Relative effectiveness of farm communication through mass media including new media: An experimental approach with rural women

D.Puthira Prathap (puthira@yahoo.com)
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
June, 2004
 
DR. D. PUTHIRA PRATHAP

Present Address
Senior Scientist
Sugarcane Breeding Institute
(Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
Coimbatore – 641 007
INDIA

Phone : (91- 422) 2472621 ; Extn: 238
Fax: 91-422-2472923
email: puthira@yahoo.com
 

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Relative effectiveness of farm communication through mass media including new media: An experimental approach with rural women

The study experimentally examined the effectiveness of four mass media formats viz., radio, television, print, and internet in influencing the cognitive and affective behaviour of rural women in terms of knowledge gain, knowledge retention, and symbolic adoption. One hundred and forty four rural women belonging to self-help groups of Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu, India formed the sample. The selected technology, ‘rabbit farming’, was developed in to parallel messages and was delivered through radio programme, television programme, newspaper message, and e-magazine to assess the knowledge-gain immediately after exposure, knowledge-retention after 30 days of exposure and symbolic adoption of rabbit farming technologies. All the four mass media were found to be effective in terms of knowledge gain, retention, and symbolic adoption. When compared, television was superior in terms of knowledge gain, internet in terms of knowledge retention and radio in terms of symbolic adoption. There was significant difference between pre-exposure knowledge and immediate post-exposure levels and traditional media were more effective than the new media in terms of knowledge gain and symbolic adoption. New media, on the other hand, fared better in terms of knowledge retention.

The results also indicated that the independent variables, contact with extension agency, social participation, market perception, ‘perception index’ and livestock possession had a positive association with knowledge gain while age was negatively associated; social participation & innovativeness were positively associated with knowledge retention while annual income & age were negatively associated. The variables, annual income & family type were found to be positively associated with symbolic adoption while family size was negatively associated. In the view of the respondents, radio was found to be superior in terms of message-content, timeliness, comprehensibility, practicability, completeness of message, duration, credibility, accessibility, in meeting farm information needs and utility. As for the problems in utilization, the non-interesting programmes of radio, difficulty in finding time to watch television, less access to newspapers and lack of skill in operating computers were the major ones.

Phone-in programmes, ensuring effective distribution of farm publications in villages and usage of local language in internet were some of the major suggestions obtained.
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