NEWS-SEEKING PATTERNS OF ACADEMICIANS AND ADMINISTRATORS OF ALLAMA IQBAL OPEN UNIVERSITY
BY MALIK TARIQ MALIK
Media play a major role in the lives of people all over the world in this global age. Print media is more worthy and trustful source of information in Pakistan. In the Pakistan the readership of daily newspapers is higher.
The researcher of this study is interested in investigating news-seeking patterns of both the communities’ i.e. academicians as well as administrators in the areas of national and international affairs, politics, education, economic, health, sports etc. Nobody reads the whole newspaper but he or she tries to look for the news they are interested in. They get and update their knowledge and information about their particular field of interest. Some of the readers read only political news; others may go to economy page as well because they want to invest their money and are interested in knowing a country’s political and economic situation. Proper economic and politics condition is a motivating factor for investors to make investment. Some other readers are getting only information on education and health.
Man can subsist without newspaper but no newspaper can subsist without news. News is a regular part of life. Definition of News is not an easy task. News is a simple word easily understood by those who deal with it. In a way it is one of the most complex words in our vocabulary, for it is endless in variety. Although most of the definitions are familiar by now yet News is certainly more than the Webster definition that is “a report of recent events”, “fresh information concerning something that has recently taken place”.
News is recent events and happening, especially those that are unusual or notable. According to Microsoft Encarta Dictionary “a report of any recent event” or “situation” and as the report of events published in a newspaper or information about current events printed in newspapers or broadcast by the media is called news. Therefore, according to this definition, news is what happens and what people feel, think, say and do. So, that news consists chiefly of unpublished reports of those activities of people which interest, inform, educate or entertain the public.
News is infact a communication between human beings. From the earliest period of human civilization, when people started exchanging ideas, the information or ideas started flowing from one person to another. With the organisation and development of the society, the transfer of ideas and information also increased and the process became more accurate and scientific.
IMPORTANCE OF NEWS
News to define its meaning is information provided to the public about the world around them. This information is important to them because equipped with the latest information about an issue; the public is able to decide their course of action. News is the accurate, timely and to the point report of an event. It is not the event itself, but the description of the event by a reporter. The importance of news has increased rapidly. It is the newspaper where we can find the news in more detail, and can be preserved and retained for any period of time. Today the press has become a social instrument, whether it wishes to be or not. As a social instrument, the newspaper finds place permanently in thousand of homes, and thus influences every member of the family indirectly.
Newspaper, publication usually issued on a daily or weekly basis, the main function of which to report news. Many newspapers furnish special information to readers, such as weather reports, television schedules, and listings of stock prices. They provide commentary on politics, economics, and arts and culture, and sometimes include entertainment features, such as comics and crossword puzzles. In nearly all cases and in varying degrees, newspapers depend on commercial advertising for their income.
Like division of media in Pakistan, people also enjoy both the urban and rural culture. It is very much obvious in Pakistan that national newspapers have their own monopoly. Print media is more worthy and trustful source of information in Pakistan as compared to Television which is in tight control of government. The reason may be to buy a newspaper is cheaper than to have a television set in home, and secondly people can see more news as compared to television bulletin. A newspaper is universally expected to perform four functions, in a democratic society.
? It must collect and disseminate objectively the day’s news.
? It must interpret and explain news in order to assist the readers in forming intelligent opinions.
? It must guide public opinion after presenting impartially both sides of every issue and point out the way to the greatest good for the greatest number. Thus essentially a newspaper is an institution of society aiming at public welfare.
? It should perform the duty of entertaining to the public.
However, there is another side to the picture, too vital to be ignored. A newspaper is a commercial enterprise that naturally seeks profit. For that it has to mould itself in such a way that it could be an acceptable commodity for a large number of people sufficient for its sustenance. Thus a newspaper in order to survive has to strike a balance between its position as an institution of society and as a commercial enterprise.
HISTORY OF NEWSPAPER
Like all other human fields of improvement, newspapers also had a systematic, slow but steady growth. Mehdi Hassan and Dr. Abdus Salam wrote in their book “Journalism for All” (1988, p. 67–80). According to Mehdi and Salam news was started in early 60 B.C. the history of the modern press is closely linked up with the invention of printing and the printing press. According to S. Natarjan; the art of printing from negative relief’s was known in China around 594 A.D., and from there spread along the caraven routes to the west where taking impressions from wooden blocks became quite common. In 1768, William Bolts was deported from Calcutta to Madras enroot to Europe, because he dared to set up a printing press in Calcutta. James Augustus Hicky’s, at any rate, was the proprietor of the Bengal Gazette, or Calcutta General Advertiser, the first newspaper to be published in India. The first issue appeared on Saturday, January 29, 1780, announcing itself as a weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties but influenced by none”, “Much of its pages were devoted to advertisements. It was a two sheet paper, about 12 inches by 8 inches, with three columns printed on both sides. Warren Hastings, in which the pioneer journalist of Indo-Pakistan subcontinent scored some success, it was finally crushed.
However, in recent years the standard of newspaper, which could survive in existing circumstances, has considerably improved both content wise and in appearance. Especially the Urdu newspapers have changed altogether and can now be compared with any advanced newspaper.
This was a bulletin Printing, name used for several processes by which words, pictures, or designs are reproduced on paper, fabrics, metal, or other suitable materials. These processes, sometimes called the graphic arts, consist essentially of making numerous identical reproductions of an original by mechanical means, and the printed book has thus been called the first mass product.
Before the invention of printing machines, people spread news by word of mouth, written letters, or public notices. As more people learned to read and write, news reports gained added reliability. Newspaper publishers estimate that nearly six out of ten adults in the United States and Canada read a newspaper every day, and seven out of ten read a paper each weekend. By the time they see a newspaper; most people have already learned about breaking news stories on television or radio. Readers rely on newspapers to provide detailed background information and analysis, which television and radio newscasts rarely offer. Newspapers not only inform readers that an event happened but also help readers understand what led up to the event and how it will affect the world around them.
