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Rural Development

Emile G. McAnany

Subject Geography
Communication Studies » Communication and Development

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Rural development was the almost exclusive focus of the early development of communication endeavors in the 1950s. The focus was on economic outcomes and, to a great extent, the emphasis was placed on agriculture, with some attention to how the mass media (radio and print at first, then television from the 1960s) could improve the lives of rural populations in literacy, education, health, and community development. The early projects of communication for rural development, sponsored by such multilateral aid agencies as →  UNESCO and bilateral programs like Point Four in the US, were influenced by academic writings on development like →  Daniel Lerner's →  modernization theory, →  Wilbur Schramm's policy strategy, and →  Everett Rogers's diffusion paradigm (→  Diffusion of Information and Innovation ). The focus on rural development, however, began to shift in the 1970s when specific areas like education, telecommunications, agriculture, health, and nutrition took attention away from rural development more broadly (→  Health Communication ; Health Campaigns, Communication in ). In recent years, less project attention has been devoted to agriculture and education and more has gone to health and telecommunications as issues in rural development. In the early years of the new century, rural development has re-emerged in the form of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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