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the role of the daily newspaper

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the role of the daily newspaper

  1. 1. Int. J. Arab Culture, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 2, Nos. 2/3, 2012 153 Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ in disseminating development news in the Egyptian villages Hossam Eldin Ibrahim Awad Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia E-mail: hossamawada@hotmail.com Abstract: This dissertation reviewed the role of the independent newspaper Almasry Alyoum in disseminating development news in the Egyptian villages. This dissertation examined whether the development news in ‘Almasry Alyoum’ have been advantageous for the Egyptian villages. Whether these news were useful for them. The research method was content analysis in order to identify the news related to the Egyptian village development in terms of their priority, to analyse the variety of development news, and to determine the usefulness of the development news. Therefore, the dissertation analysed 28 issues from ‘Almasry Alyoum’ to seek the answers to the research objective. As a quantitative study, the research methodology was based on a sampling error of 9.5% and confidence level at 68%. The sample size calculated was 28 issues of the newspaper. The dissertation found that the development news represented only 0.72% in average of the total news area. Keywords: Egypt; independent newspaper; disseminating development news; communication development; Egyptian village. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Awad, H.E.I. (2012) ‘The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ in disseminating development news in the Egyptian villages’, Int. J. Arab Culture, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 2, Nos. 2/3, pp.153–184. Biographical notes: Hossam Eldin Ibrahim Awad is the Communication Consultant in both Egypt and Malaysia. He obtained his BSc in Islamic Archeology from Cairo University (1988) and his Master in Communication and Media studies from UiTM Malaysia (2012). He did a lot of feasibility studies for national and international companies in Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. He wrote a lot of articles in the Egyptian newspapers and websites. He has more than 22 years of experience in the field of communication in general and media in particular. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (London) and American E-Marketing Association.
  2. 2. 154 H.E.I. Awad 1 Introduction 1.1 Overview The role of mass communication in development is very important, especially in the developing countries which struggle to develop their peoples’ life in the case of Egypt, as a developing country, the matter is more important than before. Egypt has most of the natural resources and manpower that can manage it resources and lead its country prosperously. The people of Egypt and all those who follow the situation in the Middle East know that the last dictatorial regime was responsible about most of Egypt’s problems and delaying economic development. Hosni Mubarak became the president of Egypt in 1981and lasted for about 30 years. He was stripped of the presidency through a public uprising in 2011, at the time Egypt was ranked in HDI (human development indicator) as number 113 (Egypt Profile, 2011a). During Mubarak’s regime the media were under control and were considered as the voice of the ruling government. Under such condition it was difficult for the media to play their roles, especially in bringing about economic development to the people of Egypt. 1.1.1 Background on Egypt 1.1.1.1 Population and development in Egypt The Arab Republic of Egypt is considered a middle-income country that relies on remittances from Egyptians working abroad, revenues from the Suez Canal and oil as its main sources of income. Economic growth was robust in the late 1990s, but suffered considerably from the results of 11 September 2001, regional imbalances and hesitant steps in the field of economic policies. Following a normalisation after the Iraq war, economic growth picked up and reached 4.4% in 2004. Egypt covers an area of 1,001,449 km2 that is mostly desert (Sahara). Only 6% of Egypt’s area is inhabited. Most people are living in the Nile Delta and the narrow Nile Valley. With a population of 82,536,800 in 2010, Egypt has the largest and most densely settled population among the Arab countries at 869 persons/km2 (Egypt Profile, 2011c). Administratively, Egypt is divided into 28 governorates and Luxor City. The seven Urban Governorates (Cairo, 6th of October, Giza, Helwan, Alexandria, Port Said, and Suez) have no rural population. Each of the other 22 governorates is subdivided into urban and rural areas. Nine of these governorates are located in the Nile Delta (Lower Egypt), eight are located in the Nile Valley (Upper Egypt), and the remaining five Frontier Governorates are located on the eastern and western boundaries of Egypt Profile (2011b). 1.2.1 Egypt and development after Arab spring After the Egyptian revolution in 25 January 2011, which was termed by the Western media as the Arab Spring, people of Egypt, including those living in the villages, are looking ahead to develop their country. The Egyptian village is considered as one of the flagship sectors in bringing development to the country. Not only now, but also throughout the history of the Egyptian civilisation, the farmers in the Egyptian villages have always been the catalyst for economic development of the country.
  3. 3. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 155 1.3.1 Egyptian villages and agriculture output The Egyptian villages are the main contributors to agriculture outputs which amounted to 92% of US$64 billion in 2010. The agricultural sector represented 14% (US$69.692 billion in 2010) of Egypt’s GDP of US$497.8 billion in 2010 of which commodity export was 20% and being the largest sector providing employment to 11.6 million adults in 2010, or 32% of total Egyptian work force of 26.2 million people (UNDP, 2010). As shown on Table 1, rural population is near of 57% from Egypt population. Table 1 Social indicators Population, total (2009) 82,999,393.0 Population growth (annual %) (2009) 1.8 Population density (people per sq. km) (2008) 81.9 Rural population (2009) 47,508,852.6 Rural population density (rural population per sq. km of arable land) 1,476.2 Rural population (% of total population) (2009) 57.2 Birth rate, crude (per 1,000 people) (2008) 24.7 Death rate, crude (per 1,000 people) (2008) 5.8 Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births) (2009) 18.2 Mortality rate, under-five (per 1,000) (2009) 21.0 Life expectancy at birth, total (years) (2008) 70.1 Labour force, total (2008) 26,315,732.3 Labour force, female (% of total labour force) (2008) 23.9 Refereeing to Table 2, the number of rural poor approximately 11 million people. And the poverty headcount in rural area is 23.3% of rural population. Table 2 Poverty indicators Number of rural poor (million, approximate) (2009) 11,069,562.6 Poverty headcount ratio at rural poverty line (% of rural population) (1996) 23.3 Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty line (% of population) (2000) 16.7 Income share held by lowest 20% (2005) 9.0 Besides the information above, the researcher’s long involvement in village’s activity made him to conclude that the villagers were always marginalised for several reasons, most of the reasons were out of the villager’s control. One of these reasons is that most of the economic development efforts of the governments go to big cities. 1.4.1 The roles of mass media in national development In the case of Egyptian villages, it can be explained in the comparison with other developed countries’ experiences, as demonstrated by Hasim et al. (1998): “the Malaysian experience considers the role of mass media in national development in two levels: at the micro and macro levels. The micro level involves a coordinated integrated effort of Development Support Communication (DSC) to orchestrate various media and interpersonal channels with those of policy, timing, local infrastructures and cultures to
  4. 4. 156 H.E.I. Awad transform attitudinal and behavioral changes in favour of development. At the micro level, it involves trans-border flow of information, which could affect national cultures and identity. In Egypt, the villages need to be developed as soon as possible, especially after the migration of young adults looking for employment in the main cities, including the capital Cairo, as they will reach a critical point because of the lack of utilities and services. The Egyptian village development is very important if the country wants to move forward towards prosperity, especially that Egypt relies on villages to supply most of the food. Therefore, mass media practitioners need to be more responsible to the Egyptian society, particularly towards the Egyptian villages. They need to fulfil the villages’ needs like informing and educating the village population by disseminating the appropriate information and skills which the villagers can learn and apply in order to contribute to the development of Egypt. But it is very important to mention that communication and media in particular cannot play their role in development without considering other factors like political, economical and cultural factors, De Goshie (1985) diagnosis “since the efficacy of development media messages in developing countries is now known to be greatly influenced by the socio-economic, political, and structural factors existent in these countries, it is pertinent that the application of mass media for national development be preceded by the knowledge of these factors”. 1.5.1 The role of media and social change Schramm (1964) points out, “if national economic development is to occur, there must be a social transformation, and in order for this to happen, human resources must be mobilized and difficult human problems must be sold”. All the kinds of human change required for economic development take long, and are costly and difficult. And yet, as Millikan and Blackmer argue so persuasively, “the paramount requirement of change in any society is that the people themselves must change”. As we see it, this is the point where modern communication becomes so important to economic development. For the task of the mass media and the “new media” of education is to speed and ease the long, slow social transformation required for economic development, and in particular, to speed and smoothen the task of mobilizing human resources behind the national effort”(Schramm, 1964). Sparks (2007), signals more reasons for the importance of mass media to development when he stated that “Some people who have been concerned about development issues have been interested in the media. They have tried to find ways in which communication, and particularly the mass media of newspaper, radio and television, can be used to help countries ‘develop’ and thus to reduce the amount of poverty. Scholars have theorized about the best ways to use the media to help development, and activists have tried to implement their findings”. Schramm (1964) also argues, “Media can play a much greater role in enabling people to take control over their own lives, in enabling people and societies to set their own agendas in relation to political, economic and social development; and in enabling, in particular, the voices of the economically and politically marginalized to be amplified and channeled to mainstream public and political debate”.