Newspapers trace their roots to handwritten news sheets posted daily in the public marketplaces of ancient Rome. The first printed newspapers appeared in China during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907). These newspapers were printed from carved wood blocks. Precursors to modern papers first appeared in Venice, Italy, in the middle of the 14th century. Newspapers as known today, complete with advertising and a mixture of political, economic, and social news and commentary, emerged in Britain in the mid-18th century.
In modern times, newspapers that share a similar structure and function are published all over the world. This global press traces its origin to British papers of the 18th century. Though threatened by censorship in the years proceeding, during, and following the world wars, the global press maintained the tradition of freedom of the press first established in London.
Newspapers clearly state the journalistic salience of an item through its page placement, headline and length. In short we say that mass communication and newspapers is a process through which the social reality is transmitted. Newspaper, publication usually issued on a daily or weekly basis, the main function of which is to report news. Many newspapers also furnish special information to readers, such as weather reports, television schedules, and listings of stock prices. They provide commentary on politics, economics, and arts and culture, and sometimes include entertainment features, such as comics and crossword puzzles. In nearly all cases and in varying degrees, newspapers depend on commercial advertising for their income.
HISTORY OF SUB-CONTINENT NEWSPAPERS
Like all other human fields of improvement, newspapers also had a systematic, slow but steady growth. A short history of the press as it began in early times can help us in understanding the dimensions of its growth. The history of the modern press is closely linked up with the invention of printing and the printing press.
The institute of newsletters came much later. Dr. Abdus Salam Khurshid pioneering work on “Newsletters in the Orient” throw light on the origin of newsletters in the sub-continent. It was the Ghaznavide Muslim rulers who are said to have introduced the system in India towards the end of the 10th century. The newsletters played the major role in satisfying this quest for news and moulding public opinion before the printed newspapers became a reality.
Bengal, a part of which is now Bengla Desh, was the forerunner in modern journalism in the whole of the sub-continent. It was in Bengal that the first newspapers in India made there appearance and then the seeds of awakening were spread over the length and breadth of the rest of the country, beginning of course, with some pockets of British colonies such as Madras and Bombay. Since, modern newspapers in India had their origin in the needs of the small but growing European colonies sprinkled over the capitals of the presidency towns.
Journalism in those days was hardly considered a profession for decent men. The government of Bengal, under the Company rule, once contemplated the publication of a newspaper of their own so that, among other things, they may “put out of existence and needy indolence a few European adventures who were found unfit to be emerged in any creditable method of subsistence”. It is stated about C. H. Clay, the editor of the “Madras Courier”, that “he had the entry of good society, because he was clerk of the Chief Justice”. In 1768, William Bolts was deported from Calcutta to Madras enrooted to Europe, because he dared to set up a printing press in Calcutta. In 1780, James Augustus Hicky’s “weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties but influenced by none”, the Bengal Gazette, or the Hicky Gazette as it was popular and known, was refused transmission through the post office, and, after a historical struggle with Warren Hastings, in which the pioneer journalist of Indo-Pakistan subcontinent scored some success, it was finally cursed. William Duan of the Bengal Journal, was expelled from India, went to America and established himself as a newspaperman. Almost from its birth, the all absorbing interest of the Indian press had been politics. James Augustus Hickey started the Bengal Gazette in 1780; some eighty years after the first daily newspaper in England had commenced publication.
Even before Indian editors used their pens to fight for the freedom of their homeland, there was a strong political flavour to the press and very soon censorship of one kind or another was enforced, even though the people on whom it was imposed belonged to the ruling race. Editors in madras and Bombay soon followed their Calcutta forerunner into trouble with authority, which then of course was the company, very jealous of its position and highly intolerant of criticism by what were regarded as outsiders.
James Augustus Hickey, at any rate, was the proprietor of the Bangal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser, the first newspaper to be published in India. The first issue appeared on Saturday, January 29, 1780, announcing itself as a weekly and commercial paper, open to all parties, but succeed by none, “many of its pages were devoted It was a two sheet paper, about 12 inches by 8 inches, with three columns printed on both sides. The second newspaper to be started in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent was “The Indian Gazette or Calcutta Public Advertiser” published in 18th century. This was launched by Mr. P. Reed and Mr. B. Messink in November 1780.
The contents of the press in the 18th century reveal the influence of James Augustus Hickey. Foreign news, parliamentary debates of England, extracts from English newspapers, social news, letters to the editors and poets corners furnished most of the reading material. The second stage of Indian journalism started when the Baptist missionaries at Serampur, a Dutch settlement, started bringing out a monthly magazine in Bengali, the first of its kind to be published in a native language. “The Friend of India” a monthly periodical was also launched by the Serampur missionaries in April, 1818.
The first Indian-owned newspapers did not come out till the beginning of the 19th century. These newspapers were brought out to counteract the English and missionary influence on the local population. It is significant to note, therefore, the first such newspaper that was to come out was neither in the language of the area where it originated, that is, Bengal, nor in the language that was still deeply entrenched in the soil and in the courts and other official dealings, Persian. It was in English. Within the space of a few years, many other local owned newspapers were on the scene. The first Urdu newspaper in the subcontinent was “Jam-i-Jahan Numa” appeared in 1822. Bengal also claims the rare distinction of being the home of the first Hindi newspaper as well, “Qodunt Martund” launched in Calcutta in 1826. Calcutta, which was first to fall under British colonial rule of the three English colonies other two being Madras and Bombay – remained the most important and largest press centre during 19th century.
