India is a place of different cultures and languages. Here getting anything done is quite a task. thinking of development in this context will definitely be time consuming. The process of development is generally slow, because people are slow in adopting new ideas. It also requires people’s participation and acceptance. It might not be wrong in saying that becoming a developed nation , india would have to surrender certain traditional norms, but nothing is stagnant , things need to change or else they rot. Rigidity in many parts of the country hinders the developmental process. Well then what can be done to remove these hurdles? The answer is- communicate.
One might wonder how communicating would help us develop. Well to that I would say, communication is closely related to development. Infact, communication experts, sociologists, psychologists, and economists agree that the proper use of communication can foster the pace and process of development. Here media plays a great role in communicating ideas and thoughts to influence behavior of individuals or groups towards certain desired goals that are necessary for the benefit of the society.
In a combination of two words development and communication an entire field of study has been introduced namely, development communication. This field of the communication discipline is mainly concerned with the role of information and communication in social and economic development of an individual, society and nation. It also identifies what mass media can do directly and indirectly to improve the quality of life of both urban and rural masses.
Various sociologists, communication experts, economists have defined development communication in different ways. Nora Quebral identified development communication as an art and science of human communication to transform a country from poverty to a state of economic growth and also fulfill the usage of human potential for the same. Whereas, rogers, a communication scholar believes development communication is a means of deciding upon any particular media usage to increase the level of mass media exposure. He even believed that this media usage would create a favourable climate for development. He also refers communication as development support communication when it is used to support any developmental project like: sarva shiksha abhiyaan etc. Effects of such communication is likely to create physical and psychological impact on people to drive them to change their attitudes. Another communication expert, F. Rosarin Braid considers development communication as an element of management process. Here identification and utilization of appropriate expertise in the development process to increase people’s participation is intended.
Development communication aims at behavioral changes at the grass root level and for that it plays two primary roles. Firstly, transforming role i.e, it seeks change in the direction of better quality of life of the people such as gender equality , immunization, overcoming social evils. Secondly, the socializing role by which it seeks to maintain some of the established values of society such as love, affection, communal harmony, integration, cultural heritage etc. Need for communication for the purpose of development was realized as it can persuade people or motivate them towards a desired goal, eg: through excessive pulse polio campaigning it was possible to make india a polio free nation(since the past 3 yrs).
Wilbur schramm was the first to recognize that communication could play an important role in national development and especially in the third world countries, he was able to realize the potentials of communication in bringing out desired behavioral changes. Wilbur schramm wrote a book in 1964 ‘mass media and national development’. He set targets for developing nations such as number of radio sets, newspapers, cinema sets per 1000 population, and said that developing nations must meet these requirements if they want to use communication for development. He conceptulated that there was a relationship between development communication and economic growth. As economic activity spreads, knowledge and information must be gathered, shared and transferred widely.
For the same development reporting is a specialized reporting to ensure accuracy of information people receive. It would involve programmes and policies resulting in economic change, social programmes and community reactions to programme and change therefore any change leading to development should be emphasized and people made aware of it. The process of development involves various issues, some might be accepted and others rejected by the people which slows down the pace of development. As a developmental reporter, one must create awareness about the development issues rejected by people and try to assure that people accept the changes rather than becoming a hurdle.
Here the main task of the reporter would be to inform about various plans, programmes, schemes projects initiated by the government and different agencies.To inform about the need of the same and the final output on its completion.
The development reporter is expected to create an atmosphere of understanding the objectives of these schemes and ultimately mobilizing people in seeking their willing participation in development programmes and processes. The purpose of using media for communicating can only be fulfilled if there is people’s participation in any program, project or scheme initiated for development.
To this aspect of developmental reporting, the other side of coin is to inform about the damage done in the name of development. The corruption that fills these developmental projects instead of people’s participation also needs to be portrayed infront of the masses.
Several programmes are carried in order to achieve a little bit more of development. Lot of money is spend on this but unless people are willing for a change none of what is thought can be achieved. With the use of communication the aims of being a powerful nation can be achieved and other barriers- caste, gender, religion, culture based can be diminished in this predominantly agrigarian economy.
India is a developing country with stereotyped people having rigid mind set, its difficult to alter their approach towards development. Development already being a slow process, the pace goes even low due to such rigid mindset. But one can always rely on the old saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’.