  5. 5. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 157 1.6.1 Communication is important for development Chandra (2004) assumes, “Communication has been neglected for too long in development projects, and still is. Even when development organizations and staff realize today that beneficiaries have to be involved, they fail to understand that without communication there can be no long-term dialogue with communities”. The fact that development projects are mostly in the hands of economists and technicians impedes the understanding of social and cultural issues that are key to communication strategy. Too often communication was mistakenly conceived as propaganda or, in the best scenario, as information dissemination, but seldom seen as dialogue, he further add International donors and implementers, governments and NGOs, crave communication when the objective is to gain visibility (Chandra, 2004). Other tasks, Schramm added, to the role of the communication in development are within “the overall task of mobilizing human resources. People must be given the knowledge they need in order to decide on such basic questions of belief and behavior. There must be adequate channels for leadership and an opportunity to bring the debate, if any, out into the open. There must be information designed to encourage productive attitudes, social patterns, and customs”. This raises a question of ethics and responsibility. Schramm adds, communication is a kind of temperature-controlling agent. It can raise the social temperature, for example, by raising aspirations when the developing economy is not ready to satisfy them. He further states, “It can reduce temperature by providing explanation, holding out rewards, speeding up development, by permitting change. The amount of information available and wideness of its distribution is thus a key factor in the speed and smoothness of development” (Schramm, 1964). Chandra (2004) has the views, “Researchers found that in countries where people were more exposed to modern media, more favorable attitudes towards modernization and development. Based on these findings, national governments and specialists agreed to champion the media as instruments for the dissemination of modern ideas that would improve agriculture, health, education, and politics”. 1.7.1 The future role of mass communication in development in Egypt Shalaby (1950) alleges that “in economic and social development, change often begins with agriculture. In Egypt cultural linkage is particularly strong. The agriculture of the Egyptians is a highly integrated way of life that is deeply rooted in countries of tradition. It involves personal emotional expression, family ties, religious sentiment, social intercourse, and family established habits of behavior”. As Aly (2011) stated, “protests around Tahrir Square and other urban areas in Egypt represented a revolutionary moment in which the class, sectarian, gender and regional fractures and dynamics of Egyptian society were temporarily suspended. The protests, which were driven by a number of political and socio-economic factors, were significantly a rejection of the social and cultural consequences of life in the shadow of authoritarianism. Most Egyptians have been alienated from political participation and from an iterative relationship with the state and its institutions through an inclusive public sphere. The atmosphere of common purpose, free expression, tolerance and inclusion experienced by protesters between January 25 and February 11 has already led to significant changes in attitudes and practices around the ownership of public space, freedom of expression and the right to mobilize. For many, one of the most promising
  6. 6. 158 H.E.I. Awad potentials of the revolution lies in the prospect that it might lead to a fundamental cultural re-imagining of the nation, of difference, inclusion and citizenship. However, the manner in which the revolutionary moment is now subject to cultural narrativization and canonization suggests the persistence of particular representation practices which should be met with caution”. For the scope of this study, the role of the independent newspapers in disseminating development news one can rely on what Schramm (1964) sums up by saying that “the mass media can contribute substantially to the amount and kinds of information available to the people of a developing country. They can widen horizons and thus help to build empathy; they can focus attention on problems and goals of development; they can raise personal and national aspirations; and they can do largely themselves and directly. This amounts to creating an informational ‘climate’ in which development is stimulated. By disseminating news of development from faraway, by carrying political, economic, social, and cultural reports from elsewhere in the country and the world, the media can create an intellectual climate which stimulates people to take another look at their practices and future perspectives”. 1.8.1 Using new communication technology in development The near future for communication development will be easier to media practitioners to reach all area of the country; the United Nations Development Programs (2001) stated “both information and genetic technologies offer huge promise in tackling fundamental poverty, often those with the least to fear from the future. There are six arguments: 1 The technology divide does not have to follow the income divide, and throughout history, technology has been a tool for human development and poverty reduction. 2 The market is a tool of technological progress, but it is not enough to create and diffuse the technologies needed to eradicate poverty. 3 Developing countries may gain more from technologies, but they also face especially severe challenges in managing the risks. 4 The technology revolution and globalization are creating a network age, and that is changing how technology is created and diffused. 5 Even in the network age, domestic policy still matters. All countries, even the poorest, need to implement policies that encourage innovation, access and the development of advanced skills” (Egypt Profile, 2001). 1.9.1 The historical dimension of development communication United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is the first initiator to enhance the role of mass communication and mass media in particular in development process, as cited in the Forward of Schramm’s book “Mass Media and National Development’, this study forms part of the continuing effort of the United Nations and UNESCO to help develop the mass media of communication. A new impetus was given to this effort when in 1958, the General Assembly of the United Nations called for a ‘program of concrete action’ to build up press, radio broadcasting, film, and television facilities in countries in process of economic and social development. To draw
  7. 7. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 159 up the program and assess the resources required, the United Nations requested UNESCO to carry out a survey” (Schramm, 1964). UNESCO conducted this survey by means of series of meetings (three meetings for Latin America, Asia and Africa) in which mass media experts, professional organisations, and government representatives joined in preparing a development program for each action. The reports of the three meetings provided the substance of the survey submitted by UNESCO to the United Nations. The General Assembly added to the reports that “information media have an important part to play in education and in economic and in social progress generally and that new technique of communication offer special opportunities for acceleration of the education process” (Schramm, 1964). The first attempt in the field of development communication, as cited by De Goshie, was by Schramm, Director of the Institute for Communication Research at Stanford University (USA), who agreed to undertake the study of UNESCO. And later on he issued the first book in the field of development communication “Mass Media and National Development; The Role of Information in the Developing Countries” (De Goshie, 1985). According to Sparks, “intellectual history of the field of development communication is conventionally divided into three, and sometimes four, distinct phases. The first ‘dominant paradigm’ concerns were with the effect of international propaganda, particularly in the context of the great wars of the twentieth century. Immediately after the Second World War, some people who had worked in propaganda issues began to think about the media and development. They believed that the mass media had a crucial role to play in fostering modern attitudes and beliefs, which were thought to be the primary conditions for any significant social changes”. It was followed by ‘imperialism paradigm’ a much more critical phase, in which two distinct emphases are discernable in the literature. On the one hand, attention was focused upon the structures of international communication, which are held to be at least partly responsible for the continued subordination of developing countries to the interests of the metropolitan power. The other line of thought, ‘participatory paradigm’, saw the key weakness of the dominant paradigm as residing in its top-down approach. It started from the believe that the experts know what is best for everyone else, and designed communication programs to transmit the fruits of the expertise to the people who were to ‘be developed’. The alternative was to find ways allowing the objects of development to become its subjects and to use the media to give them a voice of their own and the stress upon the needs of the communities in question, in discussion of development. In contrast to these approaches, more recent writing has stressed the extent of the global flow of media content, which was termed the ‘globalization paradigm’. This approach sees that the products of the world’s media industries often had a liberating effect, breaking down the habits and routines of obsolete social orders and promoting change and development” (Sparks, 2007). Schramm (1964) in his epoch-making book ‘Mass Media and National Development’ observed that “in general, the mass media are quite capable of handling the basic information tasks of development by themselves. The decision-making functions of development, however, in many cases require the changing of strongly held attitudes, beliefs and social norms; and therefore (requiring) the mechanisms of interpersonal communication and group decision. This does not mean that mass communication cannot contribute powerfully to the decision process. It can feed information into the discussion,