1.7 GROWTH OF MUSLIM PRESS IN SUBCONTINENT
The tempo of political agitation was quickened by the Muslim Press in particular in 1919 which set up new traditions of sacrifice. The Zamindar reappeared in December 1919; its circulation was 6145 in 1920. Another was “Paigham” by Abdul Kalam Azad from Calcutta in 1921 and “Sabah” by Qazi Abdul Ghaffar from Delhi. Al these newspapers made their contribution to the success of the non-cooperation movement. In 1922, the Press Act was withdrawn after the movement stopped under directive from Mahatma Gandhi.
The pro-league Muslim Press during 1924 – 1937 was spear-headed by the “Muslim Outlook” and “Inqilab” whose lead was accepted by Muslim papers all over the sub-continent. During 1938 – 1947 the Muslim press grew rather rapidly. A number of English language newspapers sprang up while Urdu Press too had new additions. Together with the old newspapers, they voiced Muslim political aspirations with still greater force and played the major role in mobilising public opinion in support of the Pakistan movement.
After the Lahore Resolution was passed, the Quaid-i-Azam sponsored a “create Muslim Press campaign” and collected funds for that purpose. He founded the “Dawn” in October 1942 as a daily from Delhi and placed it under a trust of which he was the Managing Trustee. Quaid-i-Azam also started “Manshoor” and Urdu daily from Delhi which was the official organ of the Al India Muslim League. This bright and fancy daily was edited by Syed Hassan Riaz.
HISTORY OF PAKISTAN’S NEWSPAPERS
When journalism crossed the borders of Pakistan, it had made considerable progress both intellectually and technically. Lahore had the distinction of having not only the oldest Paper in Punjab but that in the whole of Pakistan. It is ironical to note that there was no devoted and influential Press in Indo-Pakistan sub-continent to voice Muslim opinion during the days of struggle for independence. The majority of first class English dailies such as The Statesman, The Times of India, The Pioneer, The Hindu, The Bombay Chronicle and The Hindustan Times used to appear in Province which now apart of India. In Pakistan, Karachi at best could boast of three English newspapers. The Daily Gazette, The Sindh Observer and the Karachi Gazette all of them Hindu-owned. Peshawar had only one English newspaper, Khyber Mail, while Rawalpindi, Multan, Quetta, Sialkot and other big cities had none. In the Punjab, during the pre-Partition days, “The Civil and Military Gazette” and “The Tribune” were the most prominent English dailies.
As had been stated earlier, the territories now forming Pakistan were never the centre of prominent English dailies. The reason may be due to the political and educational backwardness of the majority of the Muslim population of these regions. The Muslim League could hardly have expected any positive contribution to its stand from these Papers. The founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam says, “The role of newspapers in voicing and moulding public opinion cannot be over emphasised”. The press has played an important role not only in the creation of Pakistan by mounding and expressing Muslim Public Opinion in support of the idea of Pakistan but, also in the development of this new state.
This study has been aimed to investigate the following:
? To study the news-seeking patterns of the Academicians and administrators of AIOU readers with respect to the selected aspect namely gender, age, and qualification.
? To investigate the news-seeking patterns of the Academicians and administrators of AIOU readers with respect to the selected aspect namely selected medium of newspapers as well as their time of reading newspaper.
? To find out differences in news-seeking patterns among Academician and administrators of AIOU readers with respect to the selected aspects, namely purpose of reading newspapers i.e. reading newspaper for just gathering updated information, job hunting, entertainment, time killing etc.
? To find out differences in news-seeking patterns among academicians and administrator of AIOU readers with respect to the selectedg aspects, namely National and international affairs, educational, political, economics news, articles and editorials etc.
In this study the hypothesis is that:
? The Academicians are more interested in the news related to international and national affairs, articles, editorials, political and educational developmental news.
? The administrators are more interested in the area of national affairs, city news, political, job hunting, sports time-killing, etc.
What are the different patterns of news-seeking of academicians and administrators of Allama Iqbal Open University?
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The researcher should examine and analyze the news-seeking patterns of two groups i.e. academicians and administrators’ communities. The researcher also discuss potential effects highlighting from print media i.e. newspaper. The specification of such effects should be contained within the hypothesis that link elements or concepts in each of the phases.
News is a form of communication. The present age is rightfully called “age of information, observation, and reasoning revolution”. (Pavlik, J. V., 1996). These revolutions began with the wish to remember important events or happening by writing them down. With a few scratches, our inventive ancestors set in motion the never ending story of recording information, the communication and the storage of knowledge outside the brain. Information, observation and reasoning are the main sources of human knowledge. Over ninety percent of our knowledge comes through this first source, i.e. newspapers.
It is understood that information needs arise when an individual finds himself in a problem situation, when he or she no longer can manage with the knowledge that he or she possess, (Talja 1992, P. 72). There are a lot of studies on mass media or mass communication throughout the world done but a few research studies conducted on ‘news-seeking patterns throughout the world, and especially in Pakistan. The present study is significant not only for the newspapers’ industries and readers, but it is also important for educational point of view. This study will help to newspaper readers, media practitioners, academicians as well as administrators of different disciplines and planners of print media.
We, as individuals and groups, “repeatedly find ourselves in situations where information is needed, gathered, sought, organized, retrieved, processed, evaluated, and used” (Solomon 1996, P. 292). Reading of newspaper is part of daily routine for many consumers. The paper version provides tactile pleasure of turning pages and the portability of tucking the newspaper in a briefcase or book-bag for later or recycling it by leaving it on the break or breakfast table for someone else to enjoy. Newspaper, publication usually issued on a daily or weekly basis, the main function of which is to report news. Many newspapers also furnish special information to readers, such as weather reports, television schedules, and listings of stock prices. They provide commentary on politics, economics, and arts and culture, and sometimes include entertainment features, such as comics and crossword puzzles. In nearly all cases and in varying degrees, newspapers depend on commercial advertising for their income.
