth of personal relationship and ties that develop between the member, overtime and form the basis for trust, cooperation and collective value from such opinion leaders is represent to as social capital [putmani 1995] based on structural characteristic from such a
network, opinion leadership qualities are then diagnosed. In popular usage, the term information refers to fact and opinion provided and received during course of daily life one obtain information directly from electronic data bank and from all sort of observation phenomena in the surrounding environment. This study will see to the importance of opinion leaders in Owo township.
The subject of the dissemination of innovations received much attention in a variety of professional disciplines over the past few decades: Sociologists, economists, communications specialists, and education researchers proposed various theories on the factors and processes which underpin observed patterns of information dissemination and the adoption of innovations (Rogers, 1995, Sunding and Zilberman, 2001). The interest in this topic stems from the importance of innovative technologies, organizations, and contractual arrangements in improving the well-being of societies and the environment. A better understanding of the processes by which new knowledge diffuses within and across societies and communities can suggest actions and investments that can be undertaken by governments and firms that aim to promote innovations. The large volume of empirical evidence that accumulated over the years clarified many aspects of dissemination processes and their characteristics in various contexts.
1.1 Statement Of The Problem
The problem that lead to the study of the role of opinion leader in
information disseminating in Owo Community are numerous among which are of its is stated below.
The problem of identification, some people finds it difficult to identify an opinion leader in a society; also the roles of the opinion leader in disseminating and dissemination of information are not well spelled out.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Apart from being practical useful in itself in showing how the attribute of the role of opinion leaders’ dissemination of vital information, the study is aimed at the following objectives;
(1) To examine the impact of opinion leader in Owo township
(2) To show that opinion leader is an important means of disseminating information in community.
(3) To show that opinion teacher build mutual understanding between. The mass media and the community.
(4) To identify way by which opinion leader diffusion information and idea to the people in rural area.
(5) To identify the impact of information disseminated by opinion leader on people of the society.
1.4 Research Question
(1) Do people of Owo Township feel the impact of opinion leader?
(2) Do opinion leader really impact in disseminating information in community?
(3) Do opinion leader build mutual understanding between the mass media and the community?
(4) How do opinion leaders diffuse information and ideal to the people in the rural area?
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