  8. 8. 160 H.E.I. Awad carry the confer status, broaden the policy dialogue, enforce social norms, help form tastes, affect attitudes lightly held, and make slight changes in more strongly held attitude”. 1.10.1 Theories of development De Goshie sums up the theories of development in four categories. These are: 1 economic theories of development 2 psychological theories of development 3 political theories of development 4 communication theories of development (De Goshie, 1985). In summary, De Goshie (1985) recognises “Economic theories were primarily concerned with material qualities, hence the index approach to development. Psychological theories were concerned with traditional attitudes and values which were regarded as obstacles to development, thus the need for exogenously induced change. Equally, political scientists were chiefly concerned with such qualities as power, political participation and democracy while sociologists placed emphasis on social institutions and functions. The communication theorists did not seem to fare any better either. Their theories were derived from those of social change, particularly economic and psychological theories. They too developed linear concepts of communication with emphasis on such things as the availability of and exposure to media and the use of opinion leaders through whom innovations could trickle down to the masses. But not much attention was paid to media messages”. Chandra seeks to explain the historical background of development communication behaviour change models that have been the dominant paradigm in the field of development communication. Different theories and strategies shared the premise that problems of development were basically rooted in lack of knowledge and that, consequently, interventions needed to provide people with information to change behaviour. The early generation of development communication studies was dominated by modernisation theory. This theory suggested that cultural and information deficits lie underneath development problems, and therefore could not be resolved only through economic assistance. Instead, the difficulties in Third World countries were at least partially related to the existence of traditional culture that inhibited development. Based in this diagnosis, development communication proposed that changes in ideas would result in transformations in behaviour. The goal was, therefore, to instil modern values and information through the transfer of media technology and the adoption of innovations and culture originated in the developed world. The Western model of development was upheld as the model to be emulated worldwide (Chandra, 2004). Chandra also point out one of the most powerful critiques of modernisation theories came from the dependency paradigm. Originally developed in Latin America, dependency analysis was informed by Marxist and critical theories according to which the problems of the Third world reflected the general dynamics of capitalist development. Development problems responded to the unequal distribution of resources created by the global expansion of Western capitalism. Dependency theorists argued that the problems of underdevelopment were not internal to Third World countries but were determined by
  9. 9. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 161 external factors and the way former colonies were integrated into the world economy. Participatory theories also criticised the modernisation paradigm on the ground that it promoted a top-down, ethnocentric and paternalistic view of development (Chandra, 2004). For participatory theorists and practitioners, Chandra argues, development communication required sensitivity to cultural diversity and specific context that were ignored by modernisation theories. Experts learnt that development was not restricted to just building roads, piping water, and distributing electricity. Many of the agricultural projects failed because farmers were reluctant to abandon their traditional ways for foreign and unknown methods. In participatory theories people should not be forced to adopt new practises no matter how beneficial they seem in the eyes of agencies and governments. Instead, people needed to be encouraged to participate rather than adopt new practises based on information (Chandra, 2004). Lastly, Singha Roy (2001) questions the “contemporary shift in development strategy that has prescribed an administrative and institutional mode of sharing power with marginalized groups”. They pose the following questions: Will the institutional initiatives, as suggested by the current development paradigm, be able to provide the required space to the marginalised groups for their empowerment? Can the marginalised be empowered without demolishing the institutionalised structure of subordination? What are the alternative channels of empowerment available to the marginalised groups? There are several many such questions involved in the issues of empowerment and social development of the marginalised groups. 1.2 Problem statement Although the independent daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm has been publishing development news, however, there is no measurement on its contribution in terms of the types of news, prominence given by their placement, priority and frequency of the news. Without such data the role of the mass media, especially Al-Masry Al-Youm, to bring the expected development and modern states at the village level may never be known. 1.3 Research questions 1 To what extent Almasry Alyoum contributed to the disseminating of government development programs and news? 2 To what extent Almasry Alyoum published reports, stories and general activities about Egyptian villages? 3 To what extent Almasry Alyoum published new methods/techniques of farming which contribute in developing the Egyptian villages? 4 Did Almasry Alyoum publish variety of development news or not? 5 To what extent Almasry Alyoum gave prominence to development news? 1.4 Research objectives Based on the problem statement and research questions above, the objectives of this study were:
  10. 10. 162 H.E.I. Awad a to identify the news related to the Egyptian village development in terms of their priority, the space allocated for, the position, the use of colours and the number of development news compared with other news b to analyse the variety of development news pertaining to the governmental programmes and general village stories. To determine the usefulness of the development news with regards to providing solutions to farming problems/issues, new methods of farming and the assistance to farms in the form of subsidies, grants, and loans. 1.5 Scope of research The scope of this research will be studying the development news which target Egyptian villages published by the Egyptian independent daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’. This information will be gathered from the sample of 28 issues of Almasry Alyoum, which will be analysed to determine the development news targeted at Egyptian villages’ farmers. Then it will be analysed through some criteria such as: area of printed space, percentage, prominence, importance, position, and usefulness. One of the limitations of this research was that it did not include all other kinds of news for analyses. Also, it did not review the other kinds of development news targeted at industrial workers or small and business enterprises, or people in education and health programs in general. Other than that, this research was intended as an exploratory study with small sample size. Therefore, the data presented here should be treated with caution. 1.6 Significance of study The significance of this study are: a As a daily newspaper for the nation Al-Masry Al-Youm has a role in national development. These study findings could highlight a more effective ways for the newspaper to inform and educate Egyptian village farmers in bringing about development. b Finding of the content analysis could provide guidance for the daily newspaper to improve its content, and presentation towards development news. 2 Review of related literature This chapter offers the definitions of terms and provides background on, the independent daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’. It also looks at efforts in the field of mass communication and development, with special reference to Egypt. 2.1 The definition of development As Midgley (1999) stated on the term “development’ that for most people, it connotes a process of economic change brought about by industrialization. The term also implies a process of social change resulting in urbanization, the adoption of a modern lifestyle, and new attitudes. Further, it has a welfare connection which suggests that development
