The role of media in education deployment and national development remains an inexhaustible topic among scholars and agents of community development.
THE MEDIA – media can be defined from different views and perspective. WordWeb dictionary defines media as a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information. It has been variously defined by scholars of mass communication among which media is referred to as a collective means of communication by which general public or populace is kept informed about the day to day happenings in the society. The media can also be said to be an aggregation of all communication channels that use techniques of making a lot of direct personal communication between the communicator and the public.
When we talk of mass media, the word “mass” means a large number of people or a collection of “media” organs or channels; as media itself is a plural of medium. Therefore, mass media is a collection of organs of communication and information dissemination that connects a large number of people for maximum reach. The media is a channel through which information is circulated to the members of the public; the media serves to coordinate the information flow between government and the public and vice versa.
On a further note, media can be divided into two broad categories which are; Print media and the Electronic media. Print media comprises of Newspapers, Magazines, Journals and periodicals while electronic ones includes the Radio, Television and all related modern means of communication such as the computer and the Internet.
MEDIA AND DEVELOPMENT IN GENERAL VIEW
Development refers to a process of change that is directed towards improving or making life better. Dudley Sears (1985), opined that development includes the creation of opportunities for the realization of human potentialities. Where the media comes in development process is through what is called “development communication”. This is the type of communication which is consciously packaged by the sender such that the message content or the information sent could persuade, encourage or convince the receiver or target audience to adopt an attitude and participate in actualizing a development plan or goal. At certain instances, the message sent aims at making the target audience adopt a positive attitudinal change towards a development purpose.
THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN EDUCATION AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Fundamentally, the media has been described as performing three functions or roles which are: information, education and entertainment. These roles are the conventional social functions the media render to the public, but which is equally applicable in broader sense, the pursuit national development. It could be said that through educating, informing and entertaining, the media thereby make the society, members of the society or the nation as well as the leadership of that very society, aware of the importance and need to undertake certain process or processes of national development. The mass media are therefore seen for their role in furnishing the public with necessary information to achieve developmental goals.
These roles of media in national development lie in their capacity and capability to teach, manipulate, sensitize and mobilize people through information dissemination – (Ucheanya 2003). Instances of this role being presently played by media in Nigeria is the general millennium goal pursuit towards the year 2015, as proposed by the United Nations and incorporated as national policy by governments of member countries around the world.
Policies of the millennium goal touch on different aspects of health, education, children and women and the likes.
Other roles of media in national development include –
- The media leads to formation of attitude through establishing of values for the society or nation and thereby building an atmosphere of change in the society and nation at large.
- In order to ensure a peaceful national coexistence and progress, the media have before them the task of discouraging such negative issues as ethnicity, dictatorship in leadership like the military rule and of course discourage embezzlement of public funds, as it is the disturbing trend presently indulged by politicians occupying positions of responsibilities and related public officers in Nigeria.
- The responsibility of informing people about development projects and programmes is another major role of media to national development. Such programmes designed and proposed by policy makers could be entirely new to the people at whom they need to be enlightened, educated and mobilized by the media. Instances of such programmes are the Universal Basic Education (U.B.E.), the Nomadic Education, Girl-Child Education, Adult Education, Fighting Drug Addiction and Trafficking and for instance, a nationwide campaign towards boosting agriculture and food production.
- Offering solutions to problems is another developmental role of the media, in that they are not only expected to criticize government officials and condemn their actions, but to also act as watchdogs of the society. They should review, analyze, appraise or criticize, as the case may be, activities of governmental agencies and programmes such as the Re-capitalization of banks and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), with a view to offering solutions in the areas where they are failing or lacking and suggest ways to their rectification.
In conclusion, the role of education deployment in nation building is an inexhaustible topic of discussion; media as it is plays a major role in developing a nation; in fact, it should be said that media is an evidence of growth and development in any nation. Media is ought to be used as a function and means of educating the society, and its members. It plays such a crucial ROLE in human development and disseminating of relevant and educational awareness for the purpose of individual growth which in return makes a contribution to national growth.