The close to topic of this research related researches made by the renowned researchers are given below:
Suriya, Sangeetha and Nambi (2004) carried out a research work on “Information seeking behaviour of Faculty Members from Government Arts Colleges in Cuddlier District.” The purpose of their study was to investigate, how faculty members seek information from the library. It mentions that most of the respondents 61 (38.12 percent) visited the library several times a week to meet their information needs. Regarding the type of search made by the respondents the majority of the respondents 91 (56.87 percent) made their search by subject.
Shokeen and Kushik (2002) studied about information seeking behaviour of social scientists working in the universities located in Haryana. They reported most of the social scientists visit the library daily. The first preferred method of searching the required information by the social scientists followed by searching through indexing and abstracting periodicals, and citations in articles respectively. The social scientists use current journals followed by books.
Challener (1999) investigated artists and art historians teaching in five liberal arts colleges and three universities. Results found that they need information for teaching. The participants almost all subscribe to art journals, and many read newspapers. They visit libraries frequently, usually more than one library, and unlike previous reports, the majority is willing to ask the librarian for help. A large percentage of both art historians and artists are using computers for teaching. All 27 participants use slides extensively in the classroom, supplemented in most cases by textbooks.
Reneker (1992) investigated the information seeking activities of 31 members of the Stanford University Academic community were examined over a two-week period during the 1990-91 academic year. She adopted the naturalistic approach and employed qualitative techniques for data collection using mainly personal interviews. Informants’ perception of their information environment expressed in positive terms and there a close relationship between knowledge, information, environment and the sources used. Information seeking embedded in the day-to-day activities and relationships of participants and triggered both by articulation of need and availability of information. A large number of needs are satisfied by the sources informants created or organized themselves and by interpersonal information sources. The findings of the study indicated that the action of information seeking originated from a wide variety of needs like personal, professional, entertainment, etc.
Althaus and Tewksbury (2000) wrote in his article “Online News-seeking Patterns of first and second year college students”: Academic research continues to show that online news users are not representative of the average rational voter. Althaus and Tewksbury’s study of “Online News-seeking Patterns of first and second year college students” reminds us that those who seek news and information online are qualitatively different from the general population. Not only do they have greater access to, and familiarity with, computer technology than non-Internet users, they also have different demographic and attitudinal profiles than the general adult population. “News habits developed within this community result not from an uneven social distribution of computer skills and access but, rather, from the unique needs that are better satisfied by on-line or traditional news media.”
Daniela Lesley Evans (1978, p. 96) write in his article entitled “A Critical Examination of Claims Concerning: The Impact of Print” he wrote ‘So much that we think of as characteristic of the modern world economic, social, religious, political is built on the foundation provided by newspaper as a medium of communication. From the sixteenth century it became impossible for the illiterate to obtain either wealth or influence, and this has largely occurred due to the invention of print as a medium of communication in the fifteenth century. This had widespread consequences, allowing large numbers of copies of a work to be made rapidly. The further availability of information provided enabled greater scientific advancement as it meant that other people’s ideas were more readily available. Similarly the development of the printing press encouraged religious reform, as it was a major factor in allowing the writings of Erasmus, Luther and later Calvin to achieve high levels of circulation.
Febvre and Martin (1976, p. 278) It is safe to assume that printing makes knowledge accessible to all, although it needs to be accompanied with the necessary cultural and political conditions making literacy compulsory for all. However, this does not necessarily lead to a society that is much more knowledgeable than one that uses oral communication as its foundation. In a non-literary society, where information is conveyed orally, to avoid the information it is necessary to avoid the whole of society. The only possible way by living a completely solitary life, by contrast, reading and writing are predominantly silent and solitary activities. Consequently, in a literary society, information is easy to avoid, simply by choosing not to read what is available.
USES AND GRATIFICATIONS MODEL OF THE MEDIA
The mass media is a huge phenomenon. Through the various different platforms, print or broadcast, the media is able to reach millions of people like no other force. Without media, powerful speeches by politicians would no affect, local events would remain local, and performances by great actors would be seen only by the people in the immediate audience. The media overcomes distances, and builds a direct relationship with audience.
The model looks at motives of the people who use the media, asking why we bother to read newspapers, why we find ourselves so compelled to keep up to date with our favourite soap.
The surveillance need based around the idea that people feel better having the feeling that they know what is going on in the world around them. One of the genres this often applied to news. By watching or reading news, we learn about what is happening in the world, and as the news is usually bad news, this knowledge leaves us feeling more secure about the safety of our own lives. This idea might seem a bit strange, that we know about tragedies and we feel safer, but sociologists argue that ignorance seen as a source of danger, and so the more knowledge we have the safer we feel.
When looking at the news it’s easy to spot news items that give us this reaction. For example if it wasn’t for watching the news we might be unknowingly left with five rupees notes that are worthless, or become vulnerable to the latest computer virus, or end up in a hospital with an awful track record also we have not knowledge about new world record in cricket which set by South African cricket team against world’s best team i.e. Australia. So, the surveillance models then all about awareness. We use the mass media to be more aware of the world, gratifying a desire for knowledge and security.
Using the Media within Relationships
Another aspect to the personal relationships model is how we can sometimes use the media as a springboard to form and build upon relationships with real people. The EastEnders strapline ‘Everyone’s talking about it’, despite being a clever marketing tactic, does hold up when looking at social uses of the media. Having a favourite TV program in common can often be the start of a conversation, and can even make talking to strangers that much easier.
The Advantages and Limitations of Media
Texts need audiences in order to realise their potential for meaning. So a text does not have a single meaning but rather a range of possibilities which are defined by both the text and by its audiences. The meaning is not in the text, but in the reading. (Hart 1991, 60)
Andrew Hart, many other theorists and researchers who identify and give value to the existence of audience in relation to the media. At the most basic level, audiences are vital in communication. It is for the audience that media constructing and conveying information, and, if it were not for the audiences, the media would not exist. The exact relationship between the media and their audiences has been the subject of debate since media were first seriously studied and emphasises the importance of audience and of their relationship with the media.
