Mass Media Preference Among Students

Mass Media Preference
Mass Media Preference
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Mass Media Preference



The term mass media preference is often used is discussing how people use the various organs of mass media and interpersonal communication. To further explain this. It is necessary to explain mass communication.

The question “WHAT IS MASS COMMUNICATION?, communication has been going on in Nigeria prior to the evolution of mass media, the various communities within the country have formalized way of communicating among their members. Apart from the seemingly natural personal conservation, a completing developed system of “oral media”  Frank Ugboaja (1987) has been in place. This system with variations in the different societies Oiled the wheel of communal progress and subsist even till today.

The modern means of communication is known as mass communication which can be defined as “a system of communication whereby message are being dispersed to a heterogeneous audience simultaneously.” This communication systems uses various media like radio. Television, newspaper able network, magazine etc.

This study will look into the audience related factors and how they influence he mass media preference among students for instance socio-economic factors example age, soci-education level, income, occupation and socio-psychological factors for instance life style and personality and mass media usage.


Drawing largely from the uses and gratification perception in mass communication research it is founded on some basic assumptions. They include the fact that some audience of a given medium of communication is selection among the various items of he content McQuail (1987). The  reason for media usage as  Katz et al (1974) indication can be found in social and psychological circumstances that posses as problems for which eventual media use result in their solution.

The uses ad gratification perspective in communication research ae out of the realization that the audience of mass communication are not passive recipients of it’s contents Blumber (1979). The approach argues that the audience rather than being passive are active, possessing particular needs and knowingly selecting communication channels and message most likely to fulfill their needs Lometh, reeves and Bybee (1979).

The evolution of the approach resulted in a Plethola of students al seeking to explain the uses which audience members put the media to. Most of the studies done in the past five decades can be categorized under three main groups.

  1. Those pertaining satisfactions derived or looked for from mass media content.
  2. Those that concentrate on the origin of underlying needs and predication.

iii.                                        Those that show evidence of the origin and  consequences gratification sought from the mass media McQuail (1971).

Most studies however, has been on the first category. even in Africa research efforts had been concentrated on the using the uses and gratification paradigm to determine if Africa audience  patterns of media use are similar  to that of western  counterparts. They have in essence been confined to inscribing the satisfaction derive or looked for from mass content.

The uses which the audience put mass media to or the needs that mass communication can satisfy vary individual to individual because people have different values, attitudes and interest they will make different uses of the media or prefer different media channels. however, most of  the past studies have resulted in a crystallization of the uses which people put the media to McQuail (1987) organized the uses write from typologies.

  1. Information: findings out about relevant events and conditions in immediate surrounding society and the world.
  2. Seeking advices on practical matters on opinion and decision choices.
  3. Satisfying the curiosity and general interest
  4. Learning self education
  5. Gaining sense of security through knowledge.
  6. Personal identity
  7. Finding reinforcement for personal values
  8. Finding model of behaviour
  9. Identifying with values others in the media
  10. Gaining insight into one’s self

iii.        Integration and social interaction

  1. Gaining insight into circumstances of others
  2. Identifying with others and gaining senses of belonging.
  3. Finding basis for conversation and social interaction
  4. Having substitute for real life companionship
  5. Helping to carryout social roles
  6. Enabling one to connect with family friends and society
  7. Entertainment
  8. Escaping or being diverted for problem
  9. Relaxing
  10. Getting intrinsic cultural or aesthetic  enjoyment
  11. Filling time
  12. Emotional release
  13. Sexual aroused

Since the uses of media among he audiences  have listed above. This study will now go into in-depth analysis about all the factors contributing to mass media preferences, t will look into the media channels in Nigeria, how they are utilized and factors affecting their utilization.

1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Little or no effort was made in the past on mass media preferences including audience analysis and the communication behaviour of audience with references to variable like sociological  and psycho-graphic background.

The research will look into the media use patters in Nigeria; how the students are influenced in selection of media channels the various media channels and their usage and how various physiological and psychological factors affects or  influence students in their media preferences.