  11. 11. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 163 enhances people’s incomes and improves their educational levels, housing conditions and health status. However, of these different meanings, the concept of development is most frequently associated with economic change. For most people development means economic progresses”. Rogers (1969), as cited by De Goshie (1985), defined development as “a type of social change in which new ideas are introduced into a social system in order to produce higher per capita incomes and levels of living through more modern production methods and improved social organization”. Hasim et al. (1998) argued that “development is a contrast that has different meaning in different countries as well as in different parts of a country. Nevertheless, development in certain ways covered issues such as socioeconomic development, human rights, national integration, enhancing national cultures and values, democratization and freedom from any form of oppression. At any given time, national government might focus on specific issues depending on its priorities. Also development can be considered as a process of social engineering. It involves transformation of the society from backward traditionalism into prosperous modernity. In other ways, it involves a process of empowerment from the state of helplessness to self-reliance and self-respect”. Haynes (2008) mentioned that, “Development is a key dimension of a personal life, social relations, politics, economics and cultures”. 2.2 Development communication: its definition and channels of communication Development communication, as cited by Chandra (2004), “commonly refers to the application of communication strategies and principles in the developing world. It has its origins in post-war international aid programs to countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa that were struggling with poverty, illiteracy, poor health and a lack of economic, political and social infrastructures. It is derived from theories of development and social change that identified the main problems of the post-war world in terms of lack of development or progress equivalent to western countries”. Chandra (2004) also added, the “current aim of development communication is to remove constraints for a more equal and participatory society”. It was Sparks (2007) that incorporated the mass media as part of promoting development communication when he argued that “some of the people who have been concerned about development issues have been interested in the media. They have tried to find ways in which communication, and particularly the mass media of newspaper, radio and television, can be used to help countries ‘develop’ and thus to reduce the amount of poverty”. 2.3 The importance of communication in development Seetharam (1990) offered a more definitive structure and action for communication development when he stressed the need for creating awareness in development programmes. According to him the involvement of the population in “development efforts, sharing equality, in the benefits derived the reform and in the decisions in respect of setting goals, formulating policies, and planning and implementing economic and social development programs. Involvement of the people in development program will be effective only when it is adequately reinforced by awareness of the situation. Situational awareness is a function of exposure to different types of communication. Hence
  12. 12. 164 H.E.I. Awad awareness is necessary for participation. Awareness can be induced through various media of mass communication”. 2.4 The definition of mass media Kolkin and Tyner (1991) defined the mass media by the objectives they attempted to achieve when they stated that the “mass media generally have three purposes: to inform you, to entertain you and to sell you products”. On the other hand, Devereux (2007) quoted McQuail (2000) when he argued on the importance of mass media’s reach as he defined the contemporary mass media “as arising from its near universality of reach, great popularity and public character”. Accordingly, these features had profound consequences for the cultural life and political organisation of contemporary societies in respect to politics and culture’. But Rayner et al. (2004) identified “certain key characteristics that seem to apply to all mass media products at any time in history. These basic characteristics can be summed up in the following general statement: • The mass media reach a large number of people. • The mass media, although centrally produced, are usually privately consumed. • Mass media products are ‘shared’. • The mass media are controlled or ‘regulated’ (Rayner et al., 2004). • The mass media rely on sophisticated technology. • The mass media are ‘modern’. • The mass media are expensive to produce”. 2.5 The roles of mass media in national development In the case of bringing development communication to Egyptian villages, it can be explained through comparison with other developed countries’ experience, as stated by Hasim et al. (1998) that “the Malaysian experience considers the role of mass media in national development is in two levels: at the micro and macro levels. The micro level involves a coordinated integrated effort of Development Support Communication (DSC) to orchestrate various media and interpersonal channels with those of policy, timing, local infrastructures and cultures to transform attitudinal and behavioural changes in favour of development. At the micro level, it involves trans-border flow of information, which could affect national cultures and identity”. A Nigerian researcher, Nneji (2002) share same concerns as Hasim on the importance of incorporating the mass media in national development when he stated that, “It is not difficult to understand that communication has been given considerable attention in nations where socioeconomic improvements are of extreme urgency”. In Egypt, the villages need to be developed as soon as possible, especially after the migration of young adults looking for employment in the main cities, including the capital Cairo, as they will reach a critical point because of the lack of utilities and services. The Egyptian village development is very important if the country wants to
  13. 13. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 165 move forward towards prosperity, especially that Egypt relies on villages to supply most of the food. Therefore, mass media practitioners need to be more responsible to the Egyptian society, particularly, towards the Egyptian villages. They need to fulfil the villages’ needs like informing and educating the village population by disseminating the appropriate information and skills which can learn and apply in order to contribute to the development of Egypt. 2.6 The definition of news and newspaper 2.6.1 News News, as cited by Stovall (2005), “is not just information. It is a special kind of information developed by journalists and formulated to fit the needs of the audience and the requirements of the media of journalism. News is a vital ingredient of the mix of an open society. For individuals, news tells us about ourselves, helps us make decisions, and gives us a common pool of knowledge. In the larger society, news helps to confirm the assumption on which our society is based. News is one of the main ways in which a society examines itself; that examination provides an important means by which the society can find solutions to its problems”. De Burgh (2005) expanded the definition of news when he stated that “news values are cultural, and reflect subjective assumptions about what is important to the members of societies”. Burton (2005) of where elaborated on the elements that encompassed news as he mentioned, “The substance of news has been characterized in various ways by commentators”. Burton (2005, p.49) defined news as being about events and people, characterised by factors such as: • consonance with audience beliefs • negativity • continuity with what is already in the news • personification of what has happened • cultural proximity • unexpectedness • elites. Burton (2005) also added that, “News is a constructed version of its sources material. It is a kind of narrative. It is a media representation. It is a selective version of original events. News, like all public documents, is a constructed reality possessing it own internal validity”. Of more recent definition of news was provided by Burton (2005, p.256), in which he identified news as being defined by: • ‘actors’ who are likely to be known already • predictable ‘activities’ such as crime, protests and government decisions
