The study analyzed radio in realizing Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) in Akwa Ibom state. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are 8 goals that all 189 UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The research is anchored on Developmental Media Theory and Agenda Setting Theory. Cross sectional survey research method was used in which 100 copies of questionnaires were administered within two radio stations in Akwa Ibom state i.e Atlantic FM and AKBC 104.5 while another 100 copies of questionnaires were administered to the respondents in Ukanafun Local government particularly in Ikot-Apan-Kuk community using multi-stage sampling as probability sample technique to select respondents. The data was analysed using Descriptive Statistics (Frequency and Percentage). The findings show that radio is trying in educating respondents on major diseases, environmental degradation control, discrimination against women but perform less effective in helping combating hunger, poverty, etc. It was recommended that radio and other mass media have lots of role to play in achieving MDGs by 2030 since the 2015 target could not be met by developing programmes towards achieving this. (Abstract).
1.1 Background to the Study
Development as a concept is a victim of definitional pluralism. It is a difficult word to define. However, attempts have been made by erudite scholars to conceptualize development. Some of these definitions will be explored for the purpose of this study.
Gboyega (2003) captures development as an idea that embodies all attempts to improve the conditions of human existence in all ramifications. It implies improvement in material well being of all citizens, not the most powerful and rich alone, in a sustainable way such that today’s consumption does not imperil the future, it also demands that poverty and inequality of access to the good things of life be removed or drastically reduced. It seeks to improve personal, physical, security and livelihoods and expansion of life chances.
Meanwhile, since the first appearance of radio in the world and Nigeria in particular through BBC rediffusion, to the establishment of federal radio corporation, state radio and to the time of broadcasting media privatization in 1992 through Decree 38 and up till date, radio remains a valuable instrument for social mobilisation, platform for education, agent for development and social change.
In fact, radio still has the larger percentage of audience if compared to television, newspaper, magazine and even the internet because of its flexibility since it appeals only to the audience sense of hearing, its portable, simple to operate, it cost effectiveness
No wonder radio can be enjoyed in the car, bus, farm, village, sitting room, bed room, and office etc. radio is thus one of the effective means of reaching out to people and educate them because of its ability to distribute information to a wide and large heterogeneous audience residing in a diverse locations particularly the illiterate and people in rural areas whose major source of information is radio due to the problem of electricity, cost of buying television and cost of buying newspapers and that is why radio is an essential ingredients in promoting development at all levels- be it at the national or local level.
However, mass media especially radio is a veritable tool in creating awareness, knowledge and understanding on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of it flexibility and dynamism in reaching mass audience particularly the rural dwellers.
Development is universal because the conditions leading to economic expansion are universal. Everywhere, man is faced with the task of survival by meeting fundamental material needs; and better tools are a consequence of the interplay between human beings and nature as part of the struggle for survival (Rodney 1972:11).
Scholarly journals and findings have rightly put that, development in human environment or set up is a many-sided process. It is dynamic, multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Rodney (op cit) takes a holistic approach into the concept of development and asserts that, ‘there has been constant economic development within human society since the origin of man because man has multiplied enormously his capacity to min a living from the nature’.
It is the same developmental drive that propelled the United Nations in September 2000 to make Millennium Development Goals a global mandate on both the developed and developing economies with special emphasis on the developing countries of the world.
Axiomatically, African continent as well as other third world nations was the focal point of the United Nations on the declarations of Millennium Development Goals. Therefore, MDGs is nothing but a developmental project that is expected to be achieved by 2015.
In this regard, human capital and certain social institutions must be practically and strategically employed by the government of each nation. Communication and mass media are vital social institutions that in experts estimation; remain indispensable in achieving this global mandate by the developing economies of the world, Nigeria inclusive.
Therefore, communication and mass media in general must be put to the best utilization for this purpose. History of humanity the world over has clearly shown that communication and mass media are unbeatable agents of social change and unparallel development.
It is against this background that the research examines the role of radio in achieving Millennium Development Goals particularly in Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The world main development challenges, such as poverty, hunger, diseases, conflict, underdevelopment and inequalities, have occupied the Allen lion of the international organization, Civil Society, Politicians, Scholars, state and development workers.
However in order to address these development challis most especially in the underdevelopment nations such as Nigeria, the millennium development goals was adopted.
This work therefore is designed to measure the role of mass media as a tool for public enlightenment in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) and this will look at the mass media as an agent of social change. It is against this background that the research examines the role of radio in achieving Millennium Development Goals particularly in Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the extent at which people in Ikot-Apan-Kuk community are aware of MDGs and SDGs.
- To ascertain whether broadcast media encouraged governments towards achieving the Goals.
- To verify the radio stations in Akwa Ibom State that often give prominence to issues associating with MDGS.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent are people in Ikot-Apan-Kuk community aware of MDGs and SDGs?
- To what extent have broadcast media encouraged governments towards achieving the Goals?
- What radio stations in Akwa Ibom State often give prominence to issues associating with MDGS?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is expected that at the end of this study, it will update knowledge within the framework of the study. Particularly, it will assist people’s views on the usefulness of broadcast media in mobilizing, educating and improving the social well being of the rural dwellers and urban settlers.
Media practitioners will also gain from the research findings as it will expose them to what responsibilities media are expected to play in society to improve social lives and economy of the people especially those in local areas.
This study, hopefully will help to identify the roles played by the mass media especially radio as an agent of social development in Nigeria. This study also intends to help in determining whether the programmes, news, features and commentaries of radio and television have any effect on their audience social and economy lives.
This work will be relevant to Nigerians and Nigeria government on the area they need to pay more attention in solution to the inherent problem of affecting Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria society most especially in Akwa Ibom communities.
At the same time, the study will help people to know the positive contribution of the mass media in achieving the millennium development goals.
The solutions and recommendations that will be advanced here after this study contributes to the growth and development of broadcast media as a powerful instrument for sustainable development. It will also serve as reference materials for future researchers who may want to expand or explore on study relating to this work.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which examines the role of radio in achieving Millennium Development Goals has been narrowed in scope to Akwa Ibom state Ukanafun Local government is due to the fact that the researcher cannot study all communities in Nigeria or even study the entire Akwa Ibom communities. Other factor for selecting Obokun L.G is her proximity to the researcher.
1.7 Limitation to the Study
It is not an overstatement that a research of this nature cannot be carried out without some hard experiences, however below are some of the constraints that this work face. Although, it might be too early to start pointing at limitations, yet some limitations are seen at the onset of this study.
- Stress from other academic activities is one of the limitations to the research work
- Financial constraint to travel to different places.
- Duration for the research work is relatively short
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Radio: This is one of the mass media that is effective in reaching to the large and wide audience about awareness and information regards MDGs or SDGs.
Millennium Development Goals: This is sometimes shortens as MDGS, it is a program that is aimed at promoting development by eradicating HIV/AIDs, hunger, poverty, conflict, gender inequality, mortal mortality etc.
SDGs: This is a later concept after the millennium development goals have been implemented and this concept believes that various development goals must be sustained and maintained. The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations Development Programme. The formal name for the SDGs is: “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.