INFLUENCE OF FREE READERS ACTIVITIES ON NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT: The study examined influence of free readers’ activities on Newspaper circulation in Nigeria with a focus on Uyo Metropolis. The primary aim of this research was to know why people gather every morning at Plaza newspaper stand, Ikot Ekpene road Newspaper stand and other newspaper stands to know the latest information, locally and nationally and how the newspapers’ content they are reading were affecting and influencing them. The Theory that led support for the this study was Uses and Gratifications Theory. The study employed survey research method while questionnaire was used to elicit data from the respondents, the respondents were selected using accidental sampling technique. The data were analyzed in descriptive statistics i.e frequency and percentage. Finding shows that, majority of the respondents claimed that once they have read the newspapers at news stand, they will not border to buy paper again as there was no point in buying once all news was know already. It was recommended that government should increase the salary of worker so that majority of them can afford buying at least a copy of a newspaper every day.  Job should be provided for the millions of unemployed to improve the standard of living of Nigeria youth which could enable them buying a newspaper daily.


Newspaper circulation 

Table of Contents

Title Page

Certification

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Table of contents

Abstract

Chapter One

1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

1.2       Statement of the Problem

1.3       Objectivity of the Study

1.4       Research Questions

1.5       Scope of the Study

1.6       Significance of the Study

1.7       Limitations to the Study

1.8       Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0       Literature Review

2.1       Meaning of Newspaper

2.2       Historical Development of the Press in Nigeria

2.4       Newspaper Readers Statistics in Nigeria

2.5       Nigeria’s Newspaper Profile

2.6       Why do People Read Newspaper?

2.7       Historical Development of Ilorin and its Media Market

2.8       Major newspapers Stands in Ilorin

2.9       Source: Field Survey by the Researcher

2.10     Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

3.0       Research Methodology

3.1       Restatement of the Research Questions

3.2       Research Design

3.3       Study Population

3.4       Sample Size

3.5       Sampling Technique

3.6       Data Collection Instrument

3.7       Data Collection Process

3.8       Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0       Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings

4.1       Data Analysis

Chapter Five

5.0       Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1       Summary

5.2       Conclusion

5.3       Recommendations

            References

            Appendix


CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

Newspaper is one of the first and oldest medium of mass communication in Nigeria which began with Iwe-Iroyin in 1863 and ever since then, it has become a staple source of political, education, religion, economy and social activities.

A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. Akinrosoye (2011) writes that newspaper is “an unbounded, printed publication issued at regular interval which presents information in words, often supplemented with photographers”.

The great importance of newspaper as a mass medium derives from its role as a carrier of current information or news. This is a role which the newspaper had been playing from its very inception. It is also a role which it plays much better than many other mass medium.

Recent researches have shown that with advancement in information and communication technology which has given birth to the internet (social media or new media) people especially literate youths and adults can now access news online even from the newspaper industries official websites without paying a kobo (Olayinka, 2014) and this is creating some kind of decline in the circulation and sales volume.

Another survey shows that most Nigerians neither buy nor have access to newspapers, while newspaper readership is generally low in all zones in the country (Aliagan, 2011).

However, a survey reveals that media exposure in Africa is often collected with many users crowding round a single newspaper or paying token to read as many copies of newspaper as possible at newspaper stands. This practice is common in Nigeria, with the prevalence of the free readers’ club where people pay a token to read as many newspapers as they wished or borrowing from kin, workmate and peers.

Aliagan, (2011) cited in Burton (2002) contends that media workers are mainly concerned with how their managers see what they have produced, rather than looking at national audience commanded by their newspapers. Thus, circulation figures will only make meaning to the owners and fund providers of the newspapers and perhaps the readers who are influenced by what they produce as well as advertisers who need such information in their media planning for marketing purposes.

The Newspaper circulation figures help to inform owners and those who work in newspaper organisations about the performance of their news products in the competitive media market. Another goal of readership survey is also to provide information to advertisers who are desirous of making effective selection of the newspaper with wider circulation and which would reach their target customers (Sullivan et al, 1994).

However, media workers are often skeptical about what the circulation figures say about the popularity of their product. Burton, (2002), though this is about the main way of knowing a newspaper’s performance rating in the market. Free readership of newspaper brings nothing to the newspaper but a low sale volume which has negative economy effect on the newspaper outfits. The reason is that, if a newspaper circulation and buying is low, then it determines who advertise in the paper and how much they charge.

Also, a low circulated or a paper without major purchase will problem financing the outfit which may lead to poor salary and remuneration. In fact, it can lead to the retrenchment of staff. To this end, the research aims to examine INFLUENCE OF FREE READERS ACTIVITIES ON NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION IN NIGERIA with a case study of Agege, Lagos where lots of newspapers stands can be found with most of these free readers only read newspapers and not certainly buy a copy or sometimes buy a copy.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

It is a common phenomenon that majority of Nigerian newspaper readers are poor thereby finding it difficult to buy a copy of newspaper at the rate of 150/200 naira each and if they are to buy two newspapers, it will cost them 300/400 naira daily which is 300 x 30 = 9000 or thereabout.

However, because of their financial capacity, they resort to looking for a newspaper stands where they can read freely or pay just a token amount of money such as 20 to 50 naira. The practice is not in any way beneficial to the newspapers’ company especially on the economy aspect.

To this end, the research intends to investigate the effect of free readers’ activities on the economy of newspapers in Nigeria using Agage metropolis as a case study.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the extent which people read newspapers at the various newspapers’ stands at Agege.
  2. To know the effect of free readers’ activities on newspapers sales volume and circulation.

1.4   Research Questions

  1. To what extent do people read newspapers at various newspapers’ stands at Agege?
  2. What are the effect of free readers’ activities on newspapers sales volume and circulation?

1.5    Scope of the Study

The scope of this study resides in the topic of the research itself. The research scope will be limited to the study of newspaper readership in Agege metropolis; Gbeemu newspaper stand, Oke-Fia Newspaper stand and Old Garage newspaper stand in particularly. The reason for the selection of Agege community is due to the high present of many newspapers’ stand. Another reason is its proximity to the researcher.

1.6       Significance of the Study

The result of this research allows newspaper publishers to know the effect of free readers on the business of newspaper. It will help publishers improve their publications in the areas most applicable to readers.

It will help publishers improve their publications in areas most applicable to readers. It will also enable practitioners to know the most preferred newspapers and why readers like them.

The researchers who may be interested in conducting similar or related study shall find this study relevant as it offers them empirical opportunity to see what has been done while it will serve as a reference materials for them, thus fill some gaps in area of research.

1.7       Limitations to the Study

Some of the limitations to the study are:

  • Stress from other academic assignments is one of the limitations to the research
  • Financial constraint to browse internet.
  • Duration for the research work is relatively short.
  • Uneasy access to informative materials at the school library

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

Newspaper: It is a periodic publication, which carries news, advert e. t. c and are circulated usually daily.

Free Readers: These are the people reading newspapers usually at various newsstands.

News: It is an issue of event of public interest reported by journalists.

Agege: This is one of strategic community in Lagos which place host to many newspapers stands.


INFLUENCE OF FREE READERS ACTIVITIES ON NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION IN NIGERIA


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