The role of Mass Media in Rural Development: A case study in District Rajanpur

Muhammad Samar, Hassan Ali & Muhammad Waqas

Department of Rural Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan.

Abstract

Mass media refers to communication devices, which can be used to communicate and interact with a large number of audiences in different languages. In the current situation, the role of mass media is very import to upgrade the rural society. It can stimulate the rural people towards progress. The mass media have been used at once for transmission of development communications to the people of this society as in others. The aim of the present study is explore the role of mass media in rural development in District Rajanpur. This study was conducted in two tehsils of District Rajanpur (Tehsil Rajanpur and Tehsil Jampur). After choosing the Tehsils, four union councils, two from each tehsil (UC-21 and UC-22 from Tehsil Rajanpur and UC-1 and UC-2 from Tehsil Jampur) were selected through random sampling method. At the end a proportional sample 120 respondents were selected randomly and interviewed by using a well-designed interview schedule. The collected data were analyzed by using SPSS software. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used for data analysis. It was found a huge majority (81.7%) of the respondents were watching TV without cable connection, whereas more than a half (55.0%) of the respondents had cable connection.  A substantial proportion (58.3%) of the respondents had perception ‘to a great extent’ that the mass media presents the awareness program about rural development. A huge majority (70.0%) of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ that the mass media presents the political awareness program. Majority of them were also agreed that mass media presents the information about the government/NGOs policies regarding rural development. More than a half i.e. 57.5 percent of the respondents had opinion ‘to a great extent’ and 25.0 percent of them had opinion ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the educational policies of the government for rural areas. The Government should take steps to raise literacy rate in the rural area.

 Introduction

The mass media included several media technologies that are envisioned to influence large viewers. Broadcast media (also called as electronic media) communicate the facts electronically and include television, radio, movies, and certain other media like cameras and video raise. Alternatively, print media use a fleshly item for sending their facts, such as a newspaper, magazines, brochures, newsletters, books, leaflets and pamphlets (Potter, 2008).

Internet media is capable to attain mass media rank in its personal right. The many services such as email, websites, blogging, Internet television are provided by this mass media. In this way, numerous mass media openings have a being there on the web. TV ads is also type of mass media that links to a website. The internet mass media introduce such programs which are helpful in several way of life of the people. The Internet has enough information which can simply be broadcast to several different areas of the worldwide instantaneously. Out-of-doors media is a usage of mass media that includes ads, symbols, posters internally or externally sited for marketable buildings and items like factories and workshops, airborne posters, airships, and skywriting. Community language and incident establishing can also be measured with the help of mass media (Manohar, 2011).

The development journalist is one who is industrious enough to look beyond the polished news releases and briefings put out by well endowed foreign organizations, and curious enough to find local sources of expertise. Such a journalist must be brave enough to present home-grown solutions to pressing development problems. Development journalists travel to remote areas to report on happenings there. This type of journalism acts as a tool for social justice, speaking for the voiceless, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of a country and in so doing identifying ways in which the nation can be helped (Fleury, 2008).

This stratification of distribution occurs not only between urban and rural areas, as much pervious evidence attests, but more important the areas themselves, television is the mass media with the greatest diet bias in most developing countries and radio is the most generally available however , even radio is quite the social strata. The majority of rural people in underdeveloped countries are found to live in a state of “under communication.” A great inequalities still hundred the potential use of mass media in availability in rural areas mirrors the unequal distribution of other resources. Even where mass media is widely available in serious reservation remains concerning the contribution of the information to a more equitable rural development (Pisal, 2014).

It also noted that only 51% of females over age 15 in Africa are able to read and write compared to 67% of males. This situation informed the assertion that women’s entrepreneurship represents an untapped reservoir for job creation, economic growth and social cohesion (Nwoye, 2007).

Some say mass media is opiate of masses and others say it is a vital aspect of human society. As we know we are living in a globalised knowledge world we have to change ourselves to cope up with this changing world. Sometimes mass media is criticized on ethical ground. Sometimes media publishes distorted news which creates imbalance in the society. It is the responsibility of the media persons to go deep into the matter before publication. They should publish real, judicious, true facts rather than polarized stories. It should be free from any bias. It should try to develop four types of citizenship political, economic, social and cultural citizenship (Pradipta, 2012).

