1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The role which the mass media play in the day-to-day running and shaping of the society cannot be underestimated. The mass media, especially the electronic media, which include Radio, Television integrate the communal functions of the society: relating both the internal and external environment. This they do by re-creating, maintaining and reinforcing people, this means in their daily operations, the electronic media operate as essential tools for the direct projections of ideas, thoughts and information.
According to Becker L. (1983, 20) “The choice of behaviour, policies and services which help people to select and construct picture of the world around then tend largely to depend on communication and its pattern of handling information”.
SCHRAMN, W. (1963; 2), in his own view aligned indirectly with the belief of the above writer that “All sorts of technological innovations have accompanied the explosion of the electronic media, which opened sources and resources for information and entertainment, to support cultural and social changes”.
Despite the world-wide increase in the studies of the televised cultural programmes, little is known of how people perceive such programme; the major reason for this study is to find out if electronic media is an effective instrument for cultural propagation, since the electronic media reach millions of individuals daily and reflect societal values, these media have become targets for heavy scrutiny by researchers interested in determining the effects of cultural programmes on people. There is also strong evidence that at least some dysfunctional activities have been brought through interactions with Television and Radio. That is why CHUKUKERE, G. (1988; 148) in her own view stated “The electronic media have become a major force in Nigeria socio-cultural, political and economic development”
Melton, G. et al (1987; 20) on his own side rightly put it that “All media have the potential to affect culture and socialization”.
With all these we can see that the influence of the electronic media goes a long way in our national heritage, most especially the cultural propagation of Mgbidi town.
A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MGBIDI TOWN.
Prior to the Institutionalization of Mass Communication , in its present form, community development had progressed form one generation to another generation.
In the days of old, communities or villages groups undertook various forms of projects such as villages, halls, Village Square with “juju” shrines and various other traditional projects peculiar to different communities. Such developments were usually initiated by age-grades in conformity with established traditions of the local area. The scale of such projects depended on the size of the community and the community’s quality of leadership and also available resources.
External influence were limited to those of projects to modern sophisticated projects such as schools, hospitals, post offices, pipe-borne water, telecommunication network and electrification of towns. Modern tarred roads and bridges are undertaken today be communities. In place of narrow winding tracks and logs of wood across streams, which used to serve as bridges.
Some communities have gone further by establishing such infrastructural amenities as industries, mechanized farms, secondary schools etc.
This shift in scale and tempo of community development as outlined above will obviously provide an interesting aspect of this study.
According to Goebbels, “Mass Communication is highly effective un creating attitudes newly arisen or newly evoked issues, and that the point of view first expressed will prevail over later persuasive communications to the contrary.
For the purpose of this study, we shall be concerned with only the first of these postulations.
Goebbels’ faith in the efficacy of mass communication in creating attitudes has been shared by a good number of researchers like Rose (1948), (:4) Herz, (1949) has in his research studies also reflected a fairly popular view in his assertion that propaganda is essentially an offensive rather than a defensive weapon, i.e. it can create opinion for more easily than it can convert (:5) studies performed both in the laboratory and in the social world, indicate that communication are extremely effective in creating opinions on maters about which the audience has no pre-existing opinions.
Rioutti (1951), in his study, used the listening habit research method when he studied the radio listening habit of 3,125 elementary and junior high school children in Waterbury, Connecticut, to find out their attitude towards law.
Furthermore, the concept of opinion leadership of “the two-step-flow of communication”, was first clearly formulated by Lazarstield, Berlson and Gaudet (1948). In the course of their analysis of 1940 election, these investigators discovered that “personal contacts appear to have been effective and mass media more effective in influencing voting decisions” (:7).
The opinion leaders who exercised such influence were found to be widely dispersed through all social class, can to be much like the person they influence. Compared with the rest of the population however, opinion leaders were found to be considerably more exposed to radio, as they considered the power and effect of the electronic media in contrast with newspapers and magazines, that is, the formal media of communication.
Lazarfield, Berelson and Gaudet accordinly concluded that ideas often flow from radios to the opinion leaders and from them to the less active section of the population.
2.3SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW
Katz (1957), summing up the findings of studies of Berelson, Lazarfield and Mcphee on voting study in which they found out that the radio which is part of the electronic media and with the help of the opinion leaders for personal influence were apt to support their party position and in which leaders represent or symbolizes the given groups norms in the particular sphere concludes that “influence is related … among other things to form personification of certain values” (:8) of the group to which leader and community belong.
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