ERIC Number: ED340049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-13
Reference Count: N/A
Communication Problems in a Mass Society: Mass Audience, Mass Communication and Development.
Moemeka, Andrew A.
This paper examines the problem of how to reconcile the practical realities of the nature of the mass audience with the demands of personal and social development, particularly in Africa and other Third World Countries, where the demands of modernization have confronted traditional norms and values. After defining and clarifying key concepts such as development, communication, mass communication, mass society, mass audience, and types of audience participation, the paper explores the relationship between the mass media and the mass audience, and discusses the effects of the media in terms of conflict theory, social criticism, and the theories of ideological effects. The paper asserts that the agenda setting power of the mass media results in a non-spontaneous mass culture which pacifies and stupefies the masses instead of educating them, and argues that under these conditions, modernization can be achieved only in terms of physical development, and not in human and socio-cultural dimensions. The paper suggests that participation is a key element in development, and supports this idea with the positive results of a pilot project in which the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation involved members of rural villages in its programming, production, and presentation. Finally, the paper advocates the Democratic-Participant Media theory which: (1) is based on the demassification of media messages and contents so that they become situation and community or group specific and directly relevant to individual communities or groups; and (2) assists in inducing critical thinking that helps ensure intelligent decisions and builds up the people's self-confidence. (Three tables are included; 23 references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conflict Theory; Nigeria; Third World
Note: Paper presented at a Faculty Research Conference of the Connecticut State University Research Foundation (New Haven, CT, April 13, 1991).