Media is undoubtedly very fast, vast and powerful mode of communication. Nor does it only appeal a vast audience it has got a tremendous impact on the political run of a country and culture of a society. Films, TV shows, Journalism (newspapers and news channels) all come under short yet large “Media”. By “Ethics and Media” we generally discuss the ethics in journalism which influences the mindset of people and moulds the society. Starting from weather forecast to “what will be your future ?” It tells you anything and everything. With such an impact any misconduct or irresponsible act can not only affect but shake the very base on which we have laid out so much comfortable lives (Anwesha Mohanty, 2012).

Mass communication is any message sent by a person or a group of people through a medium to a large audience, and mass media is any medium used to transmit mass information. Until recently mass media comprised the eight mass media industries: books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television, and the Internet, however, digital technology has expanded the scope of the term mass media (Lane, 2007).

 

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of the study is to identify the perception of people regarding mass media (electronic and print) and evaluate that which media (electronic and print) is more effective for rural development.

 

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Sample Size:

Sample can be defined as accurate envoy of the population, which has all the characteristics of preferred population. Tehsil Rajanpur and Jampur were selected from three tehsils of Distt. Rajanpur randomly. Four union councils, two from each tehsil (UC-21 and UC-22 from Tehsil Rajanpur and UC-1 and UC-2 from Tehsil Jampur) were selected through random sampling method, than four villages from each UC were selected randomly. 120 respondents were selected randomly from the study area.

Data collection:

Construction of data collection tool

Social science deals with human nature, Feelings, emotions and minds of human being. To study all these factors it was compulsory that data collection tool was very accurate and reliable. Interview schedule was prepared with open and close ended questions to collect the data from respondents. It was structured to get all the required information from the respondents.

Interviewing the respondents:

Interview was conducted from respondents to collect facts.  The investigator himself interviewed each respondent to make sure unbiased response and then rechecked each questionnaire for accuracy and uniformity because it was very difficult to approach the same respondent at any subsequent stage.

Analyzing of data:

Collected data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Descriptive statistics, including frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations, were used to summarize different variables. Data was interpreted with the help of a computer software i.e. statistical package for social sciences.

 

Results and discussion

 

Table 1 here

Distribution of the respondents according to their interest in available mass media

 

N = 120

Items of mass media To a great extent To some extent Not at all NA
F. % F. % F. % F. %
TV 65 54.2 17 14.2 16 13.3 22 18.3
TV Cable connection 40 33.3 17 14.2 9 7.5 54 45.0
Radio 5 4.2 6 5.0 5 4.2 104 86.7
Internet 7 5.8 2 1.7 6 5.0 105 87.5
Newspaper 8 6.7 7 5.8 3 2.5 102 85.0
Magazine 14 11.7 3 2.5 4 3.3 99 82.5

Table 1 reveals that more than a half i.e. 54.2 percent of the respondents had interest in TV ‘to a great extent’ and 14.2 percent of them had interest ‘to some extent’ in TV, whereas 13.3 percent of them had no interest in TV.

About one-third i.e. 33.3 percent of the respondents had interest in TV with cable connection ‘to a great extent’ and 14.2 percent of them had interest ‘to some extent’, whereas 7.5 percent of them had no interest in TV with cable connection.

Only 4.2 percent of the respondents had interest in radio ‘to a great extent’ and 5.0 percent of them had interest ‘to some extent’ in radio, whereas 4.2 percent of them had no interest in radio.

Only 5.8 percent of the respondents had interest in internet ‘to a great extent’ and 1.7 percent of them had interest in internet ‘to some extent’, whereas 5.0 percent of them had no interest in Internet.

About 6.7 percent of the respondents had interest ‘to a great extent’ in newspaper and 5.8 percent of them had interest in newspaper ‘to some extent’, whereas 2.5 percent of them had no interest in newspaper.

About 11.7 percent of the respondents had interest ‘to a great extent’ in magazine and 2.5 percent of them had interest in magazine ‘to some extent’, whereas 3.3 percent of them had no interest in newspaper.

