The Influence Of Cartoon On Opinion Formation Of Readers (A Case Study Of Newspaper Readers In Okigwe)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Influence Of Cartoon On Opinion Formation Of Readers (A Case Study Of Newspaper Readers In Okigwe)


Abstract


Cartoon has become a veritable tool in news reporting. This study “The Influence of Cartoon on Opinion Formation of Readers” (A Case Study of Newspaper Readers in Okigwe)” is looked into the roles cartoon has played in news reporting. As such, the survey research method was employed to investigate a sample size of 160% respondents, 140% questionnaire where turned while 20% where not turned.

The data collected were analyzed and interpreted based on the research question. 115 or 82.1% of the respondents agree that cartoon serve as amusement in news reporting while 25 or 17.9% disagree. 100 or 71.4% respondent said no. perception of cartoons in news reporting, 60 or 42.6% see cartoon as interesting, 40 or 28.6% see cartoon as distracting.

The finding revealed that the respondents believed that cartoons have contributed in news reporting. It was therefore concluded that cartoons has been a veritable tool in news reporting.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

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

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Delimitation of the study
  • 1.6 Limitation of the study
  • 1.7 Justification of the study
  • 1.8 Operational definition of the terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Review of opinions
  • 2.2 Review of opinion
  • 2.3 Cartooning in Nigeria
  • 2.4 Forms of cartoons
  • 2.5 Theoretical framework

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Areas of study
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Samples and sampling procedure
  • 3.5 Sources of data
  • 3.6 Instrument of data collection
  • 3.7 Validity & reliability of instrument
  • 3.8 Administration of the instrument
  • 3.9 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Sex response
  • 4.2 Do you read newspaper
  • 4.3 Cartoon used for amusement

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaires

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

The communication experts, all over the world have made indelible remarks about the activities of mass communication as an indispensable and potent organ for restoring sanity globally. According to Werner J. Serverine and Ames W. Tankard, J.R. (1976:53) Mass communication is partly skill, partly art and science. It is a skill in the sense that it involves certain fundamental learnable technique such as focusing a television camera, operating a tape recorder or taking notes during an interview.

It is an art in the sense that it involves certain challenges such as writing a script for a television programs, developing an aesthetic layout for a news story. It is a science in the sense that there are certain principles involved on how communication works that can be verified and used to make things work better.

In the same vein, cartoons in whatever news paper or journal they appear portray their meaning in a satirical or amusing way and analyze events with less words and lines. Unlike other forms of writing, cartoons involve the reader- to induce the meaning of the drawing.

For journalist in Nigeria and elsewhere, the cartoon have proved a worth weapon. Today, the wide popularity it commands and the high amount of influence it wields is perhaps beyond that originally cutout for it as a mere complement for the writer words.

Also writing on the assertions of Harold Spenser “…The advantages of cartoon image as a journalist weapon lay in its graphic clarity. In its capacity to link up in a flash, a whole series of associations in the viewers mind. The efficiency of the cartoon in distilling a message into an immediate and succinct communication assured its widespread use as a medium of both propaganda and protest.

A sixteenth century German produced the first political cartoons. This was during the reformation, and the cartoon immediately became “an active propaganda weapon with social implication”

In 1843, cartoon “acquired its present meaning when a great exhibition of a cartoon was given for a competition devised by Queen Victoria’s Prince Albert to get designs for wells of the new house of parliament. Many of the entries, though lofty intention, were Ludicrous, and John Leech draw a series of limitation in punch, satirizing them and railing at political abuses of the day”

Wainwright calls the newspaper cartoons “a curious phenomenon… one man’s view of the world” Victor Chukwudi Kugal 1999:140 in his book entitled “visual communication” says: Since the inception of the print industry, cartoons have become popular form of pictorial journalism, the meaning at a glance. Cartoons or drawings are vehicles for humour and ridicule.

Their main aim is to entertain and often exert a measure of influence on the public. Powerful cartoons constitute a social force in the view of their effect on readers whether now or in the future; cartoons will continue to occupy a pride of place in newspaper and magazine industry. Its strength lies on its ability to influence public opinion.

Influence of cartoon, the force and potency, all are considered against the ease with which the reader can catch the message of the artistic drawing. Most effective cartoon deals with idea. Consequently and word or line that detracts it from the simple unity of the subject makes the cartoon superfluous.

While the text could cover a wide range of ideas and purposes, the typical cartoon deals with the ideas and problems, which has political and social significance. Large newspaper employs their own cartoonist. However, relatively smaller publications publish the product of artists and free lancers.

In a story published on June/July (2000:7), Akin Onipeche of the fourth Estate magazine submits that: for cartoonist and President Obasanjo’s humour is the common obeisance. He stated among other things “during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first term as head of state complained bitterly about the caustic treatment he received in the hands of Nigerian cartoonists.

Cartoon is popular in its position about issues by way of mocking, sympathizing, taking sides being neutral or amusing. Moreover, cartoons are used in the shaping of the characters of politicians in particular in the kind of formation, education, entertaining and amusement.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Cartoons have been seen as a veritable way in the dissemination of information, education, entertainment and even setting agenda for the public. Kugah (1999:140) “cartoons rank high among other forms of communication especially in the print media. To support the idea that cartoons are veritable way of information dissemination, the following will form our problem statements. Do cartoons serve as statement and amusement? How is cartoons perceived in news reporting?