The Effects model is considered to be an inadequate representation of the communication between media and public, as it does not take into account the audience as individuals with their own beliefs, opinions, ideals and attitudes:
“Audiences are not blank sheets of paper on which media messages can be written; members of an audience will have prior attitudes and beliefs which will determine how effective media messages are. (Abercrombie 1996, 140)”
A new approach to the dynamics of audience/text relationship was suggested in the Uses and Gratification model. In this model, theorists were not asking how the media effects audiences, but how were audiences using media. They suggested that audiences had specific needs and actively turned to the media to consume various texts to satisfaction of these needs. The audience in Uses and Gratifications were seen as active, as opposed to passive audience in the Effects model. Uses and Gratifications acknowledged that audience had a choice of texts from which to choose form and satisfy their needs, Bulmer and Katz (1974).
The model still implies that messages are packages of information that all audience will read same. It does not consider how he messages are interpreted or any other factors affecting audience’s interpretation.
“Another criticism is that of the tendency to concentrate solely on why audiences consume media rather than extending investigation to discover what meanings and interpretations are produced and in what circumstances, i.e. how media are received. (O’Sullivan, Dutton & Rayner 1994, 131)”
In other words, media receivers want to use information in some way or to obtain satisfactions that they anticipate (Lowery & DeFleur, 1995).
A number of studies on audience’s uses and gratification of various media (Berelson, 1949; Kimball, 1959, etc), early 1970s scholars in this area turned to audience motivations, developing typologies of uses people made of media to gratify social and psychological needs (Katz et al. 1973). Such typologies included such needs as strengthening understanding of self, friends, others, or society; strengthening status of self or society; and strengthening contact with family, friends, society, or culture (Lowery & DeFleur, 1995).
It’s likely has been found in the uses-and-gratification research from the West, that an individual uses media for different purposes at different times under different circumstances; and different people may seek different gratifications from media. A question for researchers is how to meaningfully and effectively categorize (typologies) those different needs and objectives.
According to Chang, Chen and Zhang study in (1993): Early studies of Chinese media focused on propagandistic and persuasive aspects of mass communication. Since mid-1880s, various social factions have used newspapers mainly as tools in their political struggles. The Chinese communists have always recognized value of mass media (Robinson, 1981). For example, the government has emphasized use of mass media for China’s social, political, and economic development (Yu & Sears, 1996). As a powerful tool of opinion and perceptions, news media are supposed to unite the people, to elevate their consciousness and spirit.
ROLE OF PRINT MEDIA
To keep abreast of what’s happening in the world around us we need information. Without information we won’t know a threat exists until it is too late. But just being offered information is not enough. We also need to be willing to take that information on board while there is still time to avoid threat.
Public information will be just one of many issues officials will have to address, and media are often perceived as being a nuisance or hindrance to response activities. However, it is essential that communicating with media is made a priority in any response planning because the media will be among first responders at the scene and will be a vital information mechanism for government bodies. The media will therefore share a significant amount of responsibility for relaying vital information to public. Although newspapers makes knowledge more accessible to all, and has had dramatic effects on our culture and society, it does not necessarily follow that a literate society is greatly more knowledgeable than a non-literate one.
NEWSPAPERS READERSHIP IN PAKISTAN
Newspaper publishers estimate that nearly six out of ten adults every day, and seven out of ten read a newspaper each weekend. By the time they seen; mostly people have already learned about breaking news stories on television or radio. Readers rely on newspapers to provide detailed background information and analysis, which television and radio newscasts rarely offer. Newspapers not only inform readers that an event happened but also help readers to understand what led up to the event and how it will affect on the world around them. Media scholar Philip J. Hanes (1996) wrote his article entitled “The Advantages and Limitations Focus on Audience in Media Studies”:
“Audiences are not blank sheets of paper on which media messages can be written; members of an audience will have prior attitudes and beliefs which will determine how effective media messages are”. (P.140)
Veblen, (1994) wrote in his article entitled “Newspaper Readership and Informational/Cultural Processing”: Newspaper readership is an instance of cultural participation in regard to which information-processing. Reading newspaper is more straightforward form of information processing than various other cultural activities and at the same time choice of newspaper could scarcely count as very effective kind of status-oriented `conspicuous consumption’ on account both of relatively low price even expensive newspapers and of the fact that reading likely to take place in privacy of home as in public. Consequently, evidence of a connection between newspaper readership and status, independent of information-processing capacity, would, for our present purposes of particular significance.
Most people read only one (daily) newspaper, at least on a regular basis. This means that we can here avoid complications that arise with forms of cultural participation, such as, say, listening to music, where there a wide variety of genres and an individual may have a range of preferences. As we noted above, such instances have of late given rise to debates over whether distinction of greatest relevance in regard to status is that between those participating in `high’ as opposed to `low’ (or popular) culture or that between cultural `omnivores’ and `univores’.
According to Pakistan Readership Report (2002-03) issued by Gallup survey of Pakistan, newspaper readership ratio among adults (18 years+) is only 33% and among youth (10-17years) is 21%. Province wise this ratio is: for Punjab 31%, For Sindh 49%, for N.W.F.P. 25%, and for Baluchistan 28%. Among youth (10-17years), this ration is: for Punjab 16%, for Sindh 34%, For N.W.F.P 16% and for Baluchistan 19%. Apparently the situation is, to some extent satisfactory for Sindh province but this is due to high rate of readership in Karachi, which is among adults 69% and among youth 44% .By excluding Karachi, the ratio remains very poor for interior Sindh. The table and graph elaborate the province-wise ratio of newspaper readership in Pakistan.