 

Table 2 here

Distribution of the respondents according to their purpose of using these digital items

Purpose To a great extent To some extent Not at all Total
F. % F. % F. % F. %
For entertainment i.e. drama, film, song etc. 109 90.8 6 5.0 5 4.2 120 100.0
For information 24 20.0 82 68.3 14 11.7 120 100.0
For education 13 10.8 62 51.7 45 37.5 120 100.0
For enjoyment e.g. playing games, SMS, facebook, etc. 7 5.8 2 1.7 111 92.5 120 100.0
Just time passing 40 33.3 24 20.0 56 46.7 120 100.0

Table 2 reveals that a huge majority i.e. 90.8 percent of the respondents used mass media ‘to a great extent’ for entertainment purpose i.e. drama, film, song etc, whereas 5.0 percent of them used mass media ‘to some extent’ for entertainment purpose, whereas 4.2 percent of them never used mass media for entertainment purpose.

About one-fifth i.e. 20.0 percent of the respondents used mass media ‘to a great extent’ for information purpose, whereas a majority i.e. 68.3 percent of them used mass media ‘to some extent’ for information purpose, whereas 11.7 percent of them never used mass media for information purpose.

Almost 11 percent of the respondents used mass media ‘to a great extent’ for education purpose, whereas about a half i.e. 51.7 percent of them used mass media ‘to some extent’ for education purpose, whereas 37.5 percent of them never used mass media for education purpose.

Only 5.8 percent of the respondents used mass media ‘to a great extent’ for enjoyment e.g. playing games, SMS, facebook, etc., whereas about 1.7 percent of them used mass media ‘to some extent’ for enjoyment e.g. playing games, SMS, facebook, etc., whereas 92.5 percent of them never used mass media for enjoyment purpose.

About one-third i.e. 33.3 percent of the respondents used mass media ‘to a great extent’ for just time passing, whereas 20.0 percent of them used mass media ‘to some extent’ for time passing, whereas 46.7 percent of them never used mass media for just time passing.

 

 

Table 3 here

 

Distribution of the respondents according to their thinking about the possible uses of print media in development

Possible uses of print media in development Yes No Total
F. % F. % F. %
To inform 65 54.2 55 45.8 120 100.0
To initiate dialogue and inspire confidence 54 45.0 66 55.0 120 100.0
To seek for consensus 57 47.5 63 52.5 120 100.0
Special pleading 60 50.0 60 50.0 120 100.0
Bring about social mobilization 67 55.8 53 44.2 120 100.0
To render account 45 37.5 75 62.5 120 100.0
Any other 24 20.0 96 80.0 120 100.0

Table 3 presents the possible uses of print media in development. More than a half i.e. 54.2 percent of the respondents reported that the media inform them for development, while 45.0 percent of them told that print media is a source to initiate dialogue and inspire confidence, 47.5 percent of them mentioned that the print media is a source to seek for consensus. About a half i.e. 50.0 percent of the respondents told that the print media s a special pleading, 55.8 percent of them said that the print media is a bring about social mobilization, 37.5  percent of them mentioned that the print media is to render account and 20.0 percent of the respondents reported that the print media presents the any others aspects of development.

 

Table 4 here

 

Distribution of the respondents according to their perception about the role of mass media in rural development

 

N = 120

Role of mass media in rural development To a great extent To some extent Not at all Total
F. % F. % F. % F. %
Do you think that the mass media present the awareness about rural development 70 58.3 33 27.5 17 14.2 120 100.0
Mass media presents the political awareness 84 70.0 27 22.5 9 7.5 120 100.0
Mass media presents the real pictures of our villages 45 37.5 48 40.0 27 22.5 120 100.0
Mass media presents the information about the government/ NGOs policies regarding rural development 57 47.5 42 35.0 21 17.5 120 100.0
Mass media presents the information about the development budget for rural areas 50 41.7 27 22.5 43 35.8 120 100.0
Mass media presents the educational policies of the government for rural areas 69 57.5 30 25.0 21 17.5 120 100.0
Media presents the role of political leaders in rural development 74 61.7 18 15.0 28 23.3 120 100.0
Media demonstrated the model villages 17 14.2 43 35.8 60 50.0 120 100.0
Do you think that the print media work well with participatory approaches? 37 30.8 42 35.0 41 34.2 120 100.0
Do you think that the mass media provide information related to health 68 56.7 33 27.5 19 15.8 120 100.0

Table 4 presents the role of mass media in rural development. A substantial proportion i.e. 58.3 percent of the respondents had perception ‘to a great extent’ and 27.5 percent of them had opinion ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the awareness program about rural development, while 14.2 percent of them never agreed with this perception.

