Open Conference Systems, RUC Sunrise Triple C Conference: Climate – Change – Communication

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Indigenous language and environment communication: Dynamics of local media for sustainability campaign
Olusola Samuel Oyero

Last modified: 2010-04-14


The seriousness of environmental issue has been brought to the fore, not only because of its significance to human sustainability but also due to its degeneration to communal conflicts, as well as emergence of miscreants and hoodlums who find expression of their destructive tendencies in environmental problems. This paper calls for a reappraisal of method of communicating environmental messages with particular reference to the language of communication. It begins with identification of environmental problems, the goal that environmental communication is meant to achieve and the inappropriateness of the English language packaged messages to achieving the goals. Drawing from the findings of effectiveness of indigenous language radio in airing development-oriented messages. It stresses the significance of indigenous language use by local radio in communicating environmental massages. This paper is based on democratic-participant media theory which advocates media support for cultural pluralism at a grass-roots level. Media are to be used to stimulate and empower pluralistic groups. It calls for development of innovative ?small? media that can be directly controlled by group members. In other words, the existing bureaucracy, commercialisation and professional hegemony in media system should be broken down to allow or guarantee easy media access to all potential users and consumers.This study used survey method of research to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of indigenous language radio in spreading development orientated messages. The findings show that apart from the fact that people derive better understanding and greater meaning from the messages communicated through their local language and they have a natural liking for their native tongue and this gives them a feeling of enjoyment and sense of satisfaction when they listen to radio.

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