Ratio of Newspaper Readership
Province Among Adults
(+18 Years) Among Youth
(10 – 17 Years)
Punjab 31% 16%
Sindh 49% (Karachi 69% &
Interior Sindh 29%) 34% (Karachi 44% & Interior Sindh 24)
N.W.F.P. 25% 16%
Baluchistan 28% 19%
Average 33 21
Newspaper readership and buyer-ship are two different concepts. Every reader is not a buyer of newspapers. One newspaper read by a lot person at homes, offices, shops and libraries. According to Pakistan Readership Report 2002-03 of the Gallup Survey, in Punjab 10.17 readers read one copy, while in Sindh this ratio is 5.57, in N.W.F.P this ratio is 8.47 and in Baluchistan this ratio is 13.98.9 Considering the economic peculiarities and rural character of the region, it is understandable that the number of readers per copy in Baluchistan is substantially higher than the national average of 7.7 It is necessary to mention that after including the ratio of readership per copy in FATA/FANA and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the national average of readers per copy is 7.7.
NEWS SEEKING PATTERNS
In general, the amount of news reading tends to increase with age, education, and administrative status. News reading increases very rapidly through the academicians and administrators. Summarizing reading patterns by education appears that readers on lower end of educational curve tend to use newspaper for entertainment, sensational news, and political. Newspaper readership often measured by quantifying a particular indicator of newspaper-reading activity, readership tends to be viewed far too simplistically.
Qamar (2002, p.18) said in his thesis of M.Sc. Mass Communication entitled “The comparison of Different Newspaper Reading habits of Male & Female”. His comparative study of different newspaper reading habits of men and women in Pakistan meant to find out that; to what extent newspaper reading habits differ from each other. The researcher wrote in his research study that women are interested in reading newspaper. It was found that 56 percent female readers read newspaper daily. The survey indicated that high percentage of women read newspaper although not more than men.
It is found that men spend more time for reading newspaper per day than women, as 40 percent men read newspaper more than an hour, while there are no women spend more than an hour for reading newspapers. Men read newspaper more than women in terms of reading large volume of newspaper’s material. Men like to read hard news while women like to read soft news.
According to Herald Media Survey (1997) in Scotland revealed in an article “What they Read”? The survey showed that newspapers are still popular with young teenager in Scotland. More than three quarters of boys said they spent on average ten minutes a day for reading newspaper with sports page being the most popular only 13 percent of boys read the whole newspaper. Although girls spend slightly less time for reading newspaper, they are reading more widely.
Media researchers Mehta and Paralikar (1999) investigated through conducting a study that news-seeking pattern of the selected media were studied in relation to spent time, news language, news area, kind of news and news aspects. The overall findings of their study revealed that majority of respondents described to two English newspapers, because those newspapers give complete news and have good coverage of events. Overall and sex wise newspaper used as medium for seeking news most frequently. The kinds of news sought through newspaper were political, social, health educational, etc. Highly significant differences existed in the news-seeking patterns of female respondents with respect to spent time for seeking news, kinds of news and news aspects.
The kinds of news sought through this media with highest intensity indices were political, social, national and international current affairs, educational, sports, science, economics and business news. The other indices were headlines, detailed news, news briefs, articles, and editorials. The researcher conducted research on assessing the importance of news, to explore where news fits in daily life.
James (2004, p.3–4) Thus, we risk misunderstanding its true nature. As we become comfortable employing automatic processing with its focus on efficiency, we let our skills of meaning construction atrophy. With weaker skills, we come to depend more and more on the media to tell us what is important and who we should be. For centuries, getting access to information was a major problem for virtually all human. With rise of the mass media throughout the 20th century, the barriers to access were substantially reduced, especially with spread of Radio, Television and then Computer. Today, not only information easily available to almost anyone; information keeps getting produced at an ever increasing rate. The information problem is no longer about how to get access. The much more pressing problem is how to keep up with all the news-seeking patterns.
PRACTICAL USAGE OF NEWSPAPER’S INFORMATION
Andersen says in his article entitled “Communicating Information across Cultures: Understanding How Others Work” published on September 2002. There are specific communications differences between scientists and humanists that are created by their information-seeking patterns. An excellent example of academic’s cultural differences in the field of information seeking and uses, information-seeking research looks at how individuals go about finding materials that they need in order to satisfy informational needs both professional and recreational. In the ethnographic experience of an unfamiliar worship service, an individual might gather clues about standing-sitting-kneeling through watching others, through listening for directions from an authority, or through written materials available somewhere in the place of worship.
The academicians of AIOU usually follow the patterns established by their peers, relying upon mentors in their fields to guide them in graduate school and early professional development. Differences of style come from both individual—his or her own personal traits, predispositions, and biases, and from training that he or she has received in a particular discipline. Thus, culture including ways of individuals seeks information passed on through apprenticeship and practice.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EDUCATION AND NEWSPAPER
The relationship between education and newspaper readership is far from simple. First, newspaper readership correlates positively with information seeking, including information about civic responsibilities, and need for cognition, the pursuit of higher level reasoning. A body of research correlates interest in information about political, public policy and social issues to news seeking. For example, a panel study by Hugh Culbertson and others found that focused attention, interest and involvement in political issues correlated positively with news seeking. The study found that attention either to newspapers or to television news content predicted provide knowledge. However, the study of newspaper readers were more cognitively involved than television viewers.
Maxwell McCombs and Paula Poindexter found a positive correlation between the frequency of newspaper readership and perceived civic duty to keep informed. (Civic duty encompasses perceived obligation to vote and to support fundamental liberties, including free expression.) Similarly, in a comparison study of nonreaders, single newspaper readers and multiple newspaper readers conducted by Wayne Wanta and others, nonreaders demonstrated particularly weak motivation to use newspapers to understand events or to known informed about civic affairs.
