AUDIENCE PERCEPTION AND OPINION FORMATION ON THE POTENCY OF PRINT MEDI…
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
A newspaper house is a vital organization established to publish newspaper on a regular and periodic basis Obasi, F. (2011). Newspaper according to section 2 of the newspaper Act of 1958 is defined as any paper containing public news intelligence or any remark, observation and comment there on printed for sale and published in Nigeria periodically or in part or number, but does not include any newspaper published by or under the authority of the government.
Basically, newspaper is a vital tool of communication As a medium of communication therefore, newspaper perform all the basic traditional functions of communication which are as follows.
These are not only function of a newspaper as it is also used to champion the course of socio-cultural responsibilities. Some of these socio-cultural responsibilities include the preservation of national values, awareness campaign grassroots development mobilization and opinion expression in forn of open editorials (OPED) among others. Newspaper is also known to be one of the most versatile and potent vehicles for information dissemination Anaeto, S.G., (2009). This is due to the fact that with the advent of newspaper dissemination of information and ideas has become much more rapid thus sensitizing a great number of heterogeneous members of the public to the realities of daily events. Audience perception on the other hand refers to the notion of news papers’ readers. What are readers’ feeling about a particular newspaper? It is however important to know that for any newspaper to do well in discharging its duties, there is a need to know and understand the taste and preference of the target audience. This often important because for any other idea apart from news items which is always in popular demand others such as features, columns cartoons and even editorials, there must be a target audience to warrant production acceptability. It is also essential for a good newspaper to know the size of its target audience in order to plan well its coverage area.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every day, our newsstands are bombarded with different kinds of newspapers. Various newspaper houses are also springing out in Urban cities such as Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin to mention just a few. Also, on daily basis, our local communities are Jamparked with lots of community news papers through, an ever increasing competition for readership among the learned members of the general public in the country. To this end the lay-out, design, copy fitting, headlines casting, news judgement and news composition become object of serious consideration by readers. Not only this, the integrity of a particular newspaper in the area of news reporting, editorial writing, as well as its attitude towards audience plights in addition to the overall quality of the newspaper’s outlook go a long way in determining its audience perception. However, failure of any newspaper editorial board to work effectively in these all important aspects of newspaper will only make its audience to shift to other newspaper considered able in meeting their demands as enumerated above.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is focus on Audience perception and opinion formation on the potency of print media (a case study of Uromi in Essan North East L.G.A, Edo State), this study is set to explain audience perception on the content of news papers.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is basically to know exactly the public perception of the Nigerian print media generally using Nigerian Tribune as case study.
Other objectives o f the research work is as follows;
1. To determine audience preferred aspect of newspapering
2. To determine public-preferred newspaper in Nigeria
3. To know whether there is a need to improve on newspaper production in Nigeria and the areas of such improvement.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions for this project are as follows;
1. How important are newspapers to the people in Uromi in Essan North East?.
2. To what extent do Nigerian print media contribute to socio political and economic achievement of Uromi in Essan North East?
3. Do the print media fufill the journalistic mission of information dissemination ,education and entertainment?
4. Do Nigerian newspapers perform the social responsibility functions of the press?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of print media can be seen through its many forms. Print media is portable, and is available at any time, even when there is no service or power. Many consumers prefer printed material like newspapers and magazines to digital versions. It is visible and accessible even though sharing digital media is both faster and easier because there is no need for special keywords or account information to access print media. Print media is long-lasting; it can’t be deleted. It is also seen as being professional, and that professionalism allows for print media to achieve a credibility that is difficult to achieve in digital media. Consumers also have more trust in print media over digital media, as of 2015. Print media can be informative, as it allows companies that want to push a sale onto potential customers to do so in a variety of printed forms, such as brochures and color sales fliers. Print media also helps a company build its image, because lasting photographs of the product or service the business offers can enhance the consumer’s impression of the product.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
AUDIENCE PERCEPTION: Audience perception on the other hand refers to the notion of news papers’ readers.
NEWSPAPER: This is an unbounded publication that is published on a regular basis containing a variety of reading matters and if often supplemented with pictures.