Audience responses to a film in rural Zimbabwe

Kimani Gecau
2001 Journal of Social Development in Africa  
Though development communication has been theorized about and practised in African countries since the late 1950s and more so after independence, there has not been a consistent effort to continuously review it in the light of advances in general research on media and communication. One aspect of the communication process which has received attention -and also raised debate and controversy -is the issue of what audiences do with the media products (or texts) which they are exposed to and how
more » ... posed to and how far their social and cultural context affects their engagement with media products. For development communicators this aspect is of particular importance since they expect that their. messages will influence the audience in some way. In the introductory section this paper argues that there are links between the theories of development, development communication and audience studies. The main body of the paper discusses a study done in 1997 on the reactions of audiences to a "development" film in rural Zimbabwe. Such a once-off study, as the paper argues, cannot yield conclusive results. However the virtue of such a study is to point at possibilities of other such studies in the future which should also help in theory building based on our own empirical experiences.
doi:10.4314/jsda.v16i1.23866 fatcat:u4a2dqbgajcb3bl52ao56scmni