Media Systems Dependency Theory

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2.0 Brief Review of Theoretical Frameworks For the purpose of this study, the Agenda Setting and Media Systems Dependency Theory were used. The Concepts, Assumptions and Prepositions of these theories were applied to the study. 2.1 Agenda Setting theory The theory was developed by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw in 1968 to examine the relationship between mass media contents and society’s opinion. The theory states that the media set the agenda for public discourse by deciding what should be the priority consideration of the people. The issues in the media at a given period are the issue being discussed in the public domain. The theory suggests that the media set an agenda by transferring salient issues from the media space to the public space…show more content…
The issues raised by the media ranges from politics, sports, entertainment to social interest stories. With GTV Prime Time News being a major news platform in the country, it has been expected that most of the news that set the agenda in the country would be coming from that source. This study sought to find out how GTV Prime Time News has been setting the agenda in this country and how well contents from the programme influences the thoughts of students of the University of Ghana. 2.2 Media Systems Dependency theory This theory was developed by Melvin DeFleur and Sandra Ball-Rokeach in 1975. It is considered as one of the first theories which regards audience as an active part in communication process. It posits that the more a person has his or her needs met by the media, the more the person becomes dependent on the media. Baran and Davis, 2003 states that it is the “idea that the more a person depends on having needs gratified by media use, the more important the media’s role will be in the person’s life and therefore, the more influence those media will have.”7 Assumptions DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach, 1975, pp. 261-263 quoted by Baran and Davis, 2003 provides a fuller explanation in four…show more content…
The greater need and consequently the stronger the dependency...the greater the likelihood that the media and their messages will have an effect. Not everyone will be equally influenced by the media. Those who have greater needs and thus greater dependency on media will be most influenced.8 Media Systems Dependency Theory can be examined from two levels. a. Macro level which deals which examines the interdependence among media systems, social institutions and audience b. Micro-level which looks at the role in the life of the individual Suitability to the case under study Ghanaians have increasingly become dependent on the media for their information needs. It is common to see Ghanaians either carrying radio to work places or having television sets in their offices just to monitor what the media have to say. The reliance on media contents shows the important role the media play in the life of the Ghanaian. The hours between 18:30 and 20:00 hours GMT is considered by certain schools of thought as the prime time for television news broadcast in the country. GTV Prime Time News is aired within this period. This study sought to find out how dependent student of the University of Ghana are on GTV Prime Time News to meet their news content and if GTV Prime Time News is their first choice point of call for information and education in TV

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