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  • Background of the study

Media are the major source of factual information, opinion and analysis. They impact knowledge, influence the understanding of issues by their readers and may also act as advocates for the recipients of news items. Newspapers are less likely to therefore grab attention on low salience stories unless presented in a manner designed to attract attention (Neumann 1992).

This is so because the media in its entities could be said to have audience, depending on the type of outfit involves as explained by Ndolo (2001:5-6).

The Nigeria media audience is large and diverse: 130- 140 million people, over 250 hostel ethnic groups: over 250 mutually unintelligible languages made more complex by over 100 dialects, two major antagonistic religions: 70 percent of Nigerians are rural dwellers , illiterates by western standards and live in less than N 125 per day.

Public health for the purpose of this study includes health promotion and primary health care as major component. Many public health issues may be seen as poor attention grabbers but are not less important for general population. Much of the determinants of personal health status lie within the control of individuals including issues of life-style nutrition, consumption of alcohol and tobacco produces such behavior  may be modified through health promotion activities  and  incorporate the effect on others such as immunization of children. How these issues are presented in the print media can influence the response by individuals and the subsequence effects on their health status. Wright (1990:17) is of the view that it is the entire process of occupation of conduction a news medium including  structures, polices, content, writing editing publishing and broadcasting that is known for journalism therefore Journalist has many responsibilities to the moral ecology of our nation. It is the muscle ligaments and sinew of the democratic society. Those involved in these operations, correspondents, columnists, news hawks, newshounds, paragraphs, stringers, news managers and others qualified gentlemen of the press.

The press plays an important role in building our nation. Then any newspaper that is involved must be rich in its content. Contents found in Nigeria newspaper are not just fabricated. They are derived from authentic sources. Readers need to be informed about current issues in the society. These current issues are related in different aspects mostly when considering the type of audience being function of a newspaper is to carry news. It educates the readers of what is happening in the world including the country, the state, the town or the city, and the locality.

Under frequency of publication, newspaper can be classified in to daily and weekly newspaper, because a true newspaper as has been stated earlier should be published at intervals of not more than once a week. Such newspaper should contain health columns in order to help readers make seen of many products, claims and studies that emerge daily through lively, sometime humorous but always rigorously researched stories to separate the truth from the haft-truth, to help people make smarter  health care choices for them serves and their families.

Reporting news from different format has been the primary function of the newspaper. through the health columns, the newspaper has been able to report significant  social and political developments, has acted as a forum for various viewpoint in the social relevant to particular groups of readers, are daily independent, daily sun, the guide, the daily champion etc.

1.2   Statement of the problem

Even though health columns have always appeared in pioneer and sensor newspaper, its emphases have not been pronounced.

This study therefore seeks to highlight more on the topical issues in order to suggest good write-up of health columns so as to attract readers.


1.3   Objective of the study

The objective of the study for research intend to:

  1. Find out the readership that exists between health columns and newspaper readers.
  2. Assess the level of readership of health columns by newspaper readers
  3. Find out which of the dailies is said to be popular as regards to health columns for readership.
  4. Suggest more varieties of health columns in order to attract it newspaper readers.

1.4   Research questions

The research questions formulated is:

  1. What is the relationship that exists between health columns and newspaper readership?
  2. What is the level of readership of health columns by newspaper readers?
  3. Which of the dailies (that is) pioneer and sensor is to be popular as regards to health columns for readership?
  4. What are the verities of health columns that attract newspaper readers?

1.5   Significant of the study

Awareness in respect of a particular issue of the press is very vital. The study is significant to because it could be viewed very significant to newspapers readers. The study will lay emphasis on health columns to newspaper readers that might seem not to have ever developed interest.

It is therefore believed the after the execution of this study, students of mass communication department who are the core recipients, media expects mostly those in the print sector to find this study very significant.

1.6   Delimitation of the study

The boundaries of the study are pioneer and sensor newspaper on health columns and newspaper readership.

1.7   Limitation of the study

The researcher met with some difficulties such as lack of funds, time constraint and challenge in locating the newspaper concerned.


1.8   Definitions of terms

The researcher defined some key terms. There are:

Health: is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans, it is the ability of individual or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social challenge.

(WHO) The World health Organization defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Columns: is a recurring piece or article in a newspaper, magazine or other publication and are written by “columnists” e.g. Food columns, Health columns, Sport columns, Gossip columns, Fashion columns, Feature columns etc.

Newspaper: a printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, articles advertisement, and correspondence.

Readership: the readers of newspaper, magazine or books regarded collectively.


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