n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Communication with communities : a South African experience

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



In spite of the conventional wisdom stated by various authors that 'we are living in the information age' - a communication era characterised by a global expansion in the reach of mass media and electronic information 'superhighways' that span the globe - it is clear that there is growing realisation that it is still difficult to reach and communicate with rural communities in South Africa. The main aim of this article is therefore to examine the application of development communication theories in practice when communicating with communities in the Third World. In this article I argue that the viability of and prospects for effective communication with communities depend on three interrelated aspects. Firstly, the viability and prospects depend on current theoretical trends or approaches in development communication, because at the root of development communication - regardless of how this concept is defined - lies the issues of a structured and theoretical approach to community communication which are determined by current trends. Secondly, and crucial to the viability and prospects of community communication, is the question of which development communication methods or media to apply at the various stages of communication to reach the different target audiences. Thirdly, the viability and prospects for successful community communication will be influenced by an integrated approach to the application of development communication methods and media in development communication programmes or strategies.

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