One study found that highly educated are more tolerant of others’ freedom of expression than less well-educated, regardless of whether the issue in question supported by left or right-wing groups. The same study found that increased cognitive sophistication was even more predictive of support for free expression than level of education alone. Other studies using cognitive variables such as need for cognition have produced similar findings.
Rather than examine the possible multi-faceted link between education on free-expression issues and news seeking, research has tended to focus on differences among newspapers that may explain differences in civic knowledge among and between readers and nonreaders. For example, one study suggests that “not all newspapers are created equal.” The study measured differences in civic knowledge among readers of different types of newspapers and found that all newspapers may not benefit equally from increased interest in civic affairs among potential readers. Because readers tend to gather information about local affairs from local newspapers and information about national issues from metropolitan papers, the selection of news source was predictive type of civic affairs knowledge possessed by the reader. Therefore, desire for increased knowledge of national events would not be correlated with increased reading of local newspapers. However, research by Dan Drew and David Weaver found, to the contrary, that readers of local newspapers sought and were knowledgeable about both local and national civic affairs.
FACULTY MEMBER AND NEWSPAPER READERSHIP
Tak Wing Chan & John H. Goldthorpe (2004) writes their research article entitled “Social Status of Faculty Member and Newspaper Readership”. They write an instance of cultural participation in regard to which the information-processing might be thought especially favoured news for newspaper readership. More straightforward form of information processing of newspaper reading than various other cultural activities and at the same time choice of newspaper could scarcely count as very effective kind of status-oriented `conspicuous consumption’, on account both of relatively low price of even the most expensive newspapers and facts that reading at home to take place in privacy as compare in public.
Consequently, evidence of a connection between faculty member and newspaper readership, independent of information-processing capacity, would be our present purposes of the study. Most people read only one (daily) newspaper, at least on regular basis. This means that we can here avoid complications that arise with forms of cultural participation, such as, say, listening to music, where there is wide variety of genres and an individual may have a range of preferences.
However, we see how far the association between faculty member and readership’s status may be accounted by individuals’ educational attainment serving as proxy for their information-processing capacity. Although all newspapers are available and read throughout UK, Scotland has it own broadsheets (Herald, Scotsman) and tabloids. Their readers are grouped with those who read other regional newspapers under Regional category, local and others.
It may be noted that control variables do have some significant association with newspaper readership. The significant coefficients for sex, being generally positive, indication that women more liking than men to fall into other readership categories than broadsheet reader, while those for age, being generally negative, indicate that older persons are more liking than younger ones to read broadsheets than to fall into other categories.
The coefficients for income cannot be so straightforwardly interpreted but, as anticipation, they are in-fact less often significant, and especially when education brought into analysis. Scots appear less likely than others to read broadsheets, but this is probably an artefact due to omission of Scottish broadsheets in the response categories.
However, the effects of status and education are interesting variables of research study. Having demonstrated that there are strong and systematic association between faculty member’s status and newspaper readership, while status and class are clearly correlated in contemporary British society as status gradient runs, as it were, across the class structured status stratification within classes may still be quite extensive.
Today, the cultural level of lifestyle is chief way in which status expressed and recognised, then, since newspapers generally regarded as being culturally stratified, the status of individuals should show a close relation to the type of newspaper that they read.
The probability of individuals reading high-brow broadsheets rises with status, and at an increasing rate; the probability of their reading low-brow redtop tabloids falls with status in more or less linear fashion; and the probability of their reading middlebrow tabloids first increases with status and then decreases.
We have, moreover, considered the possibility that more basic relationship exists between individuals’ educational level, information-processing capacity, and their consequent preference for more or less demanding kinds of reading newspapers. We find that although education does indeed influence of newspaper readership and on lines that would be predicted under information-processing and education does not remove the effect.
The association between faculty member and newspaper readership persists within different levels of education. The information-processing can be reckoned as at least more immediately involved in reading newspapers that in many other forms of cultural participation, while choice of newspaper is not the most obvious vehicle of conspicuous consumption. The cultural level of newspapers’ readership does grooming their status within their community.
ACADEMICIAN AND ADMINISTRATIVE USAGE OF NEWSPAPERS
Everyone knows information is a form of power. Daily millions of peoples gain their knowledge of national and international affairs from the pages of newspapers all over the world. The Third World countries know this more than ever. That why they are calling for the establishment of new international information order and they feel this is just as urgent as the establishment of new international economic order.
All medium of communication play a main role in the field of information, but the print media plays a key role in focusing public attention, and news patterns influence, public perception of important issues of the day. The academicians and administrators are main source of ideas about needy changes in the University structure and managements. Discretionary behaviour by academicians and administrators who deliver services characteristics of most studies by the implementation research.
The modern newspaper plays several roles for its readers. From the analysis of intensive interviews, the researcher has attempted to construct a typology of such roles, or functions, of newspaper. Obviously the types enumerated here, while discrete, are not necessarily mutually exclusive for any one newspaper reader. Undoubtedly, different people read different parts of the newspaper for different reasons at different times. A group of readers seem to use newspaper because it enables them to appear informed in social gatherings, thus the newspaper has conversational value. Readers not only can learn what has happened and then report it to their associates but they can find opinions and interpretations for usage and discussions on current affairs with colleagues.
The newspaper reader’s predispositions are involved in effects of reading in two ways. They condition the reader’s selection of publications and the condition of his interpretation of what he reads. Almost any phase of reader’s personality may be involved in reading experience. Their personal traits, subject interests, and reading ability may determine which accessible publications they would choose to read. The difference can be explained only by differences in predispositions which may be fundamental or merely a temporary mood. The same predispositions are often involved in both selection and interpretation of reading, but they need not to be. The reader may select their reading from one set of conditions and respond to it from a totally different set.
