DU SOL BA 3rd Year Mass Communication Notes Chapter 2 Practical Application: Study of Issues
Explain the need of intensive study of issues for gaining efficiency in mass communication. ‘
Why do we need a mass campaign for special issues?
Intensive Study Of Issues
Preparation needed for study of issues. If the statement of objectives has been prepared in the first step; the objective of the study becomes clear to the campaigner and the researcher. Now, a list of information sets is to be prepared. This information would be needed to achieve the coveted objectives.
Depending upon the nature of problems to be solved, the management has to get some sets of information. This information is to be collected from the targeted areas. This information is to be collected from the niches by the researchers involved in the research effort. A problem may arise, however.
The manager may take it for granted that they are aware of the sets of information to be collected. Hence, he (the manager) may not be involved in giving a direction to the research effort. He may pass the buck to researchers.
This could create serious errors in the research project at hand. In order to remove such errors, the manager and the team of researchers must work together. They can anticipate the possible findings of the study. Then, they should por.de- over the question, “What would we do if these were the findings?” If The manager selects a course of action without giving any consideration to the findings, no decision ought to be taken. Hence, the research s activity may be done away with; If some of the findings suggest that some of the actions cannot be undertaken, there is no reason to undertake the research project.
Preparation of Research Design. The research objective have been defined in the first step. The list of sets of information has been prepared in the second step. The researcher should find out whether such sets of information are already available within the organisation or not. He would also explore the possibility of finding these sets from external sources. He would have to review these sources in a lucid manner, lest they should fail to satisfy his information needs in the context of the research project awarded to him.
Sometimes, secondary data would suffice, but on some other occasions, primary data would have to be collected. The objective of research as well as the resources allocated to the manager or the researcher would determine the course of action in this context. Tire campaigning organisation may request the researcher to carry out the research activities afresh in the targeted.
Selection of the Sample Type. Information about the targeted area is to be collected from those very sections. However, all people cannot be contacted to collect the data. No one would give data to the researchers on a platter! Hence, the researcher can take a sample (or a few of them) from the area; this sample would supply enough information to the researcher to pursue his study. The manager of the client organisation would supply to the researcher or research organisation all those leads and databases that would be needed to collect the data. If the manager were unable to provide these data, which we call Secondary Data, then he would ask the researcher to collect primary data from the target areas.
The census method is a process of collecting data from each and every member of the population to be studied. It is difficult to collect data from the entire population because of high, costs that would be incurred to collect it, tediousness of the exercise, and time consumed.
Mass Campaigns for Social Issues. Till now, we have discussed mass campaigns from the viewpoint of the individual (who wants to earn) or firm (that wants to earn as well as establish itself in the corporate world). However, advertising is not all about making money. There are other issues in this world, besides money, that are addressed by it through various campaigns. The human race is not sans limitations. Mass campaigns try to remove such limitations and unite mankind at the moral, cultural, and social levels. Easier said than done! However, mass campaigns are executed despite cryptograms prevalent in the societies and scant supplies of resources. Many of these are able to achieve pious objectives for which, they are planned, Created, and executed.
Mass campaigns for special issues can be divided into three broad categories, as follows.
Campaigns for Social Concerns. Such campaigns are addressed to a society as a unit. These are not targeted at individuals. These elicit responses, which are predetermined. The idea is to hook maximum possible number of people on to the concept being promoted. All the targeted individuals know the concept (and many try to imbibe or practise it). Example: Liquor consumption is bad. The DA VP advertises through the media that liquor consumption can lead to cirrhosis of liver. People already know that liquor consumption can damage the liver, but they have to be persuaded to shun drinking.
Example: The traffic department shows two advertisements of a helmet. It tells the viewer that he is not safe if he does not use a helmet while driving. The hammer fall on the helmet and the coconut under it is safe (it refers to then human skull). The other coconut, which is not under any helmet, is crushed. The message is clear. People know that wearing a helmet while driving is able to save their lives, but they have to be reminded, time and again, to use helmets while they drive. Some people, who choose to ignore- this message, lose their lives!
