A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNS AND NEWSPAPER READERSHIP IN SOME SELECTED NEWSPAPERS
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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Media is a truncation of the term media of communication, referring to those organized means of dissemination of facts opinions, entertainment and other information in newspapers magazines, books, films, radio, television, the world wide web, billboard CDS, DVD, Video cassettes, computer, games and other forms of publishing. All these forms of media described as the consciousness industry performs various functions for society. They could be said to be endowed with journalist of different specializes
They could be said to have different areas of specialization depending on the type of training and degrees they have acquired. It is for this reason each journalists plays a significant role interms of information dissemination. This is so because the media in its entities could be said to have audience, depending on the type of outfit involves as explained by Ndolo (2001: 5-6).
The Nigerian media audience is large and diverse: 130-140 million people, over 250 hostile ethic groups; over 250 mutually unintelligible languages made more complex by over 100 dialects; two major antagonistic religions; 70 percent of Nigeria are rural dwellers, illiterate by western standards and live on less that N 125 per day.
From Ndolo’s views, it could be said that columns are also part of the newspaper role in disseminating information through one major aspect which is the process of entertainment that such newspaper promote national interest and certain behaviours especially in critical or emergency situations and during times of national crises. To add entertainment columns mobilize the populace against unpopular policies and against dictatorial regimes.
Deriving from what has been said as regard the consciousness role of entertainment columns Wright (1990:17) is of the view that it is the entire process of occupation of conducting as news medium including structures, policies, content, writing, editing, publishing and broadcasting that is known for journalism.
Therefore journalism has many responsibilities to the moral ecology of our nation. It is the muscle ligament and sinew of the democratic society. Those involved in these operations, correspondents, columnists, news hawks, news sounds, newsmen, legman, paragraphs, stringers, news managers and other qualified gentlemen of the press.
The press plays an important role in building and nations. Then any newspaper that is involved must be rich it it’s context. Contents found in Nigerian newspapers not just fabricated. They are derived from authentic sources. Readers need to be informed about current issues in the society. These current issues are related in different aspects mostly when considering the types of audience being involved. Backing in function of newspaper, Okunna (1998:52) state that; the main function of newspaper is to let its readers known what is happening in the world including the country, the states, the town or any city and the locality. In other words, the primary function of a newspaper is to carry news. A newspaper is literally a news carrying paper.
Under frequency of publication, newspapers can be classified into daily and weekly newspaper. Because a true newspaper has been stated earlier should be published at intervals of not less that once a week. Such newspaper should contain entertainment columns in order to spur its readers. Readers should be quickly attracted when they read an entertainment column mostly also when such entertainment columns relates to either governmental or political issue that could affect the readers at that particular time.
Reporting news under different formats has been the primary function of the newspaper. Through the entertainment columns, the newspaper has been able to report significant social and political developments, has acted as a forum for various viewpoints in the society, has also scrutinized reported news of social relevant to particular groups of readers, are daily independent, daily sun, the guardian, the daily champion etc. government owns press that is newspaper owned by either the federal government or the state government scrutinize the entertainment columns in order not to go beyond the require information. Those newspapers perform the act with moderation. On the other part, the private owned newspapers do it without scrutinizing the content of such entertainment columns. This is because they are not answerable to the government.
In Nigeria, private newspapers do criticize government activities. Readers observe that the entertainment columns of such newspaper are raw, that is the critique is direct.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Enough researches have not been addressed to researcher on the entertainment columns of newspaper readership. This is because little emphasis has been laid on entertainment and newspaper readership. In some extent even though entertainment columns have always appeared in most newspapers, its emphasis has not been pronounced. This study therefore seeks to highlight more on the tropical issues in order to suggest good write – up of entertainment columns so as to attract readers.