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The purpose of the study is to ascertain the following:

  1. To find out whether cartoons serves as tools for education and amusement.
  2. To find out whether cartoons satire in news reporting.
  3. To find out how cartoons, in news reporting are perceived.

1.4 Research Questions

In this research, we shall be guided by the following research questions:

  1. Does cartoon serve as a tool for education and amusement?
  2. Does cartoon serve as a satire in news reporting?
  3. How are cartoon perceived in news reporting?

1.5 Delimitation Of The Study

This study will be focused on knowing whether the cartoon serve as a tool for education and amusement.
It is also intended to evaluate whether cartoon serve as a satire in news reporting.
It further ascertains how people perceived cartoons during news reporting.


1.6 Limitations Of The Study

There is no research work that can be successfully completed without some constraints. This research work is by no means an exception. Despite the effort of the researcher to carry out a hitch-free, more reliable and versatile work, however, imperative to admit that the following factors limited the researcher:

Time factor, the researcher is admitted to other activities-academic, social, religious etc. this affected the time required to carry out a more extensive and effective study. Also, the time given for the completion and submission of this work is limited. There was non-compliance by some respondents as a result of some confidentiality of some information; some of the respondents were expected to give. It is not in the best interest of their business to disclose such information of opportunity to their competitors. Despite all these and more limitations, the research did all that was humanly possible to make the study reasonably reliable and valid.


1.7 Justification Of The Study

A local graphic board carries the inscription “You hear my words but miss my meaning”. This statement, which reflects the notion that, there is more to meaning than just words themselves, is really a plea for awareness of non-verbal communication. Those messages that rate a form other than words, such messages are frequently overlooked aspect of communication, yet they are very powerful.

In these contexts, cartoons are seen as good samples of non-verbal communication cues. The significance of this study therefore is to hold our cartoons as:

  • Arousing interest and a spirit of academic enquiry.
  • Illustrations that explains point that cannot be described economically in words.

They are used to inspire the imagination or explain a point that ordinarily would have been beyond the immediate range of the readers’ experience.

For minors, cartoons are important for understanding.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Cartoons:

This is skeletal during that evokes or induces ridicule or humour that is mostly found on newspaper.

Media Influence:

This is the qualitative value of a message exposure through a given medium.

Reporting:

This is the communication of unfolding events to the mass media audience by the media.

News:

This is an accurate, objective and factual reporting of day-to-day events or various events in the mass media.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

Introduction

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


5.1 Summary Of Findings

The discussion of findings is in their phases based on the research questions finding. From the research question one indicates that cartoons are necessary for education. Thus, from the overall responses, 85.7% of the sample population shows that cartoons serve as tools for education and we are inclined to accept their view since they are the majority.

From the table 4.2, in chapter four, we find out that cartoon serve as amusement, therefore, we agreed on the opinion of 82.1% of the respondents which were of the view that cartoon serve as amusement.

Research question three shows that cartoons are also used for satire. Out of one hundred and forty respondents, 71.4% said that cartoons are used for satire. Therefore, we accept the fact that cartoons are satirical, since the majority agreed on it.

Research question three shows how people perceive cartoons in news reporting. 60 or 42.9% respondents see cartoon as interesting. Since interesting response has the highest percentage, we now found out that cartoons are perceived as interesting in news reporting. Again, the discussion of findings also reveals the effects of cartoon on respondents. 70 or 50% of the sample population which represented that cartoon are subjective audience. Thus, we accept the view of the respondents since they are the majority of the sample population. The discussion of findings also shows the general perception of cartoons in news reporting. Out of one hundred and forty respondents, 60 or 42.9% sees cartoons as entertaining. We accept the fact that cartoons are more educative and entertaining in news reporting.

From the discussion above, it is now clear that cartoons are imperative in news reporting. Cartoons have been seen as a veritable way in the dissemination of ideas. Moreover, for journalism in Nigeria and elsewhere, cartoons have been proved as worth weapon in newspaper. That is why Wain Wrigth calls the newspaper cartoons “curious phenomena. Whether now or in the future, cartoons will continue to occupy a pride of place in newspaper industry.


5.2 Conclusion

This study has attempted to highlight the effects of cartoons in news reporting. From the above discussions and analysis, certain conclusions can be deduced on the messages inherent in cartoon as a medium of communication. Besides, a cartoon as we have seen in the course of this analysis is a veritable instrument for education and also it’s important in news reporting.

The study has also shown that cartoons which serve as amusement and satire are able to sustain the interest of the public whose first reaction to drawings would be to laugh. It makes a satire to modify or amplify some events in the news by making it clearer to the reader.

Questionnaires are used in answering the research questions stated in chapter one of the research study.
Basically, the study reveals how important cartoons are in the news reporting.


5.3 Recommendations

The cartoon has come to stay and indeed no newspaper is complete without an editorial cartoons. Therefore, it is not for nothing that the cartoon is one of the four types of messages found on the newspapers, the others being editorial, opinion, column and letters.

It is hereby recommended that when it seems absolutely unsafe to be too openly critical of authority as in an authoritarian regime, cartoons should be used to send the message across.

Infact, cartoons are generally educating and amusing. Given these important attributes, it is suggested that our media should use more cartoons to enliven their products. Apart from using more cartoons, the media should also consider giving more prominence to cartoons, for instance, the Mr. and Mrs. Cartoon column in the newspaper is appropriately placed on the front page.

As important as cartoon is, it is recommended for future studies, more investigations should be carried out on the effect of cartoon.


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