Access to and Usage of Information among Rural Communities: a Case Study of Kilosa District Morogoro Region in Tanzania
AbstractThe study investigated how rural communities in Kilosa District of Morogoro region in Tanzania accessed and used information. Specifically the study identified the information needs of rural people; determined the factors influencing the choice of information sources; and the appropriateness of the information sources basing on usefulness and preference. Three divisions were involved in the study area, choice of the study area was based on the availability of multiple information sources/channels information seekers could consulted. Simple random sampling technique was employed in selecting villages to be investigated and respondents to be interviewed. Findings showed that almost all people needed information of all types. Most of the information needed related to day to day problems. Information was accessed mainly through radio, television sets, newspapers and magazines, and also through cell phones and face to face communication. Choice of information sources was influenced by the respondents’ level of education, income, sex, age, occupation and distance from the information seeker’s residence to the information sources. Findings showed further that people accessed and used information for solving day to day problems and for leisure purposes. The study recommends that it is important to have frequent rural information needs assessments before providing information services to rural areas. Information providers should repackage information in appropriate forms suitable for rural communities. Moreover, radio and television stations should have enough rural related programmes which should be broadcasted during appropriate time.
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