A huge majority i.e. 70.0 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and 22.5 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the political awareness program, while 7.5 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

More than one-third i.e. 37.5 percent of the respondents had perception ‘to a great extent’ and 40.0 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the real pictures of our villages, while 22.5 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

A major proportion i.e. 47.5 percent of the respondents had perception ‘to a great extent’ and 35.0 percent of them had perception ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the information about the government/NGOs policies regarding rural development, while 17.5 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

A major proportion i.e. 41.7 percent of the respondents had perception ‘to a great extent’ and 22.5 percent of them had perception ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the information about the development budget for rural areas, while 35.8 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

More than a half i.e. 57.5 percent of the respondents had opinion ‘to a great extent’ and 25.0 percent of them had opinion ‘to some extent’ that the mass media presents the educational policies of the government for rural areas, while 17.5 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

A majority i.e. 61.7 percent of the respondents had opinion ‘to a great extent’ and 15.0 percent of them had opinion ‘to some extent’ that media presents the role of political leaders in rural development, while 23.3 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

About 14.2 percent of the respondents had opinion ‘to a great extent’ and 35.8 percent of them had opinion ‘to some extent’ that media demonstrated the model villages, while 50.0 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

Less than one-third i.e. 30.8 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and 35.0 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that the print media working well with participatory approaches, while 34.2 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

A majority i.e. 56.7 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and 27.5 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ that the mass media provided information related to health, while 15.8 percent of them never agreed with this opinion.

 

Table 5 here

 

Distribution of the respondents according to their thinking about the extent of mass media effects on their political perception about the country and around the world

 

Respondents’ thinking about the extent of mass media effects on their political perception about the country and around the world Frequency Percentage
To a great extent 74 61.7
To some extent 18 15.0
Not at all 28 23.3
Total 120 100.0

Table 5 presentS that a majority i.e. 61.7 percent of the respondents had thinking ‘to a great extent’ and 15.0 percent of them had thinking ‘to some extent’ about the mass media effects on their political perception about the country and around the world.  Whereas 23.3 percent of them were never agreed with this opinion.

 

Conclusions

Based upon the results of the present study, some conclusions are given as the findings of the present study may not be considered as conclusive as the study was not based on a truly representative sample of rural population of district Rajanpur. It is, therefore suggested that more studies on higher level may be undertaken to draw generalizations about impact of mass media on the rural development. The Government should take steps to raise literacy rate in the rural area. A micro-credit program should be of immense importance in boosting the adoption of new agricultural technology for poverty reduction in the selected area. Government should arrange health awareness programme at village level. Government should promote the infrastructure and educational facilities in the rural areas. Mass media should be presented the actual picture of our villages and their needs.

 

References

Anwesha Mohanty, 2012, Mass Media and Rural Development,  D-7/F – Rail Vihar, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar-23.

Fleury, J. (2008). Development journalism or just good journalism, http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/trust/. (Viewed 12 – 6 – 09).

 

Lane, B. (2007). What is mass media? The changing role of mass communications and the media industries. Retrieved May 15, 2008, from http://medialiteracy.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_is_mass_media_#ixzz0FebD3HI9&A.

Manohar, U.2011. “Different types of mass media”. Buzzle.com. Retrieved November 26.

Nwoye, M. (2007, November). Gender responsive entrepreneurial economy of Nigeria: Enabling women in a disabling environment. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 9 (1), 167 – 175. Retrieved May 15, 2008, from http://www.bridgew.edu/soas/jiws/Nov07/MayNwoye.pdf

Pisal Anita Sambhaji, 2014, Impact of the Media in Rural Development, Assistant Professor, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Social Science Centre, Pune, India, International Journal of Management and Commerce Innovations ISSN 2348-7585 (Online) Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp: (339-340), Month: October 2014 – March 2015, Available at: http://www.researchpublish.com.

Potter, W.J.  2008. Arguing for a general framework for mass media scholarship.SAGE.p.32. ISBN 978-1-4129-6471-5

Pradipta Ku. Biswal, 2012, Mass Media and Rural Development, Pradipta Kumar Biswal, Lecturer, R.S. Mahavidyalaya, Odagaon, Dist- Nayagarh.

 

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