ABSTRACT: The study examined newspaper readership pattern among students of IBBU, Lapai. The research focused on the students of IBBU Lapai in Niger state. The study was anchored on Agenda Setting and Individual Difference Theory. Cross sectional survey research method is used while 120 copies of questionnaires were administered to respondents using quota sampling technique, out of which 97 copies were returned for analysis. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method). Findings show that majority of respondents pay attention to news, sport, feature, terrorism matters more than any other items in the newspapers. The challenge the affected newspaper reader is the cost of buying while emergence of online news has made them drop the habit of buying hardcopies.
1.1 Background to the Study
Newspaper is the first and oldest medium of mass communication in Nigeria which began with Iwe-Iroyin in 1863 and ever since then, it has became 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) says, 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 any 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 can now access news online even from the newspaper industries official websites without paying a kobo. Olayinka, (2014).
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. However, a survey reveals that media exposure in Africa is often collective with many users crowding round television, blogging, visiting websites, busy on social network or sharing a single newspaper. 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.
Burton (2002) cited in Aliagan (2011). 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. Therefore, the research investigates newspapers readership among Nigerian students with a focus on Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger state in order to find out if they actually read newspaper and how often they read it.
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 naira each and if they are to buy two newspapers, it will cost them 300 naira daily therefore, i.e 300 x 30 = 9000 in a month. However, because of their financial capacity, they resort to looking for a newspaper stand where they can read freely or pay just a token amount of money like 20 to 50 naira to read as many newspapers as possible. Other contributing factors is the fact that people can now read newspapers on a daily basis on internet as news now available online as they break.
Therefore, the research investigates newspapers readership among Nigerian students with a focus on Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger state in order to find out if they actually read newspaper and how often they read it.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the extent which IBBU Students read newspaper(s).
- To know the degree in which Students of IBBU read newspaper(s).
- To determine some of the benefit(s) of reading newspaper to IBBU Students.
- To ascertain challenges hampering IBBU Students in reading newspaper(s).
- To examine the extent which IBBU Students prefer buying hard copy newspaper to online news.
- To find out how more IBBU Students can read newspaper(s).
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent do IBBU students read newspaper(s)?
- How often do Students of IBBU read newspaper(s)?
- What are/is the benefit(s) of reading newspaper to IBBU Students?
- What challenges hampering IBBU Students in accessing newspaper?
- To what extent do IBBU Students prefer buying hard copy newspaper to online news?
- How can more IBBU Students read newspaper(s)?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study has been narrowed to the Newspapers Readership among students of IBBU Lapai. The university students were selected due to time available for the study, money, materials and other logistics as it will be wide and difficult if not impossible to study all students union across the 36 state of federation including FCT. Therefore, the demography of the students will be considered before the structuring and administration of questionnaire, such demographical factor include but not limited to age, marital status, sex, education level, position in the organization and so on.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The result of this research allows newspaper publishers to know the effect of free readers on the sales volume of newspaper. It will help publishers improve their publications in the areas most applicable to readers.
- The goal is to examine the performance of the various national dailies against the backdrop that readership of newspaper across the country is generally poor.
- 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.
- It will also expose the influence of new media otherwise known as online news and social media on the circulation of traditional newspaper copies.
- Also, media workers are often skeptical about what the circulation figures of their newspaper this is about the main way of knowing a newspaper’s performance rating in the market.
- It will help publishers improve their publications in areas most applicable to readers. It will also enable practitioners to know the most preferred newspapers.
- It will form bulk material in the field of mass communication, journalism, among others, where future researcher can take a clue when written in aspect that related to this.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Newspapers Readership: These are the newspaper readers usually among the IBBU students’ union leaders.
Students: These are students of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai that are in 100 level – 400 level (500 level-Optional).
IBBU: It is an acronym for Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University
Newspaper: It is a periodic publication, which carries news, advert e. t. c and are circulated usually daily such as the Vanguard, the Nation newspaper
News: It is an issue or event of public interest reported in newspapers.
NEWSPAPER READERSHIP PATTERN AMONG STUDENTS IN NIGERIA
WHAT TO EXPECT: (Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)