Essay Preview: Newspaper
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This research paper is based around the uses and gratifications theory. It deals with various studies and articles that discuss the uses of newspapers in students daily lives, dealing with where the student gets a specific kind of news and why they chose that medium.
The theory that is used is the Uses and Gratifications Theory according to Stephen Littlejohn. (2002) This theory focuses on the consumer instead of a message. The consumer is responsible for choosing a specific media to meet their specific needs. An extension of this theory is the Dependency Theory. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur proposed this theory. (1976) They propose a relationship among audiences, media, and the larger social system. Ð²Ð‚ÑšConsistent with uses-and-gratifications theory, this theory predicts that you depend on media information to meet certain needs and achieve certain goals.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Littlejohn pg. 325) There are two factors that seem to determine how dependent the audience member becomes on the media. The first says, Ð²Ð‚ÑšMedia can serve a number of functions such as monitoring government activities and providing entertainment. For any given group of people, some of these functions are more important than others, and your dependence on information from a medium increases when it supplies information that is more central to you.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Littlejohn pg. 325) Littlejohn explains this in more detail by saying, Ð²Ð‚ÑšIf you follow sports carefully, you will probably become dependent on ESPN or Sports Illustrated. A person who is not interested in sports will probably not even know where ESPN is on the dial, may never have looked at Sports Illustrated and typically skips the entire sports section of the newspaper.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Littlejohn pg. 325) The second source is social stability. Ð²Ð‚ÑšWhen social change and conflict are high, established institutions, beliefs, and practices are challenged, forcing you to reevaluate and make new choices. At such times your reliance on the media for information will increase. At other, more stable times your dependency on media may go way down. During times of war, for example, people become incredibly dependent on news programming.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Littlejohn pg. 325)
The second article is entitled Competition between the Internet and Traditional News Media: The Gratification Opportunities Niche Dimension by John Dimmick, Yan Chen, and Zhan Li. (2004) This study was conducted to understand the uses of online news compared to the traditional media. It discusses the fact that the Internet encompasses the three main sources of mass media, while adding itself into the category since you have video clips, audio clips, and news articles. The data that was collected was done in Franklin County Ohio in a telephone survey. The results indicate that the Internet has replaced traditional media when it comes to daily news. It also showed that there is a high degree of overlap between the niches of the Internet and the traditional media on the gratification opportunities dimension. It also suggests that the Internet provides more satisfaction than the traditional media.
The third article is entitled Effects of Newspaper Coverage on Community Issue Concerns and Local Government Evaluations by Kim Smith. (1987) This article involves information and results from 8 surveys conducted in an 8 year span and a content analysis of a daily newspaper, an analysis used to examine the relationships between newspaper coverage of community issues, public concerns about them, and related government services.
The fourth article is called Accuracy and Accountability in Reporting Local Government Budget Activities: Evidence From the Newsroom and From Newsmakers by Dale Swoboda. (1995) He surveyed municipal finance directors and newspaper managing editors on the effect of the accountability of local government budget activities and policies based on newspaper coverage. He states that Ð²Ð‚Ñšnewspapers are selective about what constitutes news, and that while newspapers receive adequate information from public officials, many reporters and editors lack the training to understand and interpret complex budget activities and policies.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Swoboda 1995 pg. 74)
The fifth article is entitled Discourse Ethics and the Regulation of Media: The Case of the U.S. Newspaper written by Karin Wahl-Jorgensen and Hernan Galperin. (2000) Based on JÐ”Ñ˜rgen Habermass discourse ethics work it builds a case for regulating U.S. media focusing on the newspaper. It looks into concepts and practices that structure the newspaper. It discusses the three consequences of the Ð²Ð‚ÑšnewspapersÐ²Ð‚™ market orientation: (1) the central role of advertising support, (2) the concentration of newspaper ownership, and (3) the professionalization of journalism.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Jorgensen and Galperin 2000 pg. 19)
The sixth article used is Dude, WhereÐ²Ð‚™s Your Newspaper which was an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (Mindich 2004) Ð²Ð‚ÑšIn 1972, 46 percent of college-age Americans read a newspaper every day. Today itÐ²Ð‚™s only 21 percent, according to research by the Roper Center for Public Opinion ResearchÐ²Ð‚™s General Social Survey.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Mindich 2004) He continues to say that the younger demographic is not perceivably concerned with the news. He did a yearlong survey around the country with people under the age of 40 about their news habits to see why some people are concerned with the news and why some are not. While Mindich does not reveal his results he says, Ð²Ð‚ÑšI learned several lessons, chief among them that entertainment has almost completely eclipsed news on television. Once we begin to judge news on its entertainment value alone, we lose.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Mindich 2004)
The seventh article is entitled Study says papers not reaching teens by Jennifer Saba. (2004) In this article Saba looks into a study that was released by the Newspaper Association of America. The study Ð²Ð‚Ñšdeclared that newspapers are doing a better job in reaching elementary and college students, but the need to find a Ð²Ð‚Ñšbetter way to engage with teens,Ð²Ð‚Ñœ according to Randy Bennett, NAA Vice President of Readership Integration.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Saba 2004)
There were focus groups in four cities with high school age students. Ð²Ð‚ÑšThe teens said they did not want the news dumbed-down, but they do want it more concise with more bullet points. And contrary to what many currently believe, their parentsