A CORPS MEMBER,
ADAMAWA STATE POLYTHENIC, YOLA
16TH SEPTEMBER, 2010.
The role of the media in shaping public perceptions and opinion about significant political and social issues cannot be ignored in today`s modern society. Hence, this paper is intended to enlighten the participants, especially undergraduates, journalists and other media operators in Adamawa State and beyond on the important role of the media and how best it can be used to mobilize people towards national development. If we must properly handle or do justice to this paper in a way that would ensure proper understanding, the key words that make up the topic must first be examined.
WHAT IS MEDIA?
The word media is the plural of medium. The word “medium” itself is Latin in origin and means path, way or means. The word was coined in the 1920s with the advent of nation wide radio, networks, mass- circulation, newspapers and magazines. Mass communication is a process by which a message is disseminated simultaneously to a large, heterogeneous and widely dispersed audience. This is made possible by technology. It was for this reason that Bittner (1977), asserts “for mass communication to exist, we need an intermediate transmitter of information, a medium. This means that mass communication requires a mass medium. McQuil (1969), also defines the term mass media “as the entire system within which messages are produced, selected, transmitted, received and responded to”. It can also be seen as those means of communication that reach and influence large number of people especially newspaper, popular magazine, radio and television. Mass media go along with information and communication technology in this day so as to mold a new fangled way of life of the majority living in the global generation Today, media are considered as the fourth estate of the society. It is the fourth branch of the government, the voice and weapon of the people and society as a whole.
WHAT IS MOBILIZATION?
Mobilization is simply refers to as the act of convincing and organizing people to support a course or project. To mobilize people at any level could require persuasive effort with good communication strategies geared towards appealing to them in a convincing manner to adopt a particular pattern in an approaching an issues. It is this strategy that is adopted in getting people involved in a project or programme by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and attitude required for participation. It increases their participation in any social change issue. Mobilization is also aimed at mustering a national support for a successful programme (Ngiranda, 1995) cited in Ucheanya, 2003. It involves the creation of awareness or enlightenment of the target public on the issues they are to participate in actualizing. Be it development projects, poverty reduction efforts or policies, political programmes, social change activities of any sort. Mobilization is very relevant in winning the support and participation of people for such programmes. No doubt, the mass media are very effective in this respect. But the fact that a good number of Nigerians still dwell in the rural areas if taken into cognizance, makes radio the most valuable medium for mobilizing the masses for any government project or campaign. Despite the laudable nature of any project, policy or...