Mass media campaigns for social concerns are related to:
(a) drug consumption;
(b) liquor consumption;
(c) smoking; id) tobacco chewing;
(e) fast driving
if) gender equality
(g) health issues (like inoculation, vasectomy, family planning); *
(h) neighbourhood watch scheme;
(i) message/displays related to lost persons;
(j) messages/handbills related to terrorists; and
(h) gender equality. ,
Compaigns for Social Concerns. Such campaigns concentrate on issues related to humans or groups thereof. Such campaigns invariably target specific audiences, which can be categorised or classified. In campaigns for social concerns, all the elements of a society are targeted, with only a few criteria to isolate them such as female/ male, young/ old, executives/ operatives, employed/unemployed etc. In the campaigns for promoting human concerns, the messages are directed at finely defined audience niches such as women in the child-bearing age group, minor girls, raped or tortured women, women exploited by their in-laws, families of jawans who have died on the battle front etc.
Example: An advertisement on TV describes that if we buy the cards of Child Relief and You (CRY), we can help many orphan children get education (and a new bright future). Example: Shabana Azmi meets children, who are victims of AIDS, in a hospital. She explains to the viewing audiences that AIDS is not spread by kissing, using the same towel or mosquito bites.
Human concerns related to special needs of specific groups. These groups deserve the attention of people or society so that they could thrive despite all odds. Hence, such campaigns can ask for donations, cloth, clothes, medicines, blankets,old and used clothes, social service, unpaid labour (Shram Dan) etc from the targeted people. Example: After the disastrous earthquake of Bhuj, which shook the western parts of India on January 26, 2001, ‘several hundred NGOs collected blankets, medicines, and food items through mass media campaigns. Several newspapers also collected funds for the earthquake victims. People donated generously to save their brothers and sisters from the wrath of force majeure.
Campaigns for Human Concepts. Quite similar to campaigns for social concerns, these are the efforts of the mass media to unite the nation. These are also used to get some responses from the targeted audiences. These always focus on nationalism, nation’s integrity, communal harmony, threats from invaders (i.e„ premonitions of war), relations of the nation with other nations etc. These campaigns are targeted at the nation as a whole; no community or Class is singled out as a target of these communication exercises whose chief USP is “unity of the country.”
These campaigns try to prove that the nation is much above individuals, religious, conflicts, economic woes etc. Example Many newspapers issue advertisements in the national interest on January 26th October 2, and August 15 every year. These media congratulate the nation (as a whole) on such occasions. These also publish the history or glorious post of India (either as text or as pictures). Finally, they sum up by stating that unity and integrity of India is a matter of national importance and that the nation must remain a single entity despite differences among various sects. The government also issues such advertisements through the DAW.
Example: After the incidents of communal violence, the administration or police force requests the public to maintain peace. It uses media of various kinds to do so. It also requests them not to get swayed by communal elements, lest they should created mischief again. Hence, the citizens of the disturbed areas come forward (in response to the message) and take out peace marches in their respective areas. The administration and police support the senior citizens, reputed persons, and the youth in this task. Peaceful atmosphere is not spoiled, and warring communities view each other with empathy and trust.
Campaigns for Environmental Concerns. Nowadays, mass media campaigns have started targeting the audiences to inform them about the issues related to environment. This trend had set in during the mid-eighties of the last century. The nations of the world are worried about the rising levels of pollution, decay in ecology, dwindling bio-diversity, rising global warming and the greenhouse effect. Some of those issues are technical in nature.
Mass media campaigns are used to communicate information about such vital phenomena (or ill effects thereof) to the masses. Such campaigns are targeted all the individuals within the – reach of the media used at one point of time. Pollution must be addressed by people of all the strata If of society. Industrialists, owners of two-wheelers, housewives, hotel and resort owners, and other elements of the society generate harmful chemicals, gases, garbage, and noise. If a mass campaign informs them about the ill effects of pollution (of various types), people become aware of these sensitive issues.
Pollution and eco-balance are being addressed at the global level too. The government and NGOs use the mass media campaigns to disseminate the latest sets of information that they collect at the global level. This information is quite useful at local levels. The awareness of, the masses is complemented by the actions of various laws and legislative measures devoted to environment control.
