Information Dissemination and Communication Strategy Using Town Crier in a Traditional Context in Southwestern States, Nigeria.

T G Apata

Abstract



The paper examined information dissemination and communication strategy in a traditional context, using ‘town crier’ as a case study. Studies have identified Osun and Oyo States in Southwestern, Nigeria with highest number of traditional towns. Random technique was used to pick one local government in each of the 3 agrarian districts in each of the two States. Based on literature review and past studies 2 traditional communities were purposively picked in each local government to give a total of 12 traditional communities in the final selection. The customized criteria considered as traditional communities are: presence of a ‘town crier’, no effective communication channel/institution and majority of the population neither can read nor write among others. Focus group discussion technique and interview schedule were used for data collection and a discussion guide was used in each of the group discussions. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression model were used for data analysis. The study identified 41 ‘town criers’ across the study areas through the help of a key informant. The results indicated that all the Town Criers are male, average age of 55.54 years and all have post-primary education. Town crier attracts the community through traditional means of communication (like the use of horn). Town Crier primarily source of information is king/Oba (73.2%). Main information disseminated by the Town Crier bothers on security of the town (65%) and community development and projects. This channel rarely meets the information need of the people, as the study revealed that only 23.3% of such information meets these needs. The use of town crier can be more effective if the structure of receiving information for onward dissemination is enlarged. The marginal effects predicting the direct economic influence of explanatory variables on weighted information disseminated index were information index, education, and access to educational training/manual and occupation.

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