A typical rural community in Africa is an area that has less development as urban areas and is often separated from the densely populated cities poor urban areas especially due to absence of basic amenities and infrastructures. The rural community is not as densely populated as urban community, and people live together in a system of communal existence, often bonded by common features such as culture, relationships, religion, genealogy, association,among others. So a rural area is simply less developed, and less attractive than the urban area.
A rural community newspaper is a publication owned and operated by people in the rural community. This is a newspaper basically committed to serving the information needs of a particular community. It a publication characterized by community ownership, access, participation, dominance of local content and targeted at development of rural audience members.
A rural community newspaper is a communication tool at the fore front of mobilizing the rural populace for participation in the political process and other development purposes. A community newspaper carries the readers (particular rural dwellers) along by providing assurance and a feeling of being part and parcel of the community. Through its contents, the rural community newspaper creates platform for people to relate in a positive way so as to reap the benefits of communal living. With specific reference to rural development programmes, the rural community newspaper plays essential role in increasing the awareness of rural dwellers and convincing them to adopt recommended ideas, technologies, practices and strategies. This is how a rural community newspaper plays its rural mobilization function.
Rural community newspaper is a regular publication for a community. It could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly. It is a newspaper that primarily focuses on the coverage of issues, events and developments in a specific rural community. The newspaper is part of the community or is perceived so by people in that community. It is a very good channel for meaningful practice of rural journalism. The journalists working in a rural community newspaper basically live in that community or identify strongly with people in that community through certain communal bonds and shared expectations. This makes it easy for such reporters to understand the basic news needs of that community with a view to writing to appeal to the target audience.
One thing you should note is that rural community newspaper is an “of the people, by the people, for the people” publication. This means that the rural journalists reporting for the newspaper are part of the community, the content of the newspaper primarily focuses on the community, then the community members also constitute a major target audience, whether they are living in the community or in the city. In Nigeria for instance, most people who dwell in rural communities have their relations living in the city. Those community members in the diaspora are also interested in what happens in their community or how what happens across the nation affects their community. That is why the online version of a rural community newspaper is also crucial to the success of the publication. You can reach a larger audience base through the online rural community newspaper. Members of the targeted community across the world can always browse to read the online edition to keep abreast of what happens in their village.