Example-An advertisement on pollution control (in a newspaper) persuades car drivers to get their vehicles tuned. In the show rooms of car makers, only such cars are available (in metropolitan cities) as follow Bharaf- II norms. Hence, legal compulsion? force carmakers to sell only those cars in these metros that pollute to the minimum extent. The users of these cars are aware of the hazards off pollution, thanks to mass media campaigns directed at then from time to time. Hence, they get their cars tuned from time to time, because of legal compulsions (the major persuasive factor) and societal concerns’ for the environment (the minor persuasive factor).
Example-The Earth Communications Office (ECO) advertises on the Discovery Channel about the importance of preserving the life forms on the mother earth. It also flashes an address of a web site (www.onearth.org) that can be surfed by people to get more information about the fragile eco system of our planet.
The Case Study Method. Descriptive research does not make much use of the case study method. Nevertheless, some researchers use them. The researcher wants to arrive at new ideas about relations by using this method (if he uses the exploratory research method), but he can test these new ideas , by using the conclusive research method. If the study is exploratory in nature, the procedure are simple. Researchers are not pressurised to yield concrete conclusions. However, if the case method is used in conclusive research, the procedures to be used are formal researchers are on *h;’ ‘oes, and points to be investigated are known in advance. Analytical techniques are used quite often ^ in the case study method, if we ais in the realm of conclusive research. This may not be the case in exploratory’ research.
Execution of Mass Media Campaign. A mass media campaign starts at one point of time, remains active for a period, and ends after it has been executed according to the predefined action programme. Most of the social campaigns arrive sporadically. They can be started when the administration wishes them to be “in print” or “on-air”. Only a few social campaigns are executed in a fixed time frame. Example: The traffic department celebrates “Safe Traffic Week.” During this period, the media splash messages related to safe driving, engine tuning, and important telephone numbers while the policemen educate the drivers on roads even as the media continue their campaign streaks.
In general, however, social campaigns are released sporadically in the media. These are executed to keep the audiences informed about various social issues or upgrade their knowledge about various national and social issues. A commercial campaign, on the other hand has a fixed time frame. However, sometimes a social campaign may be released according to season or time. Example: The advertisements of the, government regarding the use of condoms during the Holi festival is one such example. Such advertisements are released during the days of Holi and only for one or two days. They cannot be called Campaigns, but they do deliver messages to the mass audiences. :
Design of Exploratory Studies. The design of such studies is flexible. Researchers are receptive to new ideas and unusual thoughts. They can change the course of research to get these new ideas. Hence, they could change the focus of attention of these studies on a regular basis simply because they are keen to learn about the new possibilities in the given field of study. The formal design is absent. The imagination of the researcher the vital hinge on which, the structure of this type of research rests. Three types of…. techniques can be used to carry out this type of study or research project, as follows :
Study of Secondary Data. This method saves time, money, and efforts, as already stated. Such data are available from professional research organisations, directories, newspapers, magazines, journals of the government, web sites of Internet, electronic data libraries, company libraries, trade associations, and firms such as ORG, MARG, McKinsey, Neilson etc. These sources of secondary data stimulate hypotheses. Whims and fancies of the researchers are, however, kept at bay. This study is not an aimless one, although it is not supported by formal designs. Several guides and indexes help researchers remain on a logical track of data collection. These researchers or data collectors ought to be very mature and intelligent.
Give specimen writings on the following issues :
(i) Rural issues and mass communication, (ii) Tribal Issues (iii) Environmental issues, (iv) Health and family planning, (v) Juvenile vaccination, (vi) New agricultural methods.
Specimen Writings On Issues
(i) Rural Issues and Mass Communication. Mass communication educates the rural masses through cheap educational tools. If makes them aware of the latest agricultural practices. If informs them about the use of fertilisers, agricultural implements, insecticides, and weedicides. Mediated communication helps the rural people leam about the world. They can travel to the far off places of the world by just sitting before the idiot box. They leam, therefore, how quickly the world is progressing.
Mediated communication also develops the rural folk in political and intellectual terms. The – masses leam about the political and economic scenarios of their respective regions and then, exercise the right to franchise. In a country having nearly 70 percent rural population, mass – communication must always remain the chief change agent for socio-economic and political development.
