THE IMPACT OF OPINION LEADERS IN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION IN NIGERIA


THE IMPACT OF OPINION LEADERS IN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This project work reviews the concepts, measures, and strategies of two step flow of communication which is aimed at examining the impact of opinion-leaders in information dissemination in Nigeria with focus on Owo Township which was the case study. Opinion leaders’ campaigns can be used to catalyze wider political engagement on the issue and to promote sustainable people choices and behaviors. From past research, six relevant categories of self-designated opinion-leaders were outlined, detailing issues related to identification, recruitment, training, message development, and coordination. This study combines the recruitment of community opinion-leaders with traditional media strategies. In evaluating community opinion-leader campaigns, it was concluded that there are likely to be significant trade-offs in comparison to face-to-face initiatives. The challenge for both scholars and practitioners is to understand under what conditions are opinion-leaders effective and in which ways can online interactions strengthen or build on real-world connections with peoples in the community.

INTRODUCTION

Elections and voting take place all over the world to elect new leaders, especially in a democratic setting. Politicians and political leaders all over the world would make use of every available means of
persuasion to enlist the support of the electorates. The available means could be through the mass media or interpersonal relations.
The use of interpersonal relations became popular after the 1940 American Presidential Election when a study conducted by Lazarsfeldetal. as cited in Katz (1957), “that the flow and effect of mass communication messages may not be as direct as it was thought to be”.
The research by Lazarsfeld discovered that most people did not vote as a result of the information that the mass media gave to them
. Rather, their decisions were influenced by what they were told by friends and associates. This discovery actually led to the Two – Step – Flow hypothesis which emphasized the influence of opinion leaders in voting decisions. This development has brought with it a lot of implications for ademocratic society.

 

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