A Comparative Analysis On The Role Of Mass Communication And Interpersonal Communication In Rural Development (a Case Study Of Udi Town)

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This study was carried out to examine and assess the role of mass communication and interpersonal communication in rural development especially in the area of decision making, taking Udi town in Enugu State as a case study with a view of finding out how persuasive interpersonal communication is over mass communication and also the significant differences in the users’ interest. It also delved into finding out what and how people of Udi Town think about government owned mass media and also their major source of information and awareness. The instrument used data collection was a ninety-three questionnaire which served as a strategy for testing and validating the hypothesis and seeking information on the role of mass communication and interpersonal communication in rural development. In this research, there was no discrimination on age, sex, religion occupation, income, social standard or any form of inclination. The sample was random; all classes of people in Udi Town were represented. The data collected were analyze using the percentage formula. Findings from the population sampled revealed that mass communication is more effective than interpersonal communication in creating information awareness and interpersonal communication is mere persuasive than mass communication in crating information awareness. It was concluded that for any information dissemination to be effective, mass communication should be used and for persuasion, interpersonal communication.






This study is a product of there co-ordinate demands: the fulfillment of the institute of regulation, the love for intellectual experiment and the desire to contribute to the empirical work in human communication.

The choice of topic was guided, first by the interest in the behavioural sciences to which mass communication belongs and secondly by the concern or the progress of local government as the third tier of government and lastly, as the contribution to the current campaign on rural development.

Few would have been said to have written without mistake, therefore, whatever error or weakness that ‘mar’ this work are entirely our responsibility. It is however, expected that readers of this work will find it faculty in some aspects due to criticism, yet it will be investing to them. It is expected also that this research work will be highly contributory to the design of the best way to achieve the highest height in rural development through communication in its entirely.





Title page   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        i

Approval page     -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        ii

Dedication           -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        iii

Acknowledgement        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        iv

Abstract     -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        v

Preface       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        vi

Table of contents          -        -        -        -        -        -        -        vii


Introduction        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        1

1.1       Background of the study                -        -        -        -        1

1.2       Statement of study       -        -        -        -        -        -        3

1.3       Objective of study         -        -        -        -        -        -        4

1.4       Significance of the study        -        -        -        -        -        5

1.5       Research Questions     -        -        -        -        -        -        7

1.6       Hypotheses         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        8

1.7       Theoretical framework           -        -        -        -        -        9

1.8       Scope of the study        -        -        -        -        -        -        9

1.9       Limitation of the study           -        -        -        -        -        9

1.10    Definition of terms        -        -        -        -        -        -        11



2.1       Review of literature      -        -        -        -        -        -        12

2.2       Summary of literature review         -        -        -        -        23


METHODOLOGY        -       -       -       -       -       -       -       25

3.1       Research method         -        -        -        -        -        -        25

3.2       Research design -        -        -        -        -        -        -        25

3.3       Research Population    -        -        -        -        -        -        26

3.4       Sample size         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        26

3.5       Sampling procedure    -        -        -        -        -        -        27

3.6       Data gathering Instrument    -        -        -        -        -        28

3.7       Data analysis      -        -        -        -        -        -        -        28


Data Analysis and Results-       -       -       -       -       -       29

4.1       Analysis of demographics     -        -        -        -        -        29

4.2       Hypothesis testing        -        -        -        -        -        -        30

4.3       Discussions        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        34


Summary and Recommendation        -       -       -       -       37

5.1       Summary   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        37

5.2       Recommendation         -        -        -        -        -        -        37

5.3       Recommendation         -        -        -        -        -        -        37

Bibliography       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        34

Questionnaire     -        -        -        -        -        -        -        46




The study of communication and development has been a busy field in many development theories were propounded by western scholars, while many third weld nations experimented with these their believing that the large scale adoption of  mass communication in their countries would invariably lead to development or modernization at both structural and individual levels (Nwuneli, 1985) over the years, the western derived theories of mass communication and interpersonal communication have gone through a thorough and detailed examination and criticism. This is because, the anticipated benefits that are supposed to have come as a natural development from the adoption of the western oriented models have not materialized.

