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ABSTRACT: The study was set out on the thrust to examine the influence of cartoon in newspaper publication. It should be noted that ever since the first appearance of a cartoon in a newspaper, it has remained one of the most integral parts of a newspaper. It plays different role depending on the type of cartoon and caption used. Cartoon to many is entertainment and funny graphics. Agenda Setting Theory was used to give theoretical depth to the study. Survey research method was adopted and questionnaire was used as data collection instrument while some respondents were selected from the Nigerian Tribune newspaper with selected 100 respondents that were drawn using accidental sampling method. Findings showed that cartoons are often used in newspaper to set agenda on current issue and matters which may neither be expressed by news and features including editorial page. Respondents also admitted that due to the power and freedom enjoyed by cartoon that news, articles and editorial writers lack, makes it possible for cartoonists to use cartoon to tell what reporters and feature writers are afraid to write. The study recommended that more creative cartoonists be employed by newspapers houses in order to have more information and agenda setter cartoons.  



1.1       Background of the Study

            Cartoon or cartooning is as old as newspaper. Cartoon is a very essential tool or graphic device in communicating meaningful information to the readers. Cartoon is created in a self-explanatory format with or without caption or cutline to explain what it meant.

            Cartoons have over the years formed part of the newspaper and magazine content in Nigeria.  It is noted that most daily newspapers and weekly magazines publish various cartoons and comic strips. Nigerian Tribune, The Punch, the Guardian, New Nigerian, Tell, Newswatch, the News, etc, they publish cartoons and comic strips on different issues including social, political, sport, and economic affairs of the country. Cartoons also appears on some editorial page called editorial cartoon.

            Cartoon is therefore means a graphic presentation typically designed in a one-panel, non-continuing format to make an independent statement or observation on political, social and economic events or social policy” (Edwards & Winkler, 1987) cited in Olayinka (2013), they often employ humor or irony to point out shortcomings or hypocrisies within the political system.

            While many studies (including this one) use the terms “political cartoon” and “editorial cartoon” interchangeably, others differentiate between comic strips with political content, and single panel cartoons that make commentary on politics and policy. Cartoons are single or multi-framed images that convey a message both with words and symbols. Both comics and cartoons use symbols, but comics have a sequential nature to them that utilize more panels to tell their story thereby allowing for more depth to the story.

            Encyclopaedia Britannica (n.d) sees cartoon as a pictorial parody or imitation, which, by the devices of caricature, analogy as well as ludicrous juxtaposition, sharpens the public view of a contemporary or topical issue, event, political or social trend. A cartoon carries with it the caricature as an almost indispensable element. Just as the caricature is for an audience that is familiar with the original, the cartoon is based on wide acquaintance with the subject.

            Cartoons come in various forms: the comic strip, animated cartoons for the electronic media (such as “Tom and jerry, “Superman” “Pocahontas,” etc.) and editorial cartoons in newspapers and magazines.

            Some of these cartoons have become so popular that some newspapers and magazines are sought by some readers because of their cartoons. Some cartoons entertain, some educate, while some come inform of satire that correct bad socio-political and economy abuse. The cartoon is therefore a vital tool employed by the press for its watchdog role in the society.

            By keeping public officials on their toes, the cartoon assists in correcting societal ills. Cartoons offer a retreat from reality and that in many ways the world is not particularly comfortable. He says although many cartoons are entirely serious in their intentions, it is through humour that some of these difficult matters are exorcised. We could see cartoons as rehearsals of problems and solutions.

            Onakpa (2014) The cartoon offers entertainment for newspaper and magazine readers. Entertainment is one of the cardinal roles of the press in the society. Even though some people are of the opinion that “Life is too serious for laughter” (to quote an anonymous English Politician), laughter is an antidote to stress, a palliative therapy for the depressed. Using his art the cartoonist cheers people up when they are low-spirited.

            Communication scholars are all agreed that, as it is with many subjects, visuals greatly assist in arousing readers‟ interests. In the print media, cartoons equally assist in providing a clear mental picture, speed understanding, help memory and provide a shared experience. Some cartoons are even featured without captions or written explanations, yet the messages inherent in them are still understood by readers. The research examines the influence of cartoons in communication effectiveness using Nigerian tribune newspaper as a case study.

1.2       Statement of Problem

            Cartoon in newspaper is much more than hilarious or fun image or caricature but a tool of expression to the extent that is used to criticize people in power and set agenda.

            Findings have shown that despite the enormous important of cartoon many newspapers readers find it not interesting and regard it as children’s contents and never attached seriousness to it.

            However, the research focuses on the influence of cartoon in communication effectiveness using Nigerian Tribune Newspaper as a case study while some newspapers readers will be sampled as well.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine whether Nigerian Tribune newspaper use cartoons to convey information in its newspaper.
  2. To determine the extent which readers pay attention to cartoon message.

1.4     Research Questions

This research seeks to answer the following research questions:

  1. To what extent does Nigerian Tribune newspaper use cartoons to convey information in its newspaper?
  2. To what extent do readers pay attention to cartoon message 

1.4    Significance of the Study

            This study will throw more light on the influence of cartoon in effective communication in newspaper publication. As there is a dearth of publications and research on the art of newspaper in Nigeria, the previous studies either focused on the impact of newspaper on political development or influence of newspaper on democratic process.

             The research is very significant because it will be of great benefits to media practitioners especially those working in print media to know how better to structure and place their cartoons. 

            The study will further help print media practitioners and students of Mass Communication on how to tailor their cartoons in converging messages and some of the challenges facing cartoonists.

            Lastly, the research is expected to draw the attention of other researchers, the need to further research on the other aspect which this study might not cover.

1.5       Scope of the Study

            The study has narrowed itself through the topic “Influence of Cartoon in Communication Effectiveness” a case study of Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, Ibadan due to time available, fund and other relevant logistics. While few newspaper readers will be sampled on their attitude toward cartoons.

 1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Cartoons: This is a humorous drawing used in newspapers to present idea in a funny way.

Newspaper: This is a periodic publication usually daily for dissemination of information to wider readers.

Nigerian Tribune newspaper: This is one of the newspapers circulated mostly in South West Nigeria published in Ibadan, Oyo state and it carries lots of cartoons.     



Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes

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