In the Indian context, mass communication is not playing a very significant role to effect change at a fast pace. The reason is that our masses are illiterate, backward, and chained by social dogmas. However, times are changing. Mass communication tools are not merely the toys of entertainment for the rural folk. They have assumed importance in their minds as the tools of socio¬economic development after the growth of TV, the Net, and the Press. Rural areas of India are receiving newspapers, regional magazines, radio programmes, and TV software of all kinds and hues.
This change was significant especially after the later eighties. The rural folk have also become ambitious. They want to educate their offspring, thanks to the efforts of the mass media in this context. Business and industry are making rapid inroads into rural India. The hitherto simple villages are becoming the industrial hubs of the country. Hence, there is a change in the air.‘ Julius Nyrere has also remarked, “Rural development is national development.” Rural development, v avers Rajagopalan, must have two components-economic betterment and social change.
Schramm has stated that in economic and social development, change often begins with agriculture. If there is development in agriculture, other elements of rural development, viz, health, education, population control; nutrition, disease, rural employment etc, would also attain proper growth levels. The improvement of agriculture involves two problems-material advancement and ‘Cultural conditioning.
Mass communication helps farmers adopt scientific techniques in agriculture. This takes care of the material advancement because the growth rate of agriculture increases. Further, farmers assimilate and adopt the new culture disseminated by mass media tools. This “takes “are of cultural conditioning” in agriculture because farmers initially become citizens of a country they live in and later, citizens of the world. Hence, both the aforementioned problems are addressed and resolved by mass communication.
Modern Techniques of Forming. Nowadays, the farmers of our country are accepting modem techniques of farm management, rural development, pisciculture, silk farming, livestock management etc. This happened due to the efforts of the mediated communication. Farmers are also adopting latest techniques of agriculture and farm management by going abroad and learning about such techniques from the reputed institutes or universities. This happened because the farmers of our country were informed and motivated by mass communication exercises to take such positive steps. The results are before us now. India is one of the largest producers of milk in tile world.
She is also producing cereals, food grains, vegetables, fish, eggs, export worthy meat of farm animals, and poultry birds. Her status in the agricultural world is enviable, thanks’ to the mass communication exercises undertaken by the State, NGOs, and the corporate sector. The farmers would soon use the latest techniques of biotechnology to increase farm outputs and improve the varieties of farm seeds. This would happen slowly but surely. The mass communication firms in the field of extension education and farming must give lay emphasis on this new area.
(ii) Tribal Issues. According to the 1981 census, 51 million persons or 7 percent at the total population are members of Scheduled Tribes. Over two third of the tribal population live in the north eastern state of Arunaehal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura and the rest of the tribal population is concentrated in Madhya Pradesh Orissa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, Dadar and Nagar Haveli. Most of them live in rural areas in hilly tracts and forests. The main source of livelihood is agriculture and forest products and the majority of tribals are small farmers and agricultural – labourers. Many others work as labourers in timber cutting, charcoal making and plantation labour.
Tribal Movements in Pre-Independence India. There were a number of tribal revolts against the British administration in the pre-Independence period. Hie notable ones were the rebellion of the Maler of the Rajmahal Hills in 1772; the Kol uprising in 1831, the Santhal rebellion of 1855; the Bhokta uprising and the Ra movement in 1857; the rebellion of the Kach Nagas in 1880; the Sardari or Mulhi Larai, and the Birsa movement among the Mundas in 1900.
Many of these struggles were millennial and movements led by tribal leaders who used religious idioms and symbols to mobilise the tribals against economic exploitation and alien penetration. Some of them were directed against the colonial policy of reservation of forests for extraction of timber and other forest products to serve the needs of the railways and various industries.
Besides reservation of forests, the colonial administration created conditions in which tribals were dispossessed and alienated from agricultural lands. While the British administration made no efforts to introduce new modes of production in various sectors of the tribal economy, colonial penetration paved the way for the entry of money lenders and traders who were eager to take over land belonging to the tribals. The cumulating effect of this process was a continuous alienation of lands of tribals. Some of the tribes, for example tin Santhal, Ho, Qraon, Munda and Bhumiji organised-struggles against the alienation of their land.
Tribal movements in Post-Independence India. During the last four decades tribals in different parts of the country have launched movements in various social and economic issues. A few of them were revivalist movements aimed at reviving tribal culture or a response to the disruption of traditional roles in the new set up. But the majority of movements dealt with threats to access and control of resources, threats to privacy of habitat; research for new forms of identity and for a more satisfactory system of organisation of community power at various levels. In the realm of economic and political issues, tribal movements could be broadly divided into – 1. movements for political autonomy 2. agrarian and frontier based movements, and 3. middle class movements.