  14. 14. 166 H.E.I. Awad • either divisions or examples of unity in the nation and society • domestic themes which relate to foreign news (Burton, 2005). Martin and Copeland (2003) in his book, A History of News, as cited by Martin and Copeland, said that “from the drum to the satellite states that news-seeking behavior among human beings crosses all cultural boundaries because it is a behavior hardwired into us. News, he says, provides social awareness and security”. Martin and Copeland (2003) further cited the work of sociologists Harvey Molotch and Marilyin Lester who claimed that “people’s interest in news is an invariant need for accounts of the unobserved. The news’ audience curiosity for these accounts was a survival mechanism, an early warning system “of potential threats and potential rewards. The need for news transcends the particulars of content or a focus on specific kinds of items”. Stovall (2005) pointed to the vital role of news when he argued that, “News is not just information. It is a special kind of information developed by journalists and formulated to fit the needs of the audience and the requirements of the media of journalism. News is a vital ingredient of the mix of an open society. For individuals, news tells about ourselves. In the larger society, news helps to confirm the assumptions on which our society is based”. 2.7 Newspaper Merrill, as cited by Martin and Copeland (2003), stated that “historians of the twentieth century have settled on a definition for newspaper as mentioned in a 1930 journalism quarterly article by Eric W. Allen. Allen’s definition of a newspaper was actually adopted from Otto Groth’s Die Zietung published in 1928. That definition requires seven components, or consists of seven characteristics. Allen and Groth stated that a true newspaper must be periodic, mechanically reproduced, and available to all who pay for it. In addition, the content must be varied, general, timely, and organized. Merrill, however highlighted that the term ‘newspaper’ is really a misnomer today, as at least 80% percent of a newspaper’s space is given to non-news, such as editorials, features, pictures, puzzles, advice to lovelorn, gossip, conjecture, letters, and so on. Maybe these periodicals should just be called “papers” or something more appropriate”. Be this as it may, it was generally accepted that newspapers do carry some news and this is true in every country, and has been true in every age of the printing press. The physical presentation of most newspapers in the 20th century was very similar to those of the 18th centuries-type on a large sheet paper that could be, and often was, folded to facilitate carrying or storing (Martin and Copeland, 2003). Stovall (2005) added, “A newspaper is part of the life, legend, and lore of modern society. Newspapers speak with an authority that few individuals can attain. They are a means of defining us a community, something that all of us can share. They are a focus of information and opinion for a community”. 2.8 The definition of journalism and its social roles As mentioned by Martin and Copeland (2003), “Journalism, in all its varieties, is the constant background and accompaniment to everyday life. Journalism has existed as a recognized mode of communication ‘the staple of news’ as Ben Jonson referred to it in 1624 for more than four centuries. Since the early 1980s its production has expanded as a
  15. 15. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 167 print and broadcast outlets have been joined by teletext services, then with the arrival of cable and satellite technologies, by 24-hours real-time news channel on TV and radio, and the recent years by a proliferation of mobile-telephone and online news sites”. De Burgh (2005) stated, “Since the ‘invention’ of journalism sometime in the 16th century it has been required to be at least three things, often at the same time: 1 A supplier of the information required for individuals and groups to monitor their social environments; what Denis McQuail (1987) has characterized as a medium of surveillance. 2 A resource for, support to and often participant in public life and political debate- in liberal- democratic societies particularly, the discursive foundation of what Habermas (1989) famously called the public sphere. 3 A medium of education, enlightenment and entertainment what might be grouped together as its recreational or cultural functions”. De Burgh (2005) further added that, “Journalism has always been required to meet the expectations of its audiences, as well as seeking to create new markets. Journalism is a mediated reality to highlight the fact that, although presented by its authors as more or less true, new, and so on, journalism is always a manufactured account of the real, not the real itself, which emerges to find acceptance in the information marketplace only after a number of production process have been done through”. 2.9 The role of journalism in the society The researcher believed that Journalism has important role in the society, as elaborated by Ferguson et al. (2004) that, “Journalists write the stories, take the pictures, and draw the layouts with simple goals: to inform or entertain an audience. Having the audience always in mind implies, above all else, service. It is the function of the mass media to provide the information upon which people can base decisions. It is essential that this information be as unattained and pure as human can make it”. Newspapers now have become a part of society when Martin and Copeland (2003f) argued that “news products or conduits serving the needs of news-hungry cultures preceded the modern newspaper and the twentieth-century description of it. Sometimes this need was expressed as a desire to enjoy public opinion, sometimes it was the necessity to maintain order and social identity that made news sheets, postings, or broadcasts a part of everyday life. The newspaper is part of life, legend, and lore of modern society. Newspapers speak with an authority that few individuals can attain. They are a means of defining us as a community, something that all of us can share. They are a focus of information and opinion for a community”. De Burgh (2005) expanded on the role of newspaper as an indicator of order when he stated, “Consumers are paying for useful information for knowledge which has been extracted, processed and refined from the raw material of the world’s happenings, and within which some order has been imposed on the chaos of events”. Meanwhile, Foreman (2010) elaborated on journalism ethics when he wrote that, “journalism is telling the truth. Although truth is difficult to define, there was unanimity among journalists that the first step is getting the facts right. Kovach and Rosentiel concluded that “the disinterested pursuit of truth’ is what distinguishes journalism from other forms of communication, like advertising and entertainment. Journalism first
  16. 16. 168 H.E.I. Awad loyalty is to citizens. The practice of journalism requires an obligation to the truth, a loyalty to the citizens, a discipline of verification, and an independence from the people and institutions being covered”. 2.10 Background of Almasry Alyoum Almasry Alyoum is an independent Egyptian media organisation established in 2003. Its board of directors is headed by Kamel Tawfiq Diab and includes a number of prominent Egyptian businessmen. The organisation issues Al-Masry Al-Youm daily newspaper, Egypt’s foremost Arabic-language independent daily. The first issue of the paper was on 7 June 2004 and its current editor-in-chief is Magdy El Galad. The organisation also runs an online newspaper with the website http:// www.almasryalyoum.com, and http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en which include an extensive multimedia section and an English edition. The editorial policy of Al-Masry Al-Youm publications is independent and balanced journalism within the framework of professional standards incorporating the latest developments of the media world to its content (About Us, 2011). As shown in Table 3, Almasry Alyoum is the third daily newspaper in Egypt after Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar, both of Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar are governmental newspaper, but Almasry Alyoum is independent newspaper, so it is considered as the first independent newspaper in circulation numbers in Egypt. Table 3 Circulation numbers for the first fourth daily newspapers in Egypt No. Newspaper Date of report Circulation no. Net sale by Egyptian pound 1 Al-Ahram 1/2/2009 270.000 255.000 2 Al-Akhbar 1/2/2009 240.000 215.000 3 Almasry Alyoum 1/2/2009 192.000 162.000 4 Aljumhoriah 1/2/2009 176.000 122.000 3 Research methodology 3.1 Research theoretical framework The research methodology is determined by the study theoretical framework that shows the interrelationships between the variables under the study, there were three broad categories of independent variables that the researcher attempted to study. The first being the prominence given to development news by the newspaper intended for the Egyptian villages. Therefore, the researcher measured the level of priority and prominence the newspaper gave to development news. The researcher also sought answers to such questions: what was the percentage of the development news related to the whole news? Were development news published in preferred pages? Did photographs accompany these development news? The second independent variable that the researcher attempted to study was the variety of the village’s development news published by the newspaper. The researcher
  17. 17. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 169 measured to what extent the newspaper published different kinds of village’s development news which attracted villagers and contributed to their development. So the researcher counted how many news mentioned government development programs and also how many news covered the general village’s activities. In order to do that, the researcher sought answers to questions like: did the newspaper cover general activities and stories from the villages? Did the newspaper publish any stories from the villages? Did the newspaper write any reports about the villages? The third independent variable that the researcher studied was the usefulness of the villages’ development news published by the newspaper. The researcher sought to find out the level of usefulness of these news to the villagers in Egypt. This was done after the researcher sought answers to the questions such as: Did the newspaper publish any news with solutions to the issues in the villages? Did the newspaper publish any new methods or techniques of farming? How many news were published by the newspaper about subsidies, grants and loans? A detailed explanation is in Figure 2 in the next page. 3.2 Research design The methodology for this study will be content analysis. Wimmer and Dominick, (2010) mentioned that: “Content analysis of the media is an efficient way to investigate the content of the media, such as numbers and types of news, commercials or advertisements in broadcasting or the print media”. They