The Impact of Internation Trade on Economic of Nigeria
The hypodermic needle theory also known as hypodermic syringe model, transmission-belt model, the magic bullet theory is rooted in the 1930s behaviorism and is largely considered obsolete today. It arose from World War 1 in which Propaganda as used to manipulate individuals. During this era, the media was deceptively used to persuade much of the population. the war strategies base their action on the mass society theory which stresses increased heterogeneity and individual among community members.
Early theories held that the mass audience was an unidentifiable group of people with separate lifestyle who were individually affected by various mass media massages that they came in contact with. Reaction to mass media messages was thus seen as individual rather than a collective experience. This approach to understanding the effect of mass communication was termed the bullet theory. The phrasing “hypodermic needle” is meant to give a mental image of the direct strategy and planned fusion of a message into an individual. But as research methodology became more highly developed, it became apparent that the media had selective influences on people. The most famous incident often cited as an example for the hypodermic needle model was the 1938 broadcast of the war of the worlds and the subsequent reaction of widespread panic among the American mass audience.
However, this incident actually sparked the research movement led by Paul lazarsfield and Herta Herzog that would disapprove the magic bullet theory. Mc Quail (Op.cit pg. 252-253: cited Amos 2009), identified some underlying factors which contributed to the emergence of the magic bullet theory. They include: • `the fast rise and popularization of Radio and Television • Emergence of persuasion industries such as Advertising and Propaganda • The Payne fund studies of 1930s, which focused on the impact of motion pictures on children, and • Hitler’s monopolization of mass media during the World war II to unify the German public behind the Nazi party.
The magic bullet theory implied that mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audience. • It suggest that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly by “shooting” or injecting them with appropriate message designed to trigger a desired response. • Just as a bullet would move, the message penetrates the audience and has immediate and powerful effect on them. This was expected to get the audience to behave exactly as the message want.
• The theory held that the media possessed considerable power to shape opinion and belief, change habit of life actively mould behaviour more or less accordingly to the will of those who could control the media and their content. • It says the mass media are powerful mind controllers capable of provoking universal audience reaction to their message since the non-interactive nature of the media audience makes possible for individuals to resist media impact. • The theory graphically suggest that message is like a bullet fired from the”media gun” into the “audience’s head” to penetrate their mind. • The theory also, with similarly emotive imagery, suggests that messages are injected straight into a passive audience, which is immediately influenced by the message without any form of resistance.
Applying the bullet theory to the context of the Nigerian 60s would mean that information from the mass media passes into the conciseness of Nigerians to achieve direct and immediate impact. That is to say that our experience, intelligence and opinions are not brought to bear on the interpretation of mass media messages. The theory suggests that as a mass media audience, the creators of media materials manipulate us, and that the media makers can easily change our behaviours and thinking. Also, then theory suggests that we are passive and heterogeneous in nature.
A critical look at some of these assumptions of the magic bullet theory therefore shows that the theory does apply with limited efforts. For instance, at every level of the Nigerian society, there are opinion leaders such as traditional leaders, priests, and imams etc. who constitute a powerful force to be reckoned with because they act as mediating factors in almost every communication process. Their views goes a long way in determining the way people react to any given mass media message and situation. in the light of this, the argument canvassed by the bullet theory that information from the mass media passes into the audience and experts unmitigated efforts is not true. Nigerians have their perceptions, intelligence individual differences and preferences and this usually affect the effect of media messages.
The notion of a “passive audience” as implied by the magic bullet theory is also not true when viewed within the Nigerian context. on the contrary, Nigerians sometimes react to mass media messages based on religious, social, political, ethnic and other considerations. a typical example of this, was during the Miss world beauty pageant held in Nigeria few years ago when Isioma Daniel, a reporter with the This Day Newspaper, in a bid to inform Nigerians about how beautiful the contestants were, wrote that even prophet Mohammed (SAW) would have loved to help himself with one of them if he were alive.
The message rather than elicit positive attitude, elicited violent outrage from a section of the Nigerian society which felt that such message was a big affront on their religious sensibilities. Not all section of the Nigerian society reacted the same way. The effect was that, This Day’s offices in some part of the country were razed and properties worth millions of naira destroyed. This example and many others too numerous to mention, shows that the typical Nigerian audience is not passive as the bullet theory suggests. it has brains and it uses it. In conclusion, it can be deduced from the above write up that the bullet theory or the hypodermic needle theory as it is otherwise known as, has no relevance in the Nigerian society.
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