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Abstract

Location and message content make Nigeria’s media urban-centred, thus creating information deficit on development issues particularly in the rural areas. Since community newspapers are designed to fill this development information gap at the local level, their efforts in carrying out this role deserve scrutiny. This study therefore assessed readers’ perception of the development inclination of Oriwu Sun community newspaper in Ikorodu area of Lagos State. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select 104 respondents from the study area. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on demographic characteristics, content preference, development roles, credibility and perception of the development inclination of the community newspaper from the sampled respondents. Data were described using frequencies and percentages. Hypotheses were tested using Spearman rho and Chi-square at 0.05 level of significance. Results show that most readers were adults (77.9%), male (63.0%) with 17 years as mean year of living in the community. The most preferred section of the newspaper content was the local/community news. The major roles performed by the newspaper were giving voice to the community and mobilisation (̅ =1.51) while, the watchdog role ranked lowly 4th. Although the newspaper enjoys high credibility rating among the readers, they perceived it as having indifferent inclination to development issues. The local news segment should feature more development content in order to make it serve the community better.

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