also cited some content analysis’ definitions like: Walizer and Wienir (1978) who defined it “as any systematic procedure devised to examine the content of recorded information”; while Krippendorf (1980) stated it as “a research technique for making replicable and valid references from data to their context”. Kerlinger’s (2000) definition is fairly typical: “Content analysis is a method of studying and analyzing communication in a systematic, objective and quantitative manner for the purpose of measuring variables” (Wimmer and Dominick, 2010). Sparks (2006) defined content analysis as “a research technique for the objective, systematic and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication. Content analysis is objective in the sense that the method permits multiple researchers to examine the same content and come to identical conclusions. This is possible because the method is systematic. That is, it specifies an unambiguous set of rules or procedures for coding the message content. Theoretically, any coder (a person who examines the content and classifies into categories) who understands the rules or procedures will arrive at the same coding of the message content coder. The data that result from content analysis are quantitative. That is, certain aspects of the content are coded and tallied in some quantitative way. This aspect of content analysis is important because it permits the researcher to conduct various statistical tests on the coding”. As cited by Reinard (2007), “content analysis can be useful to characterize communication and make intriguing comparisons”. With regards to newspapers content analysis, Schmid and Fiedler, as cited by Fielder (2007), argued “it as the use of content analysis to newspapers to gauge trends in society”. On the other hand, Reinard (2007) viewed it as “researchers have great freedom in selecting many different things that can be enumerated or counted. When examining newspapers, the number of column inches dedicated to a topic is often identified”. To quote Sparks (2006) again in which he added that “content analysis allows a researcher to describe the nature of the content of communication in a systematic and rigorous fashion. Content analysis can be applied to almost any type of communication,
  18. 18. 170 H.E.I. Awad but it is particularly appropriate for mass media messages because it permits us to describe precisely a vast diversity of message content that might otherwise prove elusive. Content analysis is a logical beginning point for the investigation of media effects because it helps us to discover what content is present that might be bringing about various effects. On the other hands, it is important to understand that the results of a content analysis do not permit one to make inferences about the effects of that content”. With this understanding the researcher believed that content analysis was the most appropriate way to find the answers to the problem statement considering the limitation of interviewing large number of farmers in remote villages. This study was intended to be an exploratory research to clarify certain research questions and to test ideas in measuring the independent variables related to development news by the newspaper intended for Egyptian farmers. Therefore, a small size of 28 issues of the newspaper within two month was thought appropriate for this cross-sectional study. As such, it offers the potential for further researchers to expand on this study with a different time horizon and bigger sample size for greater accuracy and reliability. 3.3 Measurement of variables As shown in Figure 1, this study had three independent variables, which were prominence of the villages’ development news, variety of the villages’ development news, and usefulness of the villages’ development news. These conceptual variables were further broken down into elements that could be measured. For the first variable ‘prominence of the villages’ development news’ the elements to be measured were: a total numbers of development news in comparison with the whole issue for each daily publication b percentage of development news related to the whole news c prominence given to development news as main stories on a particular page it appeared d prominence given to development news in preferred pages e whether the development news that were published contained photos or just text. For the second variable ‘variety of the villages’ development news’ the elements measured were: a the inclusion of government development programs in the development news b the reporting of general activities in the villages in the development news. For the third variable ‘usefulness of the villages’ development news’ the elements measured were: a to what extent the development news offered solutions to issues or problems related to the village farmers
  19. 19. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 171 b to what extent the development news offered new methods or techniques of farming c the reports on offers of subsidies, grants and loans in the development news. In order to collect and interpret the data, the study, as shown in Appendix, established special coding sheets. These coding sheets show all needed numbers and incidences of reports on the three independent variables. These numbers were then tallied and where appropriate and relevant cross-tabulated between variables. Figure 1 Formulation of theoretical framework of the study AreaofstudyIndependentvariablesElementstobemeasuredDependentvariables                                       Theroleofthe dailynewspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’in disseminating development newsinthe Egyptianvillages Prominence of the villages’  development news  Variety of the villages’   development news   Usefulness of the villages’  development news   More main stories on  development news  More development news  appear in preferred pages  More photos than just text  Government development  programme  General activities on villages News with solutions to  issues/problems  New methods/techniques  of farming  Offers of subsidies,  grants and loans  Assumption of  greater  understanding    &    Application of  knowledge by  villagers  Total no. of development news  related to the whole news Percentage of development news  related to the whole news
  20. 20. 172 H.E.I. Awad 3.4 Determining sample size In determining the sample size, the researcher considered these major requirements. These were tolerable sampling error, the acceptable confidence level and strict sampling procedures. As the results of this study were not intended for significance deviation valuing in affecting policy changes in a certain segment of society, therefore, a more conservative confidence level of 68% was used. Moreover, as an exploratory study, the researcher was more accommodative to a slightly bigger sampling error of 9.5%. Thus using the formula in determining the sample: 2 ( )(1 ) sd n p p se ⎡ ⎤ = × −⎢ ⎥⎣ ⎦ where n equals sample size, sd is the standard deviators valued at 1.0 for 68% confidence level, se is sampling error of 9.5% which was converted to minus or plus 0.095 (as 100% is converted to volume 1.0), and p is the probability of the measured event occurring, valued at maximum variance of 50% of which the value after conversion is 0.5%. Then, by increasing these values into the formula, the sample size determined: 2 2 10 (0.5)(1 0.5) 0.098 [10.5] (0.5)(0.5) 110.25 0.25 27.6 n ⎡ ⎤ = × −⎢ ⎥⎣ ⎦ = × = × = Since the required sample size was 27.6, the researcher rounded up the number to 28. Thus, 28 issues of the newspaper Almasry Alyoum were selected for this study. 3.5 Probability sampling Under this strict sampling procedure, the researcher used simple random selection within the two month within 2011. After excluding the months and dates of festivities that were celebrated, the ‘normal’ months selected were October and November of 2011. This study chose the beginning date of 14 October to the end date of 10 November 2011, whereby 28 issues of the newspaper that fell within those dates were selected as samples. 4 Research findings 4.1 Almasry Alyoum size and content Almasry Alyoum is a broadsheet daily newspaper distributed nationwide. Its average daily circulation is 192.000 copies. The newspaper has 16 pages and sometimes 20 pages. Each page of Almasry Alyoum has 1,820 square centimetres of printed area.
  21. 21. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 173 4.2 Average daily printed area and breakdown between news and development news As shown in Table 4 and Figure 2, the total area for all issues, 22 issues were 29,120 cm2 and the other six issues were 36,400 cm2 , with average 30,680. The researcher found that this increase due to the increasing numbers of the advertisement. For the total advertisements area, the highest number is 12,771cm2 , whiles the lowest number is 1,220. And the average of total issues is 5,738 cm2 . For total news area, the highest number in the total news area in one issue from the all issues (28 issues) is 28,908 cm2 , the lowest number in one issue is 20,679cm2 , and the average of all issues is 24,942cm2 . Table 4 Total areas and percentages of advertisements, news, and development news Type of area Total issues’ area by cm2 Average (per issue) Percentage of the total issues’ area % The whole issue 859,040 30,680 100% Advertisement 160,670 5,738 18.7% All news items 698,370 24,941 80.7% Development news 5,032 180 .60% Figure 2 The percentage of average total news and average total advertisements (see online version for colours) 4.3 Comparison between all news and development news As shown in Figure 3, of the total 3,274 news items reported in the 28 issues of the newspaper analysed, there were only 30 news dedicated to development news which represented 0.91% of the total.
