COMMUNICATION AND ITS PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

(Mass Communication)

COMMUNICATION AND ITS PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

(NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY)

ABSTRACTS

Communication has remained a formidable sector in the life wire of every society. For a meaningful life and co –existence in the society, proper use of communication techniques is very necessary.        This work was born as a result of  concern the dwindling nature of communication in the developing countries, bedeviled by problems of both economy and technological set back as a result of which our communication system has remained a child of misfortune.      We commend this book, therefore to all communication students who are acquire skills and knowledge in the different higher institutions all over the country. To media owners, we hope that this research work will help to improve their livelihood which has been seriously threatened by these known and unknown problems. To those practicing communicators who are struggling day and night to improve and better their skills in the filed. We hope that a context with this book will help restore their lost hope and confidence   

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

1.0    Introduction                                                       

1.1        Background of the study                                      

1.2        Statement of the Problem                            

1.3        Objective of the study                                 

1.4        Significance of The study                             

1.5        Research Questions                                            

1.6        Research Hypothesis                                   

1.7        Theoretical Frame work                                       

1.8        Scope of the study                                             

1.9        Limitation of the study                                 

1.10    Definition of Terms                                             

Reference

CHAPTER II

2.0    Review of Literature                                            

2.1    Review of Relevant Literature                               

Reference

CHAPTER THREE

3.0    Research Methodology                                

3.1        Research Design                                         

3.2        Area of Study                                                    

3.3        Population of the study                                

3.4        Sample and Sampling                                 

3.5        Determination of Sample Size                               

3.6        Instrument for Data Collection                              

3.7        Validation of Instrument                                      

3.8         Reliability of Instrument                                      

3.9        Method Data Collection                                

3.10    Method of Data Analysis                                      

3.11    Expected Results                                                

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0    Data Presentation and Analysis                     

4.1    Data Presentation                                               

CHAPTE FIVE

5.0    Summary of Findings, Conclusions, Recommendations  

5.1        Summary of Findings                                  

5.2        Recommendation                                               

5.3        Conclusions                                               

Bibliography

Appendix

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

        When we considered the ever widening horizon between the third world communication order in which we have unfortunately found ourselves and the counterpart in the computer controlled worlds, (the developed countries).

        We could not help feeling that sense of consciousness to brace up with the challenges caused by this imbalance, this feeling has today motivated us into embarking on this laudable project. A genuine and committed pursuit to the amelioration, if not outright solution to these seemingly unattainable problems that bed evil our young but promising third world communication order.     

Communication is synonymous with understanding when communication does not end with proper decoding, it means that understanding has been lost understanding can be impaired by a number of factors, prominent among them is noise. Noise is any factor in the communication process that does not enhance the proper understating of the encoded message.

        Noise is one of the most difficult problems that effect, both the print and broadcast media. In broadcast media it comes in form of hooting noise, poor grammatical expressions etc. While in the print, anything that tends to derail the readers mind from the proper understanding of the encoded message is noise. Noise could be in form of wrong spellings, wring usage of words as well as wrong punctuation’s.

        In interpersonal communication, noise could come in the form of shabby dressing of the communicator, a handkerchief bulging from the pocket of the communicator, or bad make – up. When the encoded message is distorted as a result of noise, understanding will be adversely be effected, the essential of such communication will therefore be defeated.

        Another major problem that face communication in developing countries is language problems. For a communication process to be seen as successful, the decoding must be an indication of proper understating. In country like Nigeria, there are about 250 ethnic groups and several language as well as dialects. Our use of English language is most times hampered by the intrusion of our local and sectional dialects.

        Mr. Chudi Amafili and Mr. AL. Gwe seem to recognize this in their unpublished lecture material on radio and television production. They advice thus.” The announcers voice must be natural a universal voice, one not tied to any local or sectional dialects. It is only   a naive mind who will not understand the extent of damage, this above mentioned factor can cause in our communication process. English language is not our mother tongue. It is our second language and therefore one whose usage is most likely to be affected by the underlying factors in our first language. The Yoruba’s for instance omit the letter “H” in the pronunciation of English words because of the restrictions in their language. The Hausas and the Ibos are not free from this dialectic problem. This affects them both in pronunciation as well as pitch variations. 