The media channels in Nigeria vary from organs of mass communication, prior to the evolution of the mass media in the various communities within the country had formal ways fo communication among their members. Apart from seemingly natural conversation a completely developed system of “oral media” has been in is not uncommon even in a supposedly get age, to see a whole vollage summoned to a meeting at the sound  of gong.

The modern means of communication kicked off in Nigeria in (1859) with the publication of newspaper “Iwe-Irohin” by revered Henry Towsend. Beginning with a religion coloration ,newspaper have passed through pre-colonial and pact-colonial phases an have gradually matured into economy. Beginning with religion collimation Iwe Irohim turned out to the student nationalist agitation of the colonial period.

Today, there are about 30 to 50 daily and weekly newspapers respecting in Nigeria. The magazine was relatively developed latter than the newspaper, magazine journalism in Nigeria can only be said to have solidly taken off with the establishment of news watch magazine in (1985).

The birth of news watch had catepultic on all forms of news orientated magazine just as that of prime people similarly have for human angle magazine. Today. Magazine readers in Nigeria have various accesses to a multiplicity of diverse magazines offering a broad range of fares.

Radio broadcasting dates back to December 19, 1932 when the British broadcasting corporation (BBC) set up an experimental radio receiving station in Lagos to pick up the short wave transmissions of the empire service from deventry. The Nigeria post and telegraphs department was directed to work out of a method of distributing programs to subscribers in Lagos., Ibadan and Kano. This services was to operate in conjustion with the empire broadcasting services. This method called radio distribution services or rediffusion was based on piping programme originated from BBC in London.

1956, the Nigeria broadcasting commission was inaugurated under degree 39 of 1956. The sole responsibility  of the NBC is to provide independent and impartial broadcasting services. They help in the provision or engage in unprejudicial presentation of ministerial speeches, speeches from various political parties on drives controversial views other than political views and the presentation of religion thought.

On June 1978, NBC was abolished by degree 8 of 11978 and replaced by radio corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), the FRCN is a public corporation under the ministry of information. it is a political institution that can be manipulated  for social, ethical and political whims .it has it’s office all over the federation. Today in Nigeria, each state can boast of their own radio broadcasting system. Federal government got ground toe establish its on television services (NTS) in the partnership with the NBC, then late each state developed their own television system.

Put together the power of mass media derives largely from their ability to teach massive audience which can be made up to millions of people.


Mass communication s agent of socialization depends mainly on audience be able to create it’s impact thus, the major concern or primary function of this study is the question of audience factors and how they determine mass media preference especially among our students. This study have gone a long way to explain who on media audience are, and the level of impact they have on mass communication.

Understanding media audience is very difficult but this study have been able to list and describe the characteristics of mass communication audience, recognized the effect of mass media on audience.

I Nigeria today, most mass media organization know little or nothing about their audience thus such station executive or programme planners package without considerating their audience taste, this mainly results in failure of such  programme on he organization losing their audience, this situation can put mass media organization out of business especially under private media system.

This study therefore sets out to address the problem of the relationship between audience preferences of some kind of media  channels  same demographic factors such as sex, age, level of education and socioeconomic status manifest in the population under study. This study verified each group and why they prefer each channel.

1.3              OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The primary objective of this study is to study audience characteristics and how they influence mass media preferences.

The process  of mass communication considered with regards to its potential solution of the contemporary realities of the recipient attention..

This study aims therefore to show the audience /recipient as a potential active partner in the process of mass communication. Based on the following rational objectives of the study, this study aims, at:-

  1. Findings out if the gratification derived from listening or paying attention to a particular mass media channel is primary motive for preferring such medium.
  2. Finding out the extent to which the content of media or newspaper programme influence audience preference.
  3. Finding out if a persons level of education influence his media preference
  4. Finding out if socio-economic status affects media preference in students. For example, the amount of money one have, life style.
  5. Finding out if students listen or patronize the media more than other group of people outside.


The result of this study will help various angles that make up mass communication network.

To media planners, the result will help them in programming effective and efficiency for different sociological groups in general especially the students. This will enable them direct their messages at the target by fitting the contents of the needs of various audiences segmented by demographic and psychographics variables.

Advertisers will equally use this result to time their audience and satisfy them. This will equally help the scholars and media critics to provide a general framework across media comparison based on users reaction rather than biased claims by the media organizations.

