Audience Readership And Perception Towards Newspaper Editorial (A Case Study Of Polytechnic Students)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Audience Readership And Perception Towards Newspaper Editorial (A Case Study Of Polytechnic Students)


Abstract


This topic, Audience Readership and Perception towards newspaper editorial as minor of the newspaper opinion , its great and undying soul and conscience, it also discusses editorial as a comment or opinion of print medium in order to influence a cause or make income. Meanwhile it reflects the pressure constraints and complicities words for it to elicit the response anticipated.

It entail the ownership pattern of the mass media which influence their mode of operation, the content of the editorials of these media either selling government programme or interpret the good of government. In the same vein, it also discusses the problems of reading behaviors of the students. What frequency do they read them and what is their attitude towards newspaper editorial.

Therefore, the researchers entail the cause, effects and remedies to the problems that is facing Audience readership and perception towards newspaper editorial in case study and how editorial writers can weave their price to appeal to a greater percentage of the audience.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 statement of research problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the study
  • 1.8 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature review

  • 2.1 Audience readership and perception towards editorials
  • 2.2 Theoretical Frame work
  • 2.3 Conceptual review
  • 2.4 Empirical review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size
  • 3.4 Sampling procedures
  • 3.5 Method of data collection
  • 3.7 Validity measuring instrument
  • 3.8 Reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.9 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data Presentation
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

The topic of this project is “audience readership and perception towards newspaper editorials” a case study of the polytechnic students.

It has been shown that newspaper act as important agents of opinion formation and opinion change. Without the strongest kind of editorial support and total mobilization of the resources of the entire news organization, many a time’s crusades would wither away in a few days.

The place of editorials in newspapers content is enviable. It is the most important items in a newspaper. It is the opinion formation and change it crusade, sustains and introduces crusades. Crusades will not be powerful and achieved without regular supports from editorial. Considering all these public patronage of editorial column is pathetic and almost one of indifferent of people that read a paper daily.

Editorials play a readership role of mass media. After conveying an opinion. The mass media guide and lead the audience through the acceptance of the opinion. The mass make use of opinion, but any media that can depend in opinion alone does not worth its dependability and trust worthiness by the audience.

Editorials are used for the media to take a prominent position in any important issues in the society. Editorials are foresighted and thus convert their fore-sight into an action and follow it up.

“Leadership is a battle for the hearts and minds of men” says Lord Montgomery of this battle. The correlation function of interpreting information about an environment and suggesting the appropriate response to change is consequently consummated. The mass media survive through public patronage and goodwill.

This goodwill is achieved through the type of services it is giving to the people, It becomes imperative, therefore that the media must be responsible to bargain for public goodwill. This is one of the fundamental reasons of advert of public affairs reporting. The editorial column is in powerful position of public affairs reporting and yet many do not read the page.

The world in which we live today is complex. An average man becomes apathetic so longs the issues at stake do not directly affect him. So newspapers now come in to interpret the trend professionally and advice on the implications both immediate and remote to the public through the editorial, column.

Ideally, however, the editorial should reflect the pressures, constraints and complexities, of the modern world for it to elicit the response anticipated. In National crisis the editorial has been successfully used to effect change or influence government decision, therefore, the editorial is a powerful tool for keeping those at the helm of affairs in check. The trial of the former president on their concept process are clear cases where the might of public opinion took better control of flagrant use of power.

Other cases in point include during the Structural Adjustment of Programme (SAP) issues, the current transition and the issues of the type of government suitable for national consensus. The editorials have be effective in partying the opinion of the divergent parties on the debate and thus helped in building the people and government as the case may be in the right choice to opt for. The editorials were able to do this by reflecting on the pressures, constraints and complexities of the modern world in relation to these issues.

In view of this John .L. Hulleng says “the editorial writer is not simply identifying and reporting facts any longer, now he is saying this to reader or viewer, thus is what situation or issues or person or sacred cow”. The ownership pattern of the mass media in Nigeria is one that does not go down well with the public.

The electronic media is owned exclusively by the government and wealthy few. At a glance, the content of the editorials of these media interpret say good of the government. The newspapers are either selling the government program or reflecting the opinion of the publisher and the ethnic representative.

Basically, the editorial column should be more than a vehicle for charting the voice of the publisher, his interest and prejudices. It should represent in it’s content a national out work. However, despite the enormous power wielded by editorials public patronage of the column is low and almost one of the indifferences when compared with the number of people that read a paper daily.

Thus John Hophendercy says “it is customary in any discussion of editorial friction to note that editorial pages rank comparatively low in any survey of readership of newspapers. Programmes devoted to editorial opinion are close to the bottom“. Since editorials have such overwhelming power, why low audience readership? What efforts are being made or has been made to arrest the status quo? What measures will promote higher editorial readership? These are the crucial questions.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

It is clear that students read newspapers, some do so as to get information that has relevance to their academics, other read them to get information about events in their environment and even beyond. But the particular problem that led to this research work stemmed for the researchers observation, of the reading behaviours of the polytechnic, students.

We noticed that many a time, students glance through headlines and go straight to sports columns without paying attention to the editorial opinion column. However, it is not clear whether these students read newspaper editorials. If they do, at what frequency do they read them and what is their attitude towards newspaper editorials?