        This language problem does not stop here, Mr. Mbaachu, the personnel manager to Nigeria coal co-operation Enugu in his unpublished paper argued that it is only when we are using our mother tongue for communication that we are at liberty even to the extent of inventing words, which according to him, is not the same when we use other people’s language. According to him when one is involved in another person’s language one remains a learner and never an experts. No wonder them many communication experts advocate  that local language media house should be established in the local areas to take care of majority of people in remote area. The next major problem, according to Mr. Mbaachu is the dynamic nature language both local care of majority of people in remote area. The next major problem, according to Mr. Mbaachu is the dynamic nature language both local and foreign. According to  Mr. Okenwa, the former Head of department of mass communication,  Institute of Management  and Technology  (IMT) Enugu, Conventional English demanded that one uses “ you are welcome “ as a response to an expression of thanks. This is not the same with what use to apply a couple of years ago another major problem that besieged communicators in the under developed countries like Nigeria, is lack of modern communication gadgets / equipment. Reginald Okochi, the press secretary to the Enugu State Government, in his address to the 1999. Association of mass communication students (ASMACS) IMT Chapter lamented his woes, when he was covering the presidency as a radio Nigeria reporter. He narrated the pains and frustrations they suffered when their counterparts in overseas, aided by their very sophisticated gadget, were able to punch their news to their studios, even from their presidential dateline, while he and his colloquies waited to fax their news at the nearest business centre. What a frustration?

        When one listens to telephone interview over the voice of America he will be forced to wonder there is nothing wrong with our local media house whose interviews and remote productions generally are riddled with noise and distortions and distortions. Our telecommunication system, station transmitters and even our studio equipment are so problem ridden, that they frustrate the efforts of our head working communicators.

1.2 Statement of the Study

        Underdevelopment is indication of the poor state of economy of the country involved. It is another way of saying that a country is poor. Poverty is one of the greater set backs on the thirds world communication system. Its is almost foundation years now that the  Nigeria broadcasting co-operating (NBC) issues licenses to private proprietors to establish and operate their own electronic media house, but till now only clappers broad, many system television and few other’s have been able to meet up the deadline not withstanding the further shift of the deadline. These situations can largely be attributed to the poor economic situation in the country.                                   

        Almost all our media, both government and privately owned ones are suffering from the problems posed by obsolete equipment. Radio stations such as Enugu state Broadcasting station collapses and resurrects at relatively short intervals. When Reginald Okochi was comforted with the question regarding the above mentioned station, during the 1999 ASMACS  week he confessed that the problem has persisted because of lack of fund “bad economy”. The last problem which is not the least among other problem is, the problem posed by the government and the law. The relationship between the press and the government has been described by many known communication scholars “an adversary relationship” the type of relationship that exist between the cat and rat.

        A major problem exist between the  two parties in the area of control of media of communication.

        Another problems of which is not lesser than the first is in the area of disclosure of source of information especially when it is a pre –requisite to the discovery of the truth in the wittiness box. The journalist believes and holds tenaciously to the fact that they should be allowed to hold back their source from whom they received information in confidence. According to them, they can not serve two masters at a time, their conscience and their inquisitors. The journalists believe that an undertaking given a journalist not to miscue the information is a matter of conscience. In a lead judgement delivered in Austrian in an appeal court, the judge helds  “ Interalia”.

        “No” one doubts that editors and journalists are sometimes made the repositories of special confidence which from motives of interest as well as honor, they would preserve from public disclosure, but the law was faced at comparatively early stage of the growth of  rules of evidence with the questions of how to resolve the conflicts between the necessary of discovering the truth in the other hand, he obligation of  secrecy or confidence, which an individual called upon to testify may in good faith have undertaken to a party or other persons” 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study aims at identifying the following objectives:

1.     To assess the challenges of communication in developing countries.

2.     To identify if effective communication helps in development.

3.     To highlight the scope and importance of communication process in a country like Nigeria.

4.     To review the communication method sin Nigeria and findout the most appropriate for better development of its nature and status.