Coming closer home, it can be found out that the mass media were adopted into Nigeria without being made to suit the social cultural values of the nation. The sixties and seventies witnessed the massive distribution of the mass media hard ware development at a tremendous rate, the software component barely kept peace. Thus, instead of having cultural content, we have western oriented cultural content.

Despite this short coming, it is commonly and widely known and accepted that the organ of communication play unquantifiable roles in matters of public interest, opinion and development. Men in all endeavours recognize these vital roles the media play in the formation of opinion and they are aware of the dangers involved in misinforming the masses, especially in a society when many believe almost anything they read, see or hear, as the case may be in the media.

People working with media have held positions social responsibility, playing key roles in shaping the political, economic and social fabric of our lives. Media in this way offer the individual the opportunity to perform services of positive value to the society. Also, in every society, there are people who are looked upon as opinion leaders. The opinions of these persons to a great extent influence, the opinion of other members of the society. These leaders are looked upon as connive your belts of information transmission. Messages in most cases reach these people who in turn convey such messages to other members of the society.

The study of the role of mass communication opinion leaders, family attachments friends and other variable factors pay a great role.

Pertinent studies in small group research indicate that communications are likely to be transmitted along social lines defined by friendship, shared interest and shared opinions.


Communication is part of the general development process and provides the needs like between planners and their goals. It is essential for the conducts of every day life, transmitting messages to various parts. It should be known that an uncommunicated event fails to have effect. Therefore, comparative analysis of the role of mass communication in rural development can not be over-emphasized, especially in developing country like Nigeria. It is no longer contestable that communication when properly used works together with societal variables to facilitate social changers that include rural development. This is why a search, for the best method that will help put communication to the fillets and effective use in achieving development objectives, is necessary.

There have been both grandiose theories and concrete research projects about the effects of the media, but no one is certain on what they will end up to. Undoubtedly, mass communication and interpersonal communication play a vital role in rural development, what remains is determining to what extent or level they play this role. There is yet to be a consensus regarding the roles these forms of communication in rural development since communication theories have given different and contrasting roles to them. Problems therefore arises and questions needing urgent answers amount in the aspects of determining which communication medium plays what role and what level, which comes first and which serves as a supplement to the other, which should be used at a given time and when is one not appropriate, when should both be used and what stage can both complement each other, when is it appropriate to use one in preference to the other?

Attempt to resolve the above questions, prompt the undertaking of this study. This study is therefore a contribution to that debate about the roles of mass communication as they affect the rural populace.


This objective of this study is to know the exact role(s) of the mass media in rural development of Udi in Enugu, their difference, similarities, advantages, short comings and the most likely ways both can be improved upon in order to facilitate speedy rural development.

Assumption about the impact of the medium have played a formative role in guiding the direction of this study. Pointer investigators accept popular impressions of the media as omnipotent and capable of being employed for manipulative purpose. It has therefore become natural that much research attrition should be paid to communication influence as it gone a long way in helping them determine their future and possibly have a say over their lives.


The main significance of this study is to examine the prospects and discuss the constraints of the role of mass communication and interpersonal communication in rural development of Udi Town. In simple terms, a task has been taken to discuss the advantages, disadvantages, problems and possible solutions that communication can bring to the improvement of the quality of the people of Udi.

The choice of this study can not be more timely than now in Nigeria where the issue of giving enough budget allocation to the improvement of our roads, food and rural infrastructural, creating employment on labour override every other issue.

Rural development is a topic or even an ideology emphasized on today by our present administration that is making effort to ensure the improvement of the living standard of the rural folks. How can one characterize the current national scene in mass communication particularly from the point of view of the so called rurality? As far as the actual process of mass communication is concerned at least some features stand out in a national perfective. First, there is a well-known in balance of resource between the urban area and the so called have-nots that are more “quartered” in the rural area, material and mental resources for productions and distributions of all manner of information have concentrated in the same urban area. The distribution of communication resources in Nigeria, as in most third countries and a few developed ones, is strikingly disproportional to the population and distribution of the information needs of the people.

