Audience Perception Of The Punch Newspaper Cartoons

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Audience Perception Of The Punch Newspaper Cartoons


Abstract


Cartoons have more recently become a prominent feature in newspapers. An increasing number of publishers and editors have realised its relevance and are beginning to exploit its full potentials. Despite its usefulness and popularity which is assuming a viral dimension in many media houses, one wonders, as replete and common place as these cartoons are in newspapers, do they command the attention, let alone the readership of the reading audience? Hence, this researcher sought to know the pattern and trend of: Audience perception of The Punch newspaper cartoons: using Caritas University as a study. Employing the survey research method, enabled by administering self administered questionnaires, this study found out that newspaper readership and newspaper cartoon readership is generally high among Caritas respondents. Six out of every ten lecturers read cartoons on a daily basis, while two out of every ten students read cartoons every day.

Cartoon readership decreased as student readers got older. Among the lecturers, readership of cartoons increased with age contrary to findings among students. With the humour and the inherent message being the major reasons why readers read cartoons, it is clear that cartoons are not seen as mere pieces of drawing to make readers laugh, rather it leaves a trail of telltale message in its wake. Even though this study revealed that cartoons are not essentially why people buy newspapers, many newspaper readers do not consider their reading experience complete without reading one or two cartoons. This, perhaps, explains why seven out of every twenty Caritas student reads The Punch newspaper and ten out of every twenty Caritas lecturer reads the same newspaper as revealed by the study. Going by the various findings of this study, more newspapers need to incorporate cartoons into their editorial menu, using it more strategically, appropriately and responsibly. Religion, ethnicity, tribalism, sectionalism and bigotry should be downplayed in cartoons and in fact avoided. The researcher equally lends his voice to the effect that cartoonists should steer clear of issues that can cause libel because libel costs millions.


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