Covid-19 Pandemic Media Sensitisation Campaign in Nigeria and the "Marginalised Ears"
Discourse in Development Communication
The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its associated health and socio-economic consequences evidently triggered off global concern among governmental and non-governmental bodies towards sensitisation efforts on what the masses need to know/do in order to stay safe amidst persistent spread of the virus. The study was aimed at critically examining the crucial role of ‘information’ in shaping a people’s perception of [and of course response to] their social environment and its configurations, with particular reference to COVID-19 pandemic. Case study and qualitative research approach was employed in this study and explored through critical survey of “The Marginalised Ears” TfD and PV intervention documentary project of Theatre Arts Department, AE-FUNAI, Nigeria, carried out in four communities in Southeast Nigeria to assess the impact of COVID-19 media reportage on rural dwellers, especially the aged and most vulnerable, who may not have access to electronic media. Findings reveal that the information at a people’s disposal has a remarkable way of shaping their perception of life and issues in their environment and their reactions to them. The study concludes by imploring on government and its agencies (including concerned stakeholders) to be more dynamic as they intensify efforts at media advocacy initiatives in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. It recommends conscious efforts by media campaigners at appropriately selecting and utilising suitable media channels for effective realisation of objectives; while advocating for ‘TfD’ option as one sure dynamic way to reach the rural communities for effective realisation of media advocacy objectives.