Another central features in the national communication scene is the in balance in the resources between the urban and rural areas. The total flow of communication taking place between the urban and rural communications take place more in the direction of urban to the rural communication. Than vice versa, being more of a one way communication flow. By and large, inadequacy may be proper term to quality the operation of our present mass communication institutions when seen from rural perspectives. This over all evaluation of mass communication as it affects the rural populace is not based on careless subjective opinion, but on a comprehensive objective considerations.

One of the most obvious ways in which great harm has been done to the life of our rural community manifests in an unhelpful attitudes many exhibit in financial relations with the rural populace.

It is against this background that this study was conducted to find out the various roles played by mass communication and interpersonal communication in rural development, as well as noting their lapses, problems and prospects. As the topic of this study suggests, it is a comparison of the different roles of mass communication and impersonal communication in development of Udi town.


v    How do people interact in this village with each other?

v    Is there any medium through which people interact in this village?

v    Does interaction flow through mass communication or interpersonal communication?

v    How do people appreciate the medium of communication.

v    How often does communication flow in this rural area or community?

v    With the use of interpersonal communication is effectively used in your interaction here?


Ho:    Interpersonal communication is more effective than mass communication in creating awareness.

Hi:     Interpersonal communication is not more effective than mass communication in creating awareness.

Ho:    Mass communication is more persuasive than interpersonal communication

H2:    Mass communication is not more persuasive than interpersonal communication

Ho:    Interpersonal communication is more effective than mass communication in decision making.

H3:    Interpersonal communication is not more effective than mass communication in decision making.

Ho:    Government ownership of most mass media communications makes the people to believe the contents of those media.

H4:    Government ownership of most mass media communications makes the people not to believe the contents of those media.





The theoretical framework is a device for adopting or applying the assumptions and principles of a theory in the description and analysis of research problems.

Mass Communication is an effective means of communication in rural area.

Interpersonal communication plays an underlined and unique role among rural dwellers.

Mass communication is the only means of effective communication in rural development. This theory is basically an assumption.


The scope of this research study is to study basically the role of mass communication and interpersonal communication in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.


This study has its scope, Udi Local Government area of Enugu State, it did not go beyond that, This  could be attributed to difficulties which might  be experienced if the study were extended to all the nooks and corners of the state. One of such difficulties might be coordinating the research and its finding.

This study does not I anyway claim hundred percent accuracy. It is therefore necessary. To mention some of the constraining factors that worked against the smooth running of his project. One of these was the attitude of the respondents. However, being enthusiastic and prospective communication expert had to make use of the village and town opinion leaders who are semi-literate to convince the respondents on identity and mission.

There was also the financial side of the limitation. The population of this study was taken from the various villages scattered within the town. This means traveling the length and breathe of the town. At the end, however, the research her was able to meet this challenge with difficult, the financial burden proved almost unbearable especially when all the money needed to facilitate the study had been extracted from one’s meager resources collected as a student or researcher. Another limitation to this study was engineered by the dearth of research materials in the area of study. The study of the roles of mass communication and interpersonal communication has attracted only very little attention from researchers. The researcher therefore suffered greatly in search of relevant literature for review.



Before going further, it is pertinent to put up a working definition of the following terms; Mass Communication and Rural Development. The three is being the anchor on which this study was conducted. Mass Communication means the channels used in communicating information to the general public and getting response from them. These of course include; Radio, television, Cinema, Newspaper, magazine and so on. Mass communication has been divided into two: Print and electronic media based on the make up of the channels. Operationally, mass communication was specifically used with reference to television and radio, both being the most widely used in rural areas, at least when compared with other types of the media.

Interpersonal Communication on the other hand, refers to face-to-face communication between two persons and among people.

Rural Development is the process of bringing to the grass roots improved level of standard of living of the rural dwellers.


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A Comparative Analysis On The Role Of Mass Communication And Interpersonal Communication In Rural Development