Public Perception On The Impact Of Online Newspapers On Their Print Versions’ Readership In Akwa Ibom State

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Public Perception On The Impact Of Online Newspapers On Their Print Versions’ Readership In Akwa Ibom State


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The term “Newspaper” refers to a printed periodical (typically published daily or weekly) made up of folded unstapled sheets including news, articles, advertising, and correspondence. (Ashong & Henry2017) refers to newspapers as a publication that contains written information on current events and is often typed in black ink on a white or gray backdrop. Newspapers can cover a wide range of topics, including politics, business, sports, and art, and they frequently include materials such as opinion columns, weather forecasts, reviews of local services, obituaries, birth announcements, crossword puzzles, editorial cartoons, comic strips, and advice columns. Opinion articles, weather predictions, evaluations of local services, obituaries, birth announcements, crossword puzzles, editorial cartoons, comic strips, and advice columns (Ashong & Henry2017).

According to reports, the newspaper has been experiencing low sales and patronage, especially since the Internet came along and provided online functionalities and possibilities far beyond what the newspaper could offer: instant and free news, interactive and multimedia features, and easy accessibility through very simple handheld technologies such as mobile phones and personal computers. It is also easier and less expensive to publish news on the internet. With these characteristics, (Ekeng, 2010) sees the Internet as clearly a superior means to disseminate and receive news. However, by exponentially multiplying news sources, the Internet has unwittingly endangered the traditional bastion of newspapers.

The print media sector is changing as a result of technological advancements, particularly new media. Smith and Hendricks (2010) argued in this regard that the dynamic nature of the business led in more continual revolutions and changes than at any previous moment in print media history globally. In the twenty-first century, new technologies pose a significant danger to print media. This is undoubtedly demonstrated by the study of (Jonassen, 2004), who investigated how some technical innovations are soon superseded by other media that is more stunning and efficient in information distribution. Online news is transmitted quickly in the digital era, providing challenges to print journalism. The Internet, by exponentially multiplying news sources, has unwittingly endangered the newspaper’s historic monopoly on the news industry. According to (Esuh, and Ogaraku, 2013), newspapers have now merged into the Internet, which is considered as a single system comprised of interconnected networks. The emergence of online newspapers has considerably increased people’s access to news, demonstrating the internet’s importance. According to Internet World Stats, Nigeria is the leading Internet country in Africa, with 67.3 million subscribers.

Online Newspapers have revolutionized the way people interact, causing upheavals in Nigeria’s newspaper sector, which has mostly remained conventional in its operations. Online media has demonstrated that the industry must develop in order to compete in the information providing sector. Many people’s interactions have changed as a result of technological improvements (Esuh, and Ogaraku, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to (Ashong & Henry2017), the digital revolution has had an adverse effect on the newspaper sector. Prior to the advent of the online newspaper, the hardcopy newspaper had firmly established and strengthened its place as the major and most common source of news for many people. However, the arrival of online newspapers inadvertently threatened the print business model because it created a troubling dichotomy in news presentation and content preference by changing readers’ traditional pattern of seeking and consuming the news, and with readers and advertisers drifting online, hardcopies lost their major revenue streams. Today, newspapers all over the world are losing readers and going bankrupt.

laying off people, spinning off, shutting down, and going online-only, necessitating a review of the Nigerian media industry.

Given the growing number of Nigerians who go online on a daily basis, as well as the fact that major newspapers continue to grace news stands on a daily basis, it becomes even more important to determine if there is any difference in the content chosen by readers of different versions of newspapers. With this in mind, the research seeks to find the impact of content when newspaper readers in Nigeria have to select between online and hardcopy editions of newspapers and the length their perception has changed (Edogor, and Ojo, 2014).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to examine the public perception on the Impact of Online Newspapers on their Print Versions’ Readership in Akwa Ibom State. Other aims of this study are:

  1. What influences readers choice when choosing between online newspapers and the print versions.
  2. The differences between online newspapers and print newspaper
  3. The factors affecting the public perception on online newspapers and its print versions.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What influences readers choice when choosing between online newspapers and the print versions?
  2. The differences between online newspapers and print newspaper?
  3. The factors affecting the public perception on online newspapers and its print versions?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be of significant importance to the society as it will make the public aware of the impacts of online newspapers on print media. This study will also be of importance to the different channels of mass media as it will let them know how the preference of readers.

Finally, this study will serve as an existing material for future reference and further research.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will examine public perception on the Impact of Online Newspapers on their Print Versions’ Readership in Akwa Ibom State . It will also investigate the differences between online newspapers and print newspaper.

Furthermore, it will discuss the factors affecting the public perception on online newspapers and its print versions.

This study will use citizens of Eket Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state as enrolled participants.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The focus of this study will only focus on public perception on the impact of Online Newspapers on their Print Versions’ Readership in Akwa Ibom State, this study will also be focusing on only print media and online media.

In addition, this study will be focused on Eket Local Government Area. This serves as a limitation of this study.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Public Perception:

The type of information obtained from a public opinion survey

Impact:

A marked effect or influence

Print Media:

A form of media communication using letters and papers

Readership:

The quality or state of being a reader


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