NEWSPAPERS READING HABIT OF FEMALE STAFF OF NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY
The study was focused on readership habit of female staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi. The survey research method was adopted, and the researcher obtained a sample of 288 from the population of the study from whom data were obtained and analyzed. Data collected were presented in table and analyzed in simple percentage findings revealed that, most female staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, read newspaper occasionally. The researcher concludes based on the findings that the newspaper reading habit of the respondents is low. The researcher recommends that the management of the institution should endeavour to expand the subscription for national newspapers.
1.1 BACKGROUD OF THE STUDY
Newspaper readership studies do perhaps seem to be confined to an observe corner of extent literatures. This probably many be as a result of the assumption that almost everybody reads newspapers for clear reasons; therefore, doing a newspapers readership study to ascertain how frequently, newspapers are read, why they are read and preference for a particular newspapers to the other appear rather to easy to deal with. However most researchers seem to concern themselves with matters of newspapers coverage of events in the society. As elementary as newspapers readership studies may appear to be, their centrality as forming sound foundation upon which further studies are built cannot be exaggerated (Layefa et al, 2016).
Readership studies, besides being the hub of further studies function as a key marketing tools. Advertisers probably would prefer a newspapers of wider coverage with a wider readership reach. Evidently, newspapers readership tends to indirectly influence the what and why of coverage of news events; for reporters, editors give space for events they know would be of interest to the readers. Oloruntola cited in Morka & Orukamayan, (2015) states that news should not only be in an absolute sense of being news, it should be the sort of news that the reader of the paper will likely want to read, a newspapers that satisfies the curiosity or readers is mot likely to be preferred to others.
There are plethora of newspapers researches; a greater percent bordering on newspapers coverage, ownership influence, and editorial readership. But none of those studies ever touched on newspapers reading habit among female civil servant. Therefore this study is different from existing ones in that it centers on newspapers reading habit among female staff in Tertiary institution.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Newspapers are known for the provision of up-to-date information on local, state, national and international events. Newspapers often contain current and interesting information meant for the reading pleasure of the vast majority readers in all walks of life. As an important print medium of mass communication, newspapers provide the most current analysis, debate and criticism of socio-political, economic health and a host of other issue as information, education and entertainment of the readers. The newspapers is no doubt, one of the most widely-read periodicals available and accessible to all on daily basis in print and electronic versions.
However evidence from large body of empirical literature suggest that newspapers readership is on the decline. Dominick (2002, P.14) notes that newspapers readership has been declining over the last couple of years. Udie (2002,p.100) also reports that the frequencies of newspapers readership among Nigerian youth is less then 50%. Biag. (2003,p.83) states that since the 1970s the overall number of newspapers has declined due to non readership.
Therefore, the problem of this study is to ascertain newspapers readership habit of female staff of tertiary institutions, with particular focus on Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital-Nnewi; Anambra State.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to know the newspapers reading habit of female staff of Nanamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital.
However the specific objectives are as follows:
- To determine the pattern of newspapers readership among female staff of NAUTH
- To ascertain the newspapers need most by the female staff.
- To identify the uses female staff of NAUTH put newspapers into.
- To ascertain the reasons for preference for a particular newspapers among female staff of NAUTH.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the research objectives, the researcher proposed the following research questions.
– What is the pattern of newspapers readership habit of female staff of NAUTH?
– What is the newspapers read most by female staff of NAUTH?
– What uses do female staff of NAUTH put newspaper into
– What are the reasons for the preference for a particular newspaper to the others among female staff of NAUTH?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The result of this study will help editors of different newspapers to know the demography of their audience with the result obtained they will know what material to retain or remove from their newspaper content. The work also help newspapers to have better information characteristics of their audience and also what factors influence the preference of one particular newspaper over the other it will equally help newspaper house to learn what cause about shift in interest in certain category of their reading audience.
It will equally help editors to and publishers to know the psychological disposition their audience towards certain information.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study is focused on the topic; newspapers reading habit of female staff of Tertiary Institutions a study of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital. The study area is limited to specified area only. The choice of area was the researcher’s discretion.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The study would have expended this area of study but due to time limitation as well as high cost the was limited to female staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINATION OF TERMS
Newspaper: The printed decides e.g Punch, vanguard, guardian etc.
Habit: The level of consumption (e.g daily, weekly, occasional)
Readership: The number or type of readers of a newspaper.
