THE GUARDIAN AND THE NATION NEWSPAPERS COVERAGE OF DEVELOPMENT ISSUES …
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Prior to the introduction of modern means of communication, man had fashioned for himself the appropriate communication approach suitable for his development, Through this approach, people in different rural settings were mobilized to participate in the affairs of their locality.
However, as the society became large and complex, traditional communication systems could not adequately take care of the communication needs of the people and therefore, the modern media were put in place to reach out to the relatively large heterogeneous and anonymous audience. Simultaneously, that marked the era of the mass media. It is worthy of mention that communication is an important social tool. Without communication, one could not have influenced the ideas, feelings, or actions of the others. Through written, verbal and non-verbal signs and symbols, man communicates his feelings and to other people. It is also true that communication links the individual with himself, his environment and other men. According to the Advanced Learners Dictionary (7th edition pp 291), communication which is the process of transferring thoughts, ideas, facts feelings etc from one person to another is very important in human existence. Without it, life will be meaningless and human interaction would be impossible. The importance of communication cannot be down played.
According to Sybil (1989) as cited by Yushau (2011) observed that communication serves as an instrument of social interaction. It helps us to understand ourselves, to keep in touch with other people, to understand situations. It is a means by which power is acquired, exercised and sustained. It is the medium through which relationships are established, extended and maintained. The mass media had helped in creating social awareness and also provide people with an easy way of living life. The print media played an important part in the historical events such as the Renaissance, the American War of Independence, The French Revolution and many more.
Earlier on the development of the newspaper came around 1600A.D, but it took this form of mass media more than a century to influence the masses directly. The first printed newspaper was The Relation. Later, in the year 1690, Benjamin Harris printed the first colonial newspaper in Boston. There was an increase in the circulation of newspapers in the nineteeth century. Then came the first African-American paper titled Freedom’s Journal published in the year 1827 (Wikipedia, 2016). The 14th century Guttenberg’s invention of the printing press must have aided the revolution in the printing industry. This invention made it possible to transfer complex information, ideas and concepts from one individual to another, or to a group, faster than ever before due to amazing advances in technology. This breakthrough altered the way we perceive the universe and manner in which we communicate with one another. As early 1900 print media could be found in the form of newspapers. It provided all the necessary information about the world for the people at remote locations. Even today, newspapers remain an important global source of information.