Mass media in Nigeria

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  Prior to the revolution of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the television, radio and print media had been the main source of mass communication. The development of mass media in Nigeria dates back to 1970 with the print media being the first having a coverage of about 45% with more penetration in the urban areas. The radio soon followed having a more widely reached audience though the availability of the radio at earlier stages was low and in 1990 then came the emergence of the television having a captivating attention with accessibility to only the elites. The traditional mass media in the 1990’s did play roles more in politics and information dissemination rather than a social or economic function.  The use of the telephone not until

recent was not considered a form of mass media due to the traditional “one-to-one” communication pattern. The 20th century brought about a revolution in mass media with the internet and the mobile phone becoming a major form of mass communication with an overriding effect on the traditional mass media. The advancement of the ICT has led to development which transcends beyond communication itself but also to sectors such as education, banking & finance, transportation, health, business hence having an overall effect of the politics, social aspects and economy of nations.   Mass media arose to serve the link between information and the audience with a potential of a societal-wide reach, hence information being available to more people at different

geographical location more rapidly and at the same time. The early Mass Media (newspaper, magazines, phonogram, cinema, radio and television), has developed to become an integral part of the society; with an increasingly impact in modern society, in the spheres of politics, culture, daily social life and economics (McQuail’ 2010). The ICT (Information and Communication Technology) revolution of the 21stcentury brought about a new form of mass media “the internet and mobile communication” shifting discourse away from the traditional mass media. The internet and mobile communication, also referred to as the “new mass media” especially gained attention due to it’s even more wider potential of disseminating information across the globe in real

time. We now live in an era described as the network society (Castells 2007) in which information is transferred through a network of interconnected people and in which the media has become a social space where power is decided. This paper aims to discuss the role of the new mass media "internet and mobile communication" in the social, political and economic development of Nigeria. although it may be intuitively assumed that the advent of the internet and mobile communication would have led to positive developmental process in Nigeria, an in-depth analysis of such development across different structures is however important in other to (1) theoretically/empirically see/test development achieved due to the ICT revolution and also being aware of potential demerits in Nigeria (2)

see reasons to embark on policies aimed at improving the ICT sector as one possible solution to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political problems. Researches in this perspective; though with different focus has been applied to China, Finland, Korea (Jin qui 2011, Pekka Räsänen 2004, Je Ho Cheong, Myeong-Cheol Park, (2005)) in the past and I believe Nigeria as a developing country with high media consumption should follow suit. In other to achieve the purpose of this paper I will embark on a comparative theoretical analysis of the role of the major traditional mass media (print media, television, radio) and the “new mass media” (internet and mobile communication). In the first part I will start with analyzing the “traditional mass media”