Appraisal of Democratic-Participant Theory and Development Media Theory

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The theories of the mass media, better referred to as philosophies of the mass media are the tenets that regulate the affairs of the mass media in any particular country. The democratic-participant theory and development media theory are of special important to us here because they are theories tailored to suit developing nations. Democratic-participant theory is a type of theory that emphasizes and supports the media multiplicity, local nature of the media, horizontal media involvement and interaction. Propounded by Dennis McQuail, the theory is mainly concerned with the people’s right to relevant information, the right to reply, the right to use the means of communication for interaction in small scale settings of interest groups, subculture and community. McQuail (2005) sees the theory as reflecting public reaction against the commercialization and monopolization of the privately owned media and against the centralism of public broadcasting institution, established according to the norms of social responsibility. An example of democratic media In Nigeria is the mode of program production of the defunct radio Oyo, which produced their programs through communal participation. Development media on the other hand, is a type of media philosophy where the government and the media come together to chart a course for national development. The theory preaches positive use of the mass media in economic and social harmony of the nation. It also aims to achieve autonomy and cultural identity of individual nations. It accepts economic development and nation building as underlying imperatives (Moemeka, 2000). Although this theory (philosophy) emphasizes co-operation for nation development, it also includes that the government has the right, to sanction the media were it feels that they have crossed the line. This addition to the theory is based on the assumption that the government knows what the people want more than the media. Much as social responsibility theory...
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