5.     To suggest appropriate guides and techniques to improve good communication scale in Nigeria for better development.

1.4    Significance of the study

The usefulness of this research study is to mass communication students, can be seen in very many ways.  The study will help these future communication problems.  This work can be kept in the library for reference purposes.  They will have access to read, comment and criticize it.  Also this study will widen their knowledge, mass communication already in the field will benefit from this study too.  When they read this work, it will improve their skills and expose them to know their past mistakes.

        This work will help media practitioners whose livelihood is seriously confronted by these numerous problems.  We hope that this work will be very useful to them in improving their understanding and efficiency.

1.5    Research Questions

1.     What are the challenges of communication in a developing country?

2.     Whether effective communication in a country help in development?

3.     What are the scope and importance of communication process in Nigeria?

4.     Which technique of communication do you think is appropriate in Nigeria?

1.6    Hypothesis

H1:    Communication process in Nigeria is hindered with so many challenges.

H0:   Communication process in Nigeria is not  hindered with so many challenges.

H1:   Effective communication  helps in development of a country?

H0:   Effective communication does not help in development of a country?

1.7    Theoretical Framework

        When carrying out a communication research, it is necessary to use a theory to support the topic under investigation to make it credible for the purpose of this research; two theories shall be selected from the theories of media effects, first, the individual difference theory which will lead to perception theory.

        Understanding the effect of mass media on individuals has to do with their demographic and psychographics characteristics “Demographics are the basic statistical data on such things as age, gender, educational level, ethnic background etc,” Ojobor, J, quoted in Okunna ed 2002.16).

        As a result of certain demographic characteristics media specialist and researchers have become very proficient determining media habits of the mass audience” (Bitter 1989:271).

Perception Theory

        Perception is the ability to make sense of what one sees, feels, tastes or smells.  Nweke (2001:11^) sees perception as “the process of selecting, collecting, collating, organizing, analyzing, interpreting sensory information and assigning meaning to it.”

        Also, Burgoon and Raiffuer (1978L104) cited in Falarin (1995;63) defined perception as the process of making sense out of experience.

        Perception depends on a complex of variable such as psychological disposition, past experiences, cultural expectation and social relations.  All these in conjunction with language constraints and the “limited experience factor” result in selective perception process, which takes place in a “stop gate” fashion with selective exposure, attention and retention. In order otherwords, you have to pay attention before you can perceive the message, and you have to perceive it  before you can retain it for later recall.

        However, people use the picture in their heads to assign meanings to messages.  That makes people to react to the same message differently.  The perception theory therefore advices us that we should not assume that whatever message we send is usually understood in the way we want it to be understood.

        Perception theory is very important to a communication because it enables him/her not to be carried away by his own ideas, to realize and appreciate that what the communicates may not be understood the way it was expected.  That does not mean that some people will not get the exact meaning of the message.  Perception theory leads to different selectivity.

1.8    Scope of the Study

The study covers communication and its problems in developing countries using Nigeria as the reference point.

1.10  Definitions of terms:

(1)        Third world communication order: This is the type of communication process peculiar to the developing countries.

(2)        Encoding: This is the process of passing communication message from the originator of the message to  the receiver.

(3)        Communication problems: These are the weaknesses that are in heart in the communication process.

(4)        Decoding: This is a form of response from the receiver of a message back to the originator of the message.

(5)        Transmit: It is a gadget used in media house to receive Electro – magnetic wave from the station and transfer them to have house hold sets.

(6)        Audience: These are group of people, who are bound together by interest in media programmes. They are bound by geography but by interest.

(7)        Information: Telling of something process of making something known to the people,

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