PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF MEDIA REPORTAGE OF POPULATION GROWTH AND ITS IMPLICATION ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT A STUDY OF SOME SOUTH-SOUTH STATES
The need for population checks in any country cannot be over-emphasized. This need becomes very important in a country like Nigeria where people depend on speculations for information in all spheres of life. It was reported from the latest updated census figures that the population of Nigeria is 167 million. This number is alarming in a country which depend mainly on importation of virtually every need of her citizens and on one source of income. The social responsibility theory and the perception theory was used in this research work to further explain the role of the media and its effectiveness in bringing the dangers of overpopulation to the government and the public and also to see the public perception of how the media has been reporting the issues of overpopulation and its implication on the nations development. The survey method was used in this study to elicit responses from the 385 respondents generated through probability sampling on their perception of how the media have been able to provide adequate information on population growth and how it affects national development. The data got were presented and analysed using simple charts and tables. In summary, the study empirically studied the association between population growth and national development in Nigeria and found that growth rate- in population outweighs that of output and this has hindered the capacity of successive governments rto efficiently provide social services to the people, thereby negatively affecting development. This study recommended that the media should consciously package message content or information on the implication of rapid population growth on national development that could persuade, encourage or convince the public or target audience to adopt an attitude and participate in actualizing a development plan or goal.