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ABSTRACT: The study examined the place of photographs in newspapers with a case study of the Punch newspaper. It is obvious that photographs play a very prominent role in newspaper and the world of print media in general. It communicates messages even to the illiterates and photographs messages can grab at a glance. The study was anchored on Agenda Setting Theory and Individual Differences Theory. Cross-sectional survey research method was adopted in which questionnaire was used as data collection instrument. The data collected were analysed in frequency and percentage method. Findings have shown that newspaper without the use of photograph will be nothing but look like a letter or text book and such publication cannot interest readers. Also, photographs draw the attention of the reader to the most prominent news and issue especially when placed at the front page of a newspaper while placement of photo are used to set agenda on what public will debate upon. It was recommended that print media should always use only the important photo that communicates the message in which the photo represents and not just use any photo.s political, social, economic and entertainment. It use graphic art extensively.    


1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

Graphics especially photographs at glance trap the readers. If a photo is interesting enough, the reader will stop to it and read the caption and if the interest stays there the title of the article is read next. If the beginning of the article is catching enough the reader will read all of it. (Isamuko, 2010).

In conclusion only few of readers read an article but almost all the photos get noticed. Photos are of primary importance when selling magazine. The photos are actually newspapers and magazines marketing device (Akinrosoye, 2011).

Print media (newspapers and magazine) are over the years competing and struggling to survive and one of tactics that newspapers and magazines have often used to put message across is by employing photographs. Therefore, photographs are used extensively by newspapers and magazines to convey information and advertise products and services.

Photography extends human vision into the realm of objects that are invisible because they are too small or too distant, or events that occur too rapidly for the naked eye to detect. A camera can be used in locations too dangerous for humans. Photographs can also be objects of art that explore the human condition and provide aesthetic pleasure. For millions of people, photography is a satisfying hobby or a rewarding career.

The public wants to spend more time with pictures than text, and the immediacy and availability of photography makes that possible. Consumers want a photo with every story they read, but it can cause strong emotions since a photograph can tell an entire story.

On the other hand, photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication) that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism.

According to Isamuko (2013), photojournalism basically involves photo reporting, that is, reporting with the aid of meaningful and action photographs. Photojournalism is well depicted by taking action photographs of events.

In essence, the photojournalist only takes part of the whole and not the whole itself. These photographs are expected to tell stories and they are essentially used in magazines and newspapers. A media reporter uses a tape recorder or pen and paper to record newsworthy events. A photojournalist uses a camera to capture such events. Both of them work to achieve a common goal to inform, to educate, and to entertain the public.

Photojournalism is communication through photography. It requires a sense of journalism as well as ability to handle the camera. You tell the story with photograph and the story must be told clearly. It is against this background that the research examines the place of photographs in the Nigeria newspaper with a particular focus on the Punch newspaper which is considered to be the most widely read newspaper in Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

There is no doubt about the fact that graphics especially photographs take two dimensions in newspaper either tell the story in all (Stand alone Photo) or to complement story. It is important to realize that for information or photographs to have any substantial impact, influence and effect on the readers it need to pass message.

Despite the fact that photojournalists are using their camera to tell stories by bringing the source of the events closest to their readers, yet it needs to be interpreted most of the time even the stand alone photo need some wording to accompany it, called caption. However, a good photograph without caption may mean little or no meaning to some reader. Therefore, in this research efforts shall be made on how photographs can provide message either with or without caption in reporting events.

It is against this background that the research examines the place of photograph in the Nigeria newspaper with a particular focus on the Punch newspaper which is considered to be the most widely read newspaper in Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the important of photography use in the Punch newspaper.
  2. To determine the extent to which photographs sustain the attention of readers of Punch

1.4        Research Questions

  1. What is the important of photography in the Punch newspaper?
  2. To what extent do photograph sustain the attention of the Punch newspaper’s readers?

1.5       Significance of the Study

It is expected that at the end of this study, it will update knowledge within the framework of the study. Particularly, it will assist photojournalists to discover more of their uniqueness in the day to activities of newspaper production.

It will reveal to the media practitioners especially photojournalist on the benefit of photograph to readers. It will assist the photojournalists to know their role in keeping public informed through their camera.

Professionals and students of mass communication, marketing, fine art, visual communication and other related field will know the role of photographs in newspaper and book and get familiar with how it can be blend with other design element in newspaper.

It will further enable other researchers to continue from the aspect which this study has not covered as it will also serve as reference materials for future researchers who may want to expand or explore on study relating to this work.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The study which investigated the place of photograph in newspapers with a focus on Punch newspaper was narrowed in scope to newspaper readers and how the pattern of photography has influenced their reading pattern. The scope is chosen due to the proximity to the researcher.

1.7       Operational Definition of the Terms

Place: In this study, the place refers to the important or significant of photographs in newspapers especially as it influences newspaper readers.

Photographs: In this study, photographs are images or pictures use in newspaper usually to compliment news stories.

Nigerian Newspaper: In this research, refers to daily newspapers publish in Nigeria such as the Punch Newspaper.


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