Collins Kediehor, PhD, DR. Lawrence
This study “Rural Reporting: Right or Privilege” was carried out to ascertain whether rural reporting is a right or privilege. Rural areas, particularly in the Niger Delta environment are grossly under-developed. Research has however shown that communication can play a vital role in changing for the better, the social, political, economic and cultural perspectives of the rural people who constitute the majority in Niger Delta environment. Also added to this is the fact that every individual has a need to communicate, and that events and people resident in the rural areas should be reported if the people lack the ability to do so themselves. Against this background, the researchers conducted a descriptive participatory survey where the features and characteristics of the rural areas in nine (9) communities in the Niger Delta where observed. Similarly, content analyses of a national television station, the NTA, and a privately owned radio station, 92.3 Nigeria Info was carried out. The findings revealed that the rural areas in the Niger Delta region are under reported in the mass media. Even when the data showed that some events in the rural communities could be weaved into top news stories and headlines. The paper concludes that rural reporting is a right and not a privilege and advocates the need for the reporters and media organizations in the urban centres to make efforts to report the rural areas. The paper also advocates that development experts and their establishments should assist the rural people to report events that concern them (rural people) by themselves to promote accuracy. This will prevent distortion and promote landmark innovation, initiatives and change that could emerge from the rural areas.
Keywords: Rural, Reporting, Right and Privilege, Mass Media.