The tribals of the north east frontier, particularly the Nagas launched movement to demand a state for the Nagas outside, the Indian Union, The Naga National Council formed in 1946 demanded an autonomous state with confederation status within the Indian Union. Some other tribes in the frontier region also launched similar movements in 1960. For example, the Mizo National Army, demanded a separate state for the Mizos. The Indian mate used a combination of cooperation and oppression to contain these movements.
The non-frontier tribes have -demanded separate districts or states within the Indian Union. The Jharkhand movement and Bodo Land agitation are examples of such movements.
(iii) Environmental Issues. Environment is the sum total of the physical and biological conditions within which an organism lives. Our environment is made up of four major components-land, water, air and living organisrns, including plants and animals.
Biosphere. The part of the overall environment which can support life is called biosphere. The limits of the biosphere extend only upto a little above the earth surface and inside Earth upto a small depth.
The Ecosystem, All organisms interact among themselves and with their environment to produce various change in the biosphere ah owered by some energy. The only regular source- of energy to the biosphere is the sum. Solar energy is converted by plants into food energy which is consumed by all animals either directly or indirectly. The inter relationships between the organisms and their environment are studied by the science of ecology. Ecosystem is a functioning system in the biosphere and energy is transformed in the form of food through various components of the all ecosystem.
Maintenance of Ecological Balance. The maintenance of ecological balance is of utmost importance to us, Only balanced ecosystems are stable and can ensure our continued survival and development. Most activities of human beings today, for example agriculture, mining and industry are responsible for creation of man-made ecosystems. Due to the increasing pressure of human population; the natural ecosystems are being disturbed. The area under forests is decreasing and number of animal species are becoming extinct. Some of the activities of human beings are producing environmental pollution. As a result of pollution, the environment is becoming unsuitable for many species of organisms.
Use of insecticides in agricultural ecosystems is responsible for declining bird population in many parts of world. All organisms perform important functions in circulation of nutrients and energy. Elimination of anyone of them may result in ecological disturbances. It may result in increase in the population of some species which serve as the food for the species being eliminated. Similarly, introduction of rabbit in Australia and water hyacinth in India are examples of such new introductions. Both these species have multiplied rapidly in the new areas as there are no local predators to .check the population growth of these species.
Disturbances. Disturbances to the abiotic environment are also equally serious. Cultivation on steep slopes results in rapid soil erosion and more silt in stream waters. This causes floods in many parts of the world. Cutting of forests also leads to a number of environmental hazards. Overuse of soils results in reduced fertility and finally in lower crop yields. Thus, any seemingly unimportant alteration in the environment may lead a whole series of changes.
How can ecological balance be maintained in the present world? Leave nature least disturbed, and undisturbed if possible, but this is difficult – to maintain. So development strategies are arranged in such a way that they are not harmful to the ecological conditions. They should aim at maintaining the delicate balance in nature. For example harmful effects of the big dams could be prevented by a more careful approach aiming at maintenance of – ecological balance. Population growth has to be checked to reduce the burden on the natural resources the pressure on some of the resources can be reduced by their more efficient utilization including recycling. These steps will certainly help in maintaining the ecological balance where it has not been disturbed already. In areas where it has been already disturbed we should try to restore it. Here we can take the help of nature.
Strategy of help nature. We should adopt the strategy of helping the nature in regaining the lost balance. For example, if there is depletion of natural vegetation leading to increased soil erosion in an area, activities such as felling or trees and grazing of animals should be stopped. The natural vegetation will grow there and this will automatically reduce the rate of soil erosion and lead to formation of new soil.
(iv) Health and Family Planning. These are some unusual viewpoints about die issue. The family Planning Programme is by far the most talked about feature of our national line since long. There is much hue and cry about it. The main reasons for the fall of Indira Govt, in 1977 was this Family Planning business. At that time, people were subjected to much coercion, sometimes even bordering on brutalities.
It is surprising that all the world over, people are under the illusion ‘that the population of the world is increasing and this is not good. But increase in population is a natural phenomenon, which comes about according to the laws of the nature.