This work will add to the existing work in mass communication and act as a ban for other researchers to continue their findings under mass media preferences. His will equally help an analyst and lecturers and media organization immensely.

Generally, this work will promote mass media patronage and help on different mass media organization.

1.5              RESEARCH QUESTION

This study unveils the relationship between audience and how it determines their mass media preferences. In conceptualizing the idea of this study various questions that comes from research and objectives of the study are follows:

  1. To what extent does educational level of students of IMT affect their mass media preference
  2. To what extent does income. Fiancé affect mass media preference.
  3. To what exeunt does IMT students read papers than watch television.
  4. To what extent does Nigeria students prefer listening to radio than other mass media channel.

1.6              RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The research intends to test the following hypothesis

Hypothesis one

Hi: The educational level of IMT students affects their mass media preference.

Ho: The educational level of IMT students do not affects their mass media preference

Hypothesis two

H2: The finance level of students of IMT affects their mass media preference.

Ho: The finance level of students do not IMT affects their mass media preference.

Hypothesis three

H3:  Students of  IMT prefer the readership of papers to watching television

Ho:  Students of  IMT do not  prefer the readership of papers to watching television

Hypothesis four

H4: Students of IMT prefer listening to radio to any other mass media channel.

Ho: Students of IMT do not prefer listening to radio to any other mass media channel

1.7              Definition of terms

Conceptual definition

The following keys in the study are hereby defined:

  1. Level of education: the amount of systematic or formal training one acquired
  2. Mass media audience: The involves people that listen or exposed themselves to mass media.
  3. Mass media: This includes newspaper, television, radio, magazine to mention but a few which are used for dissemination and transmission of information to heterogeneous audience.
  4. Mass media channel: Oxford Advanced English Dictionary define mass media channel as the course through which information, news messages to like passes” media  channel can also defined as the means by which information passed to reach heterogeneous audience simultaneously.
  5. Mass media preference: favour one media channel more than other
  6. Newspaper: A publication printed and issued daily, weekly or monthly and contains features opinion and advertisement.
  7. Socio-economic status: A person’s social standard. It also refers to income level of the person who is sponsoring the mass media.
  8. Television: Apparatus for showing and receiving pictures about events or plays. That is the sending of pictures from a distance and the reproduction of them on a screen.
  9. Gratification: state of being pleased or satisfied. That is  the number of times mass media programme satisfies the students.
  10. Media content: that which is contained in the media message that is the substance or essential meaning of media message.
  11. Degree of usage: this intensity or regularity of usage of mass media that is radio, television or newspaper.
  12. Student: one who studies especially at university or college.


  1. Level of education: This highest educational attainment of student of IMT are classified as follows SSCE, (GCE) OND, (NCE) HND.
  2. Mass media audience: The number of people who patronize the mass media.
  3. Mass media: In this context, mass media refers to the use of radio, television, satellite, newspaper, magazine etc. to disseminate information among our student.
  4. Mass media channel: This refers to the course or way through which information, ideas reach to the students of IMT.
  5. Mass media preference: This refers to the number of students who likes to be exposed to ether radio, television and satellite.
  6. Newspaper: In this research work means all types of newspaper like daily times, guardians, concord this day, guardians, vanguard etc. the student of IMT reads
  7. Radio: medium for transmitting message other stunets of IMT Enugu.
  8. Socio- economic status: Income level of the person who is sponsoring the students. it can be classified as very low, moderate, low, high and very high.
  9. Television: the sending of picture from a distance and the reproduction of them on a screen.
  10. Gratifications: The number of times mass media programme satisfied the student.
  11. Media content: the number of programmes contained in various mass media channel any particular
  12. Degree of usage: number of times the student devotes to usage of mass media every day.
  13. Student: number of people that go to school at IMT and listen as well to mass media.

1.9              ASSUMPTIONS

This study based on the following assumption. It is assumed that quite some reasonable number of students of IMT devote their time or entertain themselves with radio, television, magazine, newspaper or even watching satellite.

That most these students are intelligent and have basic primary school background.

Tat quite some number of these students have enough money to purchase any mass media gadget.

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