Their methods of reading, which may range from a hasty skimming to close analysis, naturally affect both their response to publication and its effects on them. The more highly educated readers are attracted to more mature newspapers because their wider intellectual experiences enable them to share publishers’ more mature attitudes in the life. As the central fact in most people’s lives, occupation has an important role in selection and interpretation of reading, its importance, of course, varies with their occupation. Occupational differences such as clearly revealed in many subject classifications of publications. Reader motivated by need for greater social security may seek to improve their status within their family or social class or may try to exchange their social class for another social class.
News-seeking Patterns of Academicians
According to previous researches of news reading habits academicians or University teachers are interested to read the news according to their professional status. They want to read news of national and international affairs, educational, economics, editorial and article. They want to update their knowledge because they deliver a lot of lectures in the different institutions and topics.
Newspapers are most prominent media which are providing the current information to educationist according to their requirement. To produce well-informed citizens who can make their own judgements on the basis of available evidence. In so far as educationist deals with value judgements, it does so in the ways which encourage their students to explore the range of value judgements and to examine the sources of such judgements (including their own) and their effects. They seek to impose ideas on what constitutes “good” or “bad’ through newspapers.
News-seeking Patterns of Administrators
The administrators use a wide variety of sources, both informal and formal, to obtain the needed information as do their colleagues in other countries. However, in addition to giving preference to ‘human sources, as was found by Campbell (1997), they place more emphasis on the ‘press releases’. They seem to be more satisfied with the information that they receive from the sources that they prefer than those that they do not. It is interesting to note that these respondents are least satisfied with the print media.
The information gathered by these respondents appears to be mainly used for getting job opportunities, personal knowledge, and less so for preparing personality profiles, editorials, and columns. This was expected because a limited amount of items mentioned in the later group are actually needed and are written by a limited number of individuals.
There are some interesting usage patterns of administrators because administrative personality’s almost choose same news for reading like as academicians but some differences exist i.e. they give priority to; job hunting, sports politics, features and burning issues of the country. As compared to academicians administrators are spend a lot time regularly to read newspapers, might be have spare time for in-depth reading of newspapers.
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
In this chapter the researcher analyzed the data in response of respondents’ awareness/knowledge, personal identification, and confirmation of their news-seeking patterns. The data on the “News-seeking Patterns of academicians and administrators of AIOU” were collected through a questionnaire which was designed for this study with the help of supervisor. Primarily, cross-tabulation and correlation coefficient statistical procedure was applied to investigate exposure of newspapers’ readership, their demography and news-seeking patterns’ dimension; viz Reading English/Urdu language newspapers, purpose of reading newspapers, national and international current affairs, editorials and articles, economics, health and sport news, educational development news, information seeking on political news, and reading newspapers’ supplements.
Theoretical frame work for all the variables of this study was based on Uses and Gratification model. The data was analyzed with the help of SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) version 12.0. Details of the data analysis are given below:
Table 4.1: Cross-tabulation of Profession’s Gender and
Age of the respondents
Profession’s Gender and Age Age of the respondents Total
30 to 40 41 to 45 46 to 50 51 & above
Academicians Gender of the respondents Male Count 22 15 1 10 48
% Age 64.7% 68.2% 50.0% 83.3% 68.6%
Female Count 12 7 1 2 22
% Age 35.3% 31.8% 50.0% 16.7% 31.4%
Total Count 34 22 2 12 70
% Age 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Administrators Gender of the respondents Male Count 14 14 10 20 58
% Age 73.7% 77.8% 83.3% 95.2% 82.9%
Female Count 5 4 2 1 12
% Age 26.3% 22.2% 16.7% 4.8% 17.1%
Total Count 19 18 12 21 70
% Age 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Table 4.1 shows the sample’s age of Academicians and administrators of the AIOU. The sample comprises the 50% Academicians and 50% administrators’ communities. As evident from the table, greater numbers of male Academicians 83.3% as well as male administrators 95.2% are falling in the age category of 51 and above. Whereas, the numbers of female Academicians 31.8% and female administrators 22% are falling in the age category between 41 to 45. Similarly, there is quite a good number of both Academicians and administrators falling in the young age category; i.e. 30 to 40 years.
To sum up, comparatively young male Academicians are working in the AIOU. However, the age group between 30 to 40 of female Academicians is younger than the age group of female administrators. Similarly, overall, there are young people ranging from the age between 30 to 50 employed in the University.
Table 4.2: Cross-tabulation of Profession’s Gender and
Graph 4.2 documents that there are greater numbers of both male and female Academicians having M. Phil and PhD qualification 68.5%. Whereas, the administrating positions are mostly having masters degree qualification 91.7%. Thus the Academicians community is highly qualified as compared to the administrators in the AIOU.
Table 4.3: Cross-tabulation of Profession’s Gender and
Graph 4.3 refers to the reading habits of faculty members and administrators. As evident from the table both male academicians and administrators read newspaper very greatly. However, the female academicians are less inclined toward reading newspaper as compare to female administrators i.e. 63% and 83% respectively. The overall result shows that reading newspaper by the administrators is higher than the academician community.
Table 4.4: Cross-tabulation of Profession’s Qualification and Reading Newspaper
Profession’s Qualification and Reading Newspaper Reading Newspaper Total
Academicians Qualification of the respondents Master Count 21 8 29
% of Total 30.0% 11.4% 41.4%
M Phil Count 15 4 19
% of Total 21.4% 5.7% 27.1%
PhD Count 21 1 22
% of Total 30.0% 1.4% 31.4%
Total Count 57 13 70
% of Total 81.4% 18.6% 100.0%
Administrators Qualification of the respondents Master Count 39 6 45
% of Total 55.7% 8.6% 64.3%
M Phil Count 4 1 5
% of Total 5.7% 1.4% 7.1%