THE IMPACT OF COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER IN CREATING POLITICAL AWARENESS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL (A Case Study Of Aguata Local Government Area)

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background of the Study
The phenomenal growth in mass media channels have led to an expansion of the roles it could play in various areas apart from performing the functions of providing information, influencing public opinion, social attitudes, entertainment and bringing about greater social integration. In contemporary times, the media play important role in providing information through news reports and analysis which is beneficial in assessing political performance.
In Nigeria, the press historically played a powerful role in motivating people to participate in the freedom struggle during independence era years after the first newspaper was published by Reverend Henry Townsend. This led a very solid foundation for the expansion and growth of newspaper industry. The newspaper industry was at the front of the fight for independence  of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. The pre and post independence press (Newspaper) brought about many innovations. They fought colonial masters, gained their independence and also brought development to the nation through their coverage. This development is in all facets of human endeavor and springs across economic, social, cultural and most importantly political aspect of the country. This development in area of politics was attained through mobilization of the masses and the creation of political awareness in both national and local level; using national newspaper at national level and community newspaper at local level.
Although, this does not mean that therefore the advent of the newspapers that political awareness has not been. Prior to the advent of the newspaper, community development had progressed from generation to generation. Communities and even ages grades undertake various political programmes like elections and appointments of village chiefs and rulers, which is peculiar to communities.


However, in contemporary time, as newspaper has come to stay in Nigeria, it is not possible to talk of development without mentioning politics. When we talk about politics, the first thing that come to mind is creating awareness to let people know about political programmes available, their right etc then mobilizing them to participate in the programme. Therefore, for meaning national development, it must be anchored on generating useful and effective political awareness.


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