This chapter contains review of relevant literature and discussion of conceptual reviews, it further presents the theorized under pining of the study, and equally review of empirical studies in the areas of newspaper readership habit information were sought from mainly secondary sources such as: books, journals, books of readings, online articles, periodicals and even unpublished academic research works.
2.2 NEWSPAPER AND ITS USEFULNESS IN SOCIETY
Newspaper are defined as written publication containing news, information and advertisements usually printed on low cost paper called news print” (Akobundy, 2009,p.1). it is a printed publication issued at usually, close intervals, especially daily or weekly, consisting of folded unstapled sheets and often containing current news, comment, feature articles, advertising and correspondence Sadman et al cited in Okunila (1999) defines a newspaper as an unbound, printed publication issued at regular intervals, which presents information in words often supplemented with pictures.
Newspaper whether special-interest or general interest provide important and useful/news information to readers. Ronan (2005,p.14) captures the whole essence of newspaper when he asserts that “in every language, the newspaper is irreplaceable primary source for historians of every discipline reinforcing this nation, Nwabueze, Okonkwo and Nweke (2012,p.227) maintains that “newspaper provide excellent memories of a country’s historical events, and landmarks”. They are regular up-to date source of information avoidable to students scholars, administrators, the barely literate and so on who demand for newspapers through self-acquisition, exchange and borrowing from friends, relatives and libraries (Onuwbiko, 2005).
Nakingainda (2007,p.14) avers that “newspaper are sources of textual evidence useful to students, researchers, journalists, administrators, lawyers, politicians and the larger society”. They are carriers of current information (Okunna, 1999) and the oldest and traditionally the most important sources of current information that contain for more news than are available on television or elsewhere (Sandman et.al, cited in Okunna, 1999).
Newspaper stimulate, motivate, inspire, interpret, build, preserve, excite and sometimes disappoint. They archive yesterday chronicle today and periscope the possibility of a brighter tomorrow (Hynds, 1972). Newspaper are, therefore, vital sources of information on which mankind depend for useful daily information on all news fronts.
2.2.1 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Newspaper are periodicals with informative, educative, entertaining and cultural promoting messages. They are usually daily publications, although earlier publications appeared fortnightly in Nigeria. Mac Dougau and Reid (cited in Ogbiten, 2007), see the newspaper as an institution developed by modern civilization to inform and lead public opinion and to furnish that deck upon government which no constitution has been able to provide Groth (cited in Bitner 1989) developed a set of standard that modern scholars generally hold as acceptable criteria for determining a true newspaper Groth’s first standard was that a newspaper must be published periodically of intervals, not less than once a week. Second mechanical reproduction must be employed. Third, anyone who can pay the price must have access to the publication. In other words, it must be available to every one not just a chosen few. No organization can have an exclusive right to read to obtain the publication. Fourth, it must vary in content and include everything of public interest to everyone, not merely to small selected group. Finally, publication must be timely with some continuity of organization. Groth’s set of standard, and in particular, access to publication is not doubt a for ground for readership; for one must have access to a publication before one can read such.
The concept of readership is central to newspaper. Readership is an abstract concept which captures the act of reading. The concept. Though difficult to define, is usually associated with newspaper magazines and all kinds of periodicals. Thus, readership is the number or type of people who read a particular newspaper, magazine Patrick and Melchizedec 92014), see readership as the part of the general public interested in a source of information or entertainment. This perspective of Patrick et al, does somewhat veer away from reading of particular printed periodicals by a number of type of people. The audience dialogue website defines readership as “the number of readers of a newspaper, magazine, etc which can only be assessed by a survey “)Audience Dialogue, 26th June 2006). Bottle PR, a UK based agency established in 2004, defines readership as a general term that refers to the number of people reading a particular publication, including both the individual who purchased the publication and others who have read it (Bottle PR, 8th February 2011). The Huntville Time website defines readership as “the number of adults (18t) in a specified geographical area who “read or looked into the publication yesterday”.
Ogbiten (2007) avers that to most people, heading newspaper has became a habit. For them the newspaper is both for the eyes and the ears. The believe whatever anything they read as the gospel truth. He further avers that the belief in newspaper is so strong that they do not question anything that they read in of the papers. Obviously, the cardinal operational principle of accuracy, truthfulness and balance new reporting might have informed such a belief in newspaper. With the blackmailing type of news reporting, inaccurate news dissemination that is observable in some of the dailies, the belief may gradually be eroding; even though readers still find the newspaper useful in one area or the other (Layefa et al, 2016), in Journal of humanities and social science, P.73).