  22. 22. 174 H.E.I. Awad Figure 3 Number of total news related to total development news (see online version for colours) Refereeing to Table 5, total development news area; there were 11 issues without any development news at all. And the total area of development news was 5,032 cm2 , the highest area for development news for one issue was 683 cm2 , the lowest area was 50 cm2 . And the average of development news in one issue (regarding to the 28 issues) is 180 cm2 . Table 5 Total area and numbers of dev. news in all issues No. of total dev. news in all issues and total area Issues without dev. news Highest area in one issue for dev. news Lowest area in one issue for dev. news Average area for dev. news in one issue 30 (5,032 cm2 ) 11 683 cm2 50 cm2 180 cm2 For the total numbers of news, the highest numbers in one issue is 143, the lowest number in one issue is 105, and the average for the all issues is 117. For the total numbers of development news, the highest number in one issue is 4, the lowest is o in 11 issues, and the average of the total issues is 1.07 from the total 28 issues. Regarding the development news, they were 5,032 cm2 from total news area 698,370 cm2 , which represent only 00.72%. The number of total area of the development news which is 180 cm2 on average for every issue by percentage was 0.72%. This number reflects the importance of the development news in the newspaper policy, which appear so low comparing to other news such sports (2 pages in every issues) which is 3,640 cm2 by 12%, and cinema and television programs (1 page in every issue) which is 1,820 cm2 by 6%. 4.4 Positioning and prominence given to development news 4.4.1 Numbers of times development news appeared on the front, back, and inside pages As shown in Figure 4, from 30 development news sampled in the study, only 1 news appeared on front page (3%), 4 news appeared in back page (13%), and 25 news
  23. 23. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 175 appeared in the inside pages (84%), which reflected that the positions given to development news were not the same in its prominence or priority compared with news about sports and arts. Figure 4 Prominence of development news (position by number of news in preferred page) (see online version for colours) 4.5 Prominence given to development news as main page news, secondary news, and filler news As shown in Table 6, from the 30 development news, 10 news appeared as main news on a particular page that represented 34% (main news which appeared in the top of the page and by large font), 17 news as secondary page news represented 56% (secondary news which appeared in the middle of the page by large font), and 3 news were fillers in the page that represent 10% (filler news which is just to fill the free space and always by small font and in between news). Table 6 Prominence of development news (prominence) Prominence No. of main page news No. of secondary page news No. of filler news Development news 10 (33%) 17 (57%) 3 (10%) 4.6 Using coloured photos, black and white photos, or no photo in development news As shown in Figure 7, for using photos with the development news, there were 10 news without photos, and there were 15 news with coloured photos, and 5 news with black and white photos. From the 20 photos in the news, only 5 photos were taken directly from the source of the story, the other 15 photos were just a photo for the auditor or for the authorised person in the government or the authority which the news mentioned.
  24. 24. 176 H.E.I. Awad Figure 7 Prominence of development news by numbers (using photos) (see online version for colours) 4.7 Variety given to the villages’ development news With reference to Table 7 in page 49, out of 12 kinds of development news, only seven were covered, the others were not covered in all 28 issues of the sample, although they are very important news, they are; the news targeting women in village, the news targeting youth in village, news covering sports in village, reports about development program to village, and news or report covering charity work targeting village. The highest number from all kinds of development news related to all issues of the sample was ‘news mentioning notices from government’ of which 7 news (23.5%), then ‘news mentioning government development programme’ with 6 news (20%), and ‘news covering governmental issues related to villages’ with 6 news (20%), ‘news related to general activities in villages’ with 4 news (13.5%), ‘reports from villages’ with 4 news (13.5%), ‘stories from villages’ with 2 news (6.5%), and lastly ‘news (reports) about villagers’ traditions’ comprised of one news (3%). The numbers above showed that the majority of news covered were related to government information, whether they were notice, development programmes or governmental programmes, they appeared in 19 news from the total 30 news (63.5%) and this kind of news were just to inform, especially news on government announcement which were simply reported in the newspaper. The research did not find any kind of educational news in all the 28 issues of the sample. So, the matter of educating Egyptian villagers did not exist in Almasry Alyoum newspaper. The research also found no entertainment news particularly related to Egyptian villagers. So, the development news in the all 28 issues of the sample of this study asserted that this news were only to inform, not to educate or to entertain.
  25. 25. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 177 Table 7 Variety of development news Type of news Total numbers and percentage No photo Coloured photo B&W photo News mentioning government development programmes 6 (20%) 3 3 News mentioning notices from government 7 (23.5%) 3 3 1 News covering governmental issues related to villages 6 (0%) 1 3 2 News related to general activities in villages 4 (13.5%) 2 2 News (reports) about villagers’ traditions 1 (3%) 1 News covering sports activities in villages Stories from villages 2 (6.5%) 1 1 Any reports from villages 4 (13.5%) 1 2 1 News targeting village’s women development News targeting village’s youth development News (reports) about development programmes for Villages News (reports) about academic studies for village development 4.8 The extent of usefulness of the villages’ development news With reference to Table 8 next page, out of 30 development news only 19 news were considered as useful for the villagers. The rest of the news were just information or stories about them but not useful to them. Out of the 11 criteria set by the study to measure the usefulness of the news for villagers, the study found that only six criteria were covered and five were not covered at all, although they were regarded very important such as: development news that offer new methods/techniques of farming, news about small business opportunities for villagers, news about charity work targeting villagers and news about special abilities in the villages. For the development news which offered solutions to villages’ issues, there were only 6 news in that were very clearly written. Then, there were 4 news that covered subsidies, grants and loans, 3 of them were very clear and one is vague. And there were 4 news (reports) that promoted village’s development, only one was very clear, 2 were vague and one was not useful as it did not contain any actionable responses that villagers could act on. Out of these news, only 2 news covered villager’s health programs in a very clear form, and 2 news covered new jobs opportunities for villagers, and they were in a vague form. Lastly, only one news covered education in village in a very clear form.
  26. 26. 178 H.E.I. Awad Table 8 Usefulness of the villages’ development news Extent of usefulness Type of usefulness of the villages’ development news Total numbers Very clear Vague Not useful Development news offer solutions to villages’ issues 6 6 Development news offer new methods/techniques of farming News about subsidies, grants and loans 4 3 1 News about new jobs opportunities for villagers 2 2 News about small business opportunities for villagers News about villager’s health program 2 2 News about education in villages 1 1 News about charity work targeting villages News (reports) promoting village’s development 4 1 2 1 News (reports) about special abilities in villages News (reports) about adults in villages 5 Conclusions and recommendations 5.1 Conclusions After coding all the 28 issues of Almasry Alyoum newspaper and determining the development news and its area, position, prominence, variety and usefulness. The researcher came to the conclusion that: 1 Almasry Alyoum: Concentrated more in disseminating government programs and news, rather than the more useful news like new farming methods and techniques, and new job opportunities, including small and intermediate enterprises. 2 Almasry Alyoum: Paid less focus on useful development news like loans and government subsidies of which only 23% of the total development news was allocated to this. 3 Almasry Alyoum: Carried more news about the 63.5% from all kinds of development news of which a majority of them were less useful to the villagers. It also lacked news about the villagers. 4 Almasry Alyoum: Did not give prominence to rural development news as only 1 news appeared on front page (3%), 4 news appeared on back page (13%), and 25 news appeared on the inside pages (84%). Compared with other kind of news such as sports, leisure, arts and all other entertainment news. 5.2 Recommendations This study mediated that development news related to the Egyptian villages were given low priority by the daily newspaper Almasry Alyoum as less than 1% of all its text area
  27. 27. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 179 was dedicated to such news. This was in sharp contrast as the agricultural sector comprised more than 32% of Egypt’s workforce, and the sector represented more than 20% of the country total export income. Therefore, it is recommended that: 1 The newspaper should give more prominence and more attention for rural villages’ development news which should be integrated in its annual plan apportioning a bigger percentage of its coverage in order to play its role to develop the nation. 2 In order to enhance the villages’ participation in development to a greater level, it is recommended that the government of Egypt should concentrate more on the role of communication for development. The government can inject projects including communication staff and budget funds assigned to communication activities in particular and it can fulfil the lack of trained communicators for development. 3 Also, it is recommended for academic institutes and faculties of communication and media studies to add a special academic program for communication development, concentrating on mass media development. 4 Lastly, the government should allocate research grants for researchers to evaluate the role, function and effectiveness of the mass media in disseminating development news to the rural farmers. References About Us (2011) Available at http://www.almasryalyoum.com/ (retrieved on 19 December 2011). Aly, R. (2011) Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic Future, available at http://www.arabmediasociety.com/?article=771 (retrieved on 20 December 20). Burton, G. (2005) Media and Society, Critical Perspective, McGraw-Hill, England. Chandra, R. (2004) Communication Media and Social Changes, p.215, p.217, p.245, p.246, p.247, p.267, p.268, Isha Book, India. De Burgh, H. (Ed.) (2005) Making Journalists, Diverse Models, Global Issues, p.9, p.58, p.212, p.221, Routledge, UK. De Goshie, J. (1985) Mass Media and National Development: A Content Analysis of a Nigerian Developmental Television Drama Series, ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’, p.16, p.18, p.27, p.34, p.123, Ohio University, USA. Devereux, E. (2007) Understanding the Media, p.12, Sage Publications, UK. Egypt Profile (2001) United Nations Development Programs, available at http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/media/chaptertwo.pdf (retrieved on 22 December 2011). Egypt Profile (2011a) United Nations Development Programs, available at http://www.hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/EGY.html (retrieved on 18 December 2011). Egypt Profile (2011b) The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), available at http://www.egypt.unfpa.org/english/Staticpage/54790f72-6e8b-4f77-99e2- 4c5b78c20d5c/indicators.aspx (retrieved on 18 December 2011). Egypt Profile (2011c) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), available at http://www. http://www.egypt.unfpa.org/english/Staticpage/54790f72-6e8b-4f77-99e2- 4c5b78c20d5c/indicators.aspx (retrieved on 18 December 2011). Ferguson, D.L.et al. (2004) Journalism Today, p.5, McGraw-Hall, USA.