This research therefore is based on finding out the real situation and suggesting some practical solution to the problems that inhibited student’s readership of newspaper editorials.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

  1. The objective of this research work is to find out audience readership and perception towards a newspapers editorial content.
  2. To find out if editorial content is responsible for low readership of newspaper.
  3. To examine the effect of this on the newspaper and journalistic practice.
  4. To identify other factors responsible for readers poor perception towards newspapers.

At the end of this study, the researcher will have been acquainted with censuses, effects and remedies to the problems enumerated above as regards audience attitude towards editorials.

The researchers intend probing of editorial content is responsible for low readership. This study will also come up with suggestion on how editorial writers can weave their piece to appeal to a greater percentage of the audience.


1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the audience readership and perception towards newspaper editorial content?
  2. Is editorial content responsible for poor readership of a newspaper?
  3. What effect does this have on the newspaper and on journalistic practice?
  4. Are there other Factors responsible for poor readership of a paper?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Because the editorials are important in modern journalism and because of their crusading role coupled with its recording and shaping in function or history and surprising inert response from the prospective readers forms the reasons that spurred the research into engaging in this study.

The need therefore for this study cannot be over emphasized in situation where the world we live is a complex one, and the interpretations in these complexities are not read. Editorials help to shape the world or society by the way it presents materials, it spotlights maladministration in government with a view of affecting better leadership. Editorials remind the people of their requirements to the society.

However, the significance of this study lies in its ability to find out ways/means of increasing student’s readership of newspaper editorial and how these editorials should be tailored towards making positive impacts on the audience. The significance also, lies in the ability of the work to elicit further research into the topic or related area.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

The area of coverage of this study which is Audience readership and perception towards editorials. A case study of the polytechnic students. However, the study does not intend to go beyond this campus to any author institution. It would not equally go into the rate at which students expose themselves to radio commentaries or television documentaries which can be seen as equivalents to newspapers editorials in their electronic medium. It will not cover the rate at which students read other pages of newspapers, such as the news, features, political or sport pages.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In the first place, as was the case with every other understanding within the country, finance was crucial. The researchers had to cut their coats according to their cloth” did with Meager Resources within their reach. Secondly, was the problem of timing? It was not quit easy for the researchers to combine their final (HND) examinations revisions and research undertaking.

Moreover, study might be affected by such factors or as the world’s political and economic atmosphere. A lot of things are happening in the world especially in area of politics; economics and even social that many people especially students will want to get acquainted with, especially through the newspaper. Some of these developments include coping with the new democratic government in the country, the turbulent political atmosphere in all parts of Africa.

All these have aroused, increased newspaper readership than at other times when the atmosphere is just normal. Consequently, it is suspected that these might affect the result of the research which might be different in normal political and social atmosphere.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Audience:
These are the public’s that listens to radio and television programmes or public speeches.
Editorial:

It can be defined as the general stand or the expression of opinion of members editorial board on a tropical issue that is of public interest.

According to Mr. Golden Okparaeke in his lecture note, he defined editorial as a way of format in which newspaper organization express their opinion on varieties of subject that is important to the public’s.

Readers:

These are the members of the public’s who read newspapers or other printed information on regular basis.

Readership:

The state or quality of being a reader.

Perception:

Is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment

Newspaper:

This is a printed information or current news that is presented in a printed form, it contains vital information that is happening or happened in our state and country.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.0 Introduction

The data received from the survey in the previous chapter were analyzed here.
The basic focus of this chapter is to summaries the findings, conclusion and recommendation.


5.1 Summary Of Findings

This research topic “Audience Readership and Perception Towards Newspaper Editorials” was done with four research questions.

  1. What is the audience readership and perception towards newspaper editorial content?
  2. Is editorial content responsible for poor readership of newspaper?
  3. What effect does this have on the newspaper and on journalistic practice?
  4. Are there other factors responsible for poor readership of a paper?

5.2 Conclusion

After careful study of the findings for this research work, the researcher concludes that:

  1. The audience readership and perception towards newspaper editorials in Federal Polytechnic Nekede is not impressive. This audience perception has led to the poor readership of Newspaper editorial by the students.
  2. Yes editorial content is responsible for poor readership of a newspaper because most at times . it carries only the opinion of members of editorial board on an issue of public interest and that of the government and not the public’s.
  3. It was revealed in the data above that the attitude of readers towards newspaper editorial has negative effects on newspaper and on journalistic practice which includes:
    • Reduction of interest of readers
    • Discrediting the newspaper company and
    • Reducing the level of competence of the editors.
  4. Yes there are other factors responsible for poor readership of a paper such as revealed in the data above that the editors (majority) are not aware of the poor attitude of the readers towards newspaper editorials.

5.3 Recommendation

It has been discovered by the study that many students of Federal Polytechnic Nekede do not read Newspaper editorial and it affects them, because it makes them not to know some matters that are of national importance.
The researcher recommend that the students should Endeavour to read newspaper editorial so as to help them know the matters or issues that are of national importance and consequences especially now that the country is in its fourth republic.

Editorial writers should be more objective in their treatment of issues and should not always dance to the tune of government or the proprietor of the media but should uphold the cannons of the journalism profession.

They should therefore, devote themselves religiously to the betterments of those who depend on them for information and direction. This in turn will attract more polytechnic students to read newspaper editorials and help in mobilizing them in the positive direction towards issues of national interest.


Audience Readership And Perception Towards Newspaper Editorial (A Case Study Of Polytechnic Students)


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