Those who harp on increase in the population perhaps do not know that the population of only those countries has increased which were, before the second World War, totally undeveloped. India is a case in example. India’s population in 1947 was 45 crores. But the average life span at that time was only 25 years which means many of the persons died young. Even the grown¬ups and the old died at the slightest disease.
After Independence. After Independence, there was improvement in nutrition and prevention of diseases on the lines adopted in the advanced ‘countries. Due to these positive factors, the death rate of children – 6-7 children out of 10 died-was reduced and in a few years time the average life span increased form 25 to 60. Here I mean that the person who should have died-as per earlier average longevity – in 1947 would due only in 1982 as 35 years are added to his life. Thus, actually, there is no increase in the population. Only the longevity has increased. The death rate has gone down.
In Advanced Countries. Now if we look at the advanced countries, we find that the population of the USA was 20 crores in 1947. Today after a lapse of 34 years, her population is 24 crores approximately. Out of this about 4 crores are immigrants from Africa and Asia. That means the population remains almost the, same. Likewise, take the case of former USSR. Her population was also almost the same as it was in 1947. They are worried due to under population.
Adverse effect. At present, all that Govt, does for Family Planning is applied to and adopted by the intelligent sections of society . The result is that the number of intelligent and the intellectuals is decreasing. On the other hand, the number of rustics and rascals, those who do not fear religion or law and do not have any regard for ethical and moral values is increasing. Such people do not desist even from indulging in thefts and dacoities. Since the number of undesirable rascals is increasing, the day is not far off when the country will be ruled by the persons who will be terror to the society and -opposed to all that civilisation stands for. In fact, the process has already set in.
(v) New Agricultural Methods. It is a strange fact in India that here, on the one, hand, lakhs of square Kilometers of land remains unused and, on the other, people of weaker sections are being burnt alive for even one square yard of land. The Harijans are embracing Islam and forsaking the religion of their forefathers. Our Party will immediately take up measures to tackle the problem and ensure that the peasants do not suffer for want of cultivable land.
About 20 thousand kms. of land is lying unused in the Raim of Kachh. When asked, the Government informed that this land is flooded by 2 feet deep sheet of salty sea water during rainy season and, hence the soil has turned saline. This has been happening since ages. But through new agricultural methods raise the land along the sea shore and construct a 5 feet high embankment of “entences.
This would prevent the saline water from flooding the land.” Then, in the backstretches, all the filth and Gobar etc., from, the areas and cities like Bombay, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kandala, and Bhavnagar, etc. will be dumped with swift speed.
This area is adjoined by Udaipur in Rajasthan where all the soil is phosphate-rich and is sent to various parts of the country in hundreds of tiucks daily. The hills around Dehri-on-Sone in Bihar have inexhaustible deposits of pyrites used to fertilize saline and useless tracks. Soils from these deposits of Udaipur and Bihar will be dumped in Kachh. The entire stretch of 20 thousand kms. in Kachh will be dumped by the filth of Bombay and Ahmedabad and soil deposits of Udaipur and Bihar.
This will raise the level of entire area by 3 feet and, resultantly, the whole region will become fertile. If the Govt, will feel paucity of funds, the entire area will be sold in advance. The peasants and traders of Gujarat are rich enough to readily, pay for the entire 20 thousand kms. stretch of land at the desired rates. The area will, thus, in a few months’ time become very fertile. The problem of food imports will be solved for ever. This will not only save hundreds of crtres of Rupees but will at the same time bring in hundreds of crores as earnings through exports.
(vi) Child Vaccination. Remember, two drops of polio vaccine, for every child, on every Pulse polio day, until we drive polio out of India. Many of you ask- why polio drops again? The answer is simple. Wild poliovirus continues to circulate in our country because we are unable to immunize every child, every time. That means your children are still at risk. And unfortunately, so far this year, some 500 children have been struck down by polio.
Don’t let that happen to your child. Polio booths are being set up in schools, health clinics, panchayat offices, Anganwadi centres and thousands of other locations across 16 states*. The booths are just a short walk from your home. We urge you take these small steps-again-to protect your child from this terrible, life threatening disease. Child vaccination ensures healthy Nation of future.