  28. 28. 180 H.E.I. Awad Fielder, K. (2007) Social Communication: Frontiers of Social Psychology, p.108, Psychology Press, UK. Foreman, G. (2010) The Ethical Journalist: Making Responsible Decisions in the Pursuit of News, p.38, Willey Blackwell, UK. Hasim, M.S. et al. (1998) Mass Media and National Development: Experiences of Malaysia and Uzbekistan, p.22, p.45, ICMS, KL, Malaysia. Haynes, J. (2008) Development Studies: Short Introduction, p.98, Polity Press, UK. Kolkin, D. and Tyner, K. (1991) Media & You, p.38, Strategic Media Literacy Inc., California. USA. Martin, S.E. and Copeland, D.A. (2003) The Function of Newspapers in Society, p.27, p.49, p.88, p.198, p.231, p.234, Praeger, UK. Midgley, J. (1999) Social Development: The Developmental Perspective in Social Welfare, p.78, Sage Publications, UK. Nneji, E.E. (2002) Mass Media and Modernity in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Study of Communication and Development, p.9, University of South Carolina, USA. Rayner, P. et al. (2004) As Media Studies: The Essential Introduction, p.89, Routledge, UK. Reinard, J.C. (2007) Introduction to Communication Research, p.169, p.171, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, USA. Schramm, W. (1964) Mass Media and National Development, p.67, p.156, p.169, p.212, p.227, Stanford University Press, USA. Seetharam, M. (1990) Citizen Participation in Rural Development, Mittal Publication, India. Shalaby, M. (1950) Rural Reconstruction in Egypt, p.7, Egyptian Association for Social Studies, Cairo. Singha Roy, D.K. (Eds.) (2001) Social Development and the Empowerment of Marginalised Groups: Perspectives and Strategies, Sage Publications, New Delhi, India. Sparks, C. (2007) Globalization, Development and the Mass Media, p.45, p.136, p.223, Sage Publications, London, UK. Sparks, G. (2006) Media Effect Research: A Basic Overview, pp.20–21, Thomson Wadsworth, CA. Stovall, J.G. (2005) Journalism; Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, p.178, p.185, p.213, Pearson, USA. United Nation Development Program (UNDP) (2010) Arabian Human Development Report, Cairo. Egypt. United Nations Development Programs (2001) ‘Egypt profile’, available at http://hdr.undp.org/ en/media/chaptertwo.pdf (accessed on 22 December 2011). Wimmer, R. and Dominick, J. (2010) Mass Media Research: An Introduction, pp.35–36, Wadsworth, USA.
  29. 29. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 181 Appendix Sample of content analysis coding sheet area and percentage Almasry Alyoum daily newspaper Date of issue_______________2011 Numbers of pages______________ A. Total areas and percentages of advertisements, news, and development news 1 Total area of the whole issue:_______________ cm2 2 Total area of advertisements:________________ cm2 ____________% 3 Total area of news: _______________________ cm2 ____________% 4 Numbers of news items: ___________________ 5 Numbers of development news: _____________ B. Prominence of development news 6 Position: no. of news Front page Back page Inside pages 7 Prominence: no. of news 8 Main page news Secondary news Filler news Total areas and percentages of advertisements, news, and development news Type of area Total of area by cm2 Percentage of the area % The whole issue Advertisement All news items Development news Numbers and percentage of development news regarding to the whole news Type of news Numbers Percentage % Total news of the issue Development news in the issue Variety of development news Type of news No. of news No photo Colour photo B&W photo News mentioning government development programmes: News mentioning notices from government: News covering governmental issues related to villages: News related to general activities in villages News (reports) about villagers’ traditions:
  30. 30. 182 H.E.I. Awad Variety of development news (continued) Type of news No. of news No photo Colour photo B&W photo News covering sports activities in villages: No. of stories from villages: No. of reports from villages: No. of news targeting village’s women development: No. of news targeting village’s youth development: No. of news (reports) about development programs for villages: No. of news (reports) about academic studies for village development: Usefulness of the villages’ development news Does development news offer solutions to villages’ issues: Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Does development news offer new methods of farming: Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are ther any news about subsidies, grants and loans? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news about new jobs opportunities for villagers Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there news about small business opportunities for villagers? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news about villager’s health programme? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news about education in villages? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news about charity work targeting villages? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news (reports) promoting village’s development? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news (reports) about special abilities in villages? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful Are there any news (reports) about adults in villages? Yes No If yes: It is very clear Vague Not useful
  31. 31. The role of the daily newspaper ‘Almasry Alyoum’ 183 Prominence of development new (position) Position No. in front page No. in back page No. in inside pages Development news Prominence of development new (prominence) Prominence No. of main page news No. of secondary page news No. of filler news Development news Variety of development news Type of news Total numbers No photo Coloured photo B&W photo News mentioning government development programmes News mentioning notices from government: News covering governmental issues related to villages News related to general activities in villages: News (reports) about villagers’ traditions: News covering sports activities in villages Stories from villages Any reports from villages News targeting village’s women development News targeting village’s youth development News (reports) about development programmes for villages News (reports) about academic studies for village development Usefulness of the villages’ development news Extent of usefulness Type of usefulness of the villages’ development news Total numbers Very clear Vague Not useful Development news offer solutions to villages’ issues Development news offer new methods/techniques of farming News about subsidies, grants and loans News about new jobs opportunities for villagers News about small business opportunities for villagers
  32. 32. 184 H.E.I. Awad Usefulness of the villages’ development news (continued) Extent of usefulness Type of usefulness of the villages’ development news Total numbers Very clear Vague Not useful News about villager’s health programme News about education in villages News about charity work targeting villages News (reports) promoting village’s development News (reports) about special abilities in villages News (reports) about adults in villages Total numbers and percentage of all issues No Total area Ads News area Dev. news area No. of total news No. of dev. news % of dev. news to total news 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

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