Background to the Study
Since the inception of television broadcasting in Nigeria, Special Production Programme have had a remarkably wide acceptance and patronage in the Nigerian media. This acceptance is due to its entertainment content that made them special, which media management see as more effective than non-entertaining messages [Barbie, 2004]. The concept of entertainment which media scholars claims to refer to as media messages that are educative as well as entertaining are more effective (McPhail, 1989:30).More so, Meyer (2006) is of the opinion that such media contents are more likely to make the needed impact on audiences as they are packaged to be audience friendly. Development communication has always borrowed this idea in the packaging of development communication items like health programmes. Such packaged programmes that sensitize the public on disease outbreaks or the selling of new technology that will impact positively in lives of people in societies are packages that are given more attention (Meyer, 2006).One of the most effective form that ensures media messages take the education and entertainment approach is the special productions in form of movie, which has a relatively large audience compared to news, documentary, features and talk show. This is partly due to the concreteness of the content of the movie as it depicts reality through its unique presentation of ideas using sounds, pictures and motion; aside being acted by real people and mirroring the day-to-day happenings in the society. The role of specially produced movies in social change in the society can be tremendous. They serve as vital tools for informing the people on the needed attitudinal, cognitive and behavioural changes. Furthermore,they mirrorthe best ways to conform to healthy and conventional expectations of the individual and society. One of the key areas that the society needs change is attitudinal and behavioural change from the individual perspective is that of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDs). The epidemic is one of the most pressing problems facing the world today.This study examines how the mass media could be used by the use of specially produced movies to combat the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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