Berelson (cited in Ogbiten, 2007) found out that readers use newspapers: (i) to get information about and interpretation of public affairs, (ii) as tools for daily living (for example, advertising, radio and movie listening and announcement for births, deaths and weddings, (iii) for relaxation and escape, (iv) for prestige (newspaper content is raw material for conversation (v) for social content (from human interest stories and advice columns.
2.3 REVIEW OF EMPIRICAL STUDIES
Many researches have been undertaken to study newspaper readership among different audiences and in several societies. The work of source of the scholars are reviewed herein. Nwabueze et al (2012) conducted a study title “An analysis of Radio newspaper pattern findings revealed that newspaper deadline review on radio has positive influence on readership pattern as it influence people ot buy and read newspaper.
Simmous (1967) study reported in Linton and Reinhardt (2005) cited in Nwabueze (2012,p.229) reported that newspaper readership in United States since 1967 among different age categories has continued to deadline. The study established declining newspaper readership among people of different age bracket in the United States of America.
Another study mostly of review here is the Latin American kids study (1998,p.9) on newspaper readership among Lafia American kids. Findings of the research equally revealed that a high percentage of Latin American kids read newspapers just once a week.
From the foregoing, there is a research based evidence of declining newspaper readership among people of different backgrounds. However, at present newspaper are available in both hard copy and electronic form and are accessible through the internet using all kinds of devices which are at the disposal of almost every edreatual persons. All these innovations are meant to improve readership of newspapers.
2.4 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Uses and gratification Theory / Dependency theory.
This study was anchored on two theoretical models in communication studies, the theory of uses and gratification theory, media dependency theory. LittleJohn (cited in Ogbiten, 2007) avers that uses and gratification approach focuses on the consumer, the audience rather than the message. “unlike the powerful effects traditions, this approach imagines the audience members to be discriminatory users of the media”. It views the members the audience as actively utilizing media contents rather than being passively acted upon by the media. To him, readers do not pick a newspaper to read without some relative derivative benefits.
Blumler and Katz 9cited in Michael 2014), identifies five ways in which media audience find media content useful. There are; escape, social interaction, identify, information, education and entertainment. As a forum of escapism, media can be an outlet for* the audience to drift away from reality. With regards to social interaction, people relate with the character formed in the media context. In this interaction, they may not realize that they are dealing with an aspect of social interaction that is real. In identification, people are able to associate themselves with media presentation. People also use the media as a source of information when they listen to the news and they can learn some skills from the media. Thus, media is said to be educative, furthermore, media can be a source of entertainment. Uses and gratification theory attempts to explain the uses and functions of the media for individual group, and society in general.
Wimaner and Domick (cited in Santas, 2014) note that uses and gratification try to find out the motivating factors which underline audience use of media contents. They further opine that the theory examines how people use the mass media and the gratifications they derive from media behaviours.
Media Dependency Theory
One other relevant theoretical mode to this study is Media Dependency Theory. It states that audience depends on media information to meet or attain goals. What determines the amount of dependency a person experiences are number of centrality of information functions being served and the social stability. When social changes and conflicts are high, established institutions, beliefs and practices are challenged forcing people to make revelations and choices. As such a time, reliance on the media for information and by extension for enlightenment / education increases. It decreases when social stability is high and change is low (Deghier and Bal-Rokeach, cited in Ogbiten, 2007).
Expanding the scope of media dependency theory, Littlejohn, (cited in Asemah, 2011) notes that people will become more dependent on media that meet a number of their needs than the media that provides only a few one. If a person finds a medium that provides him several functions that are central to his desires, he will be more inclined to continue to use that particular medium in the future. Thus, if radio satisfied more of your needs than other mass communication channels like television, newspaper, magazine, internet, you are likely to depend on it than those their media.
2.5 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEWS
In this chapter, the researcher able to explore and soplicate some of the basic concepts that are kean, to the better understanding of the topic of research.
The research brought to bear the conceptual discourse on “readership” as it pertains newspaper. The researcher equally delved into empirical review of relevant studies done on related topics in order to justify the stated objectives of the study.
Hey work was finally anchored on two theories of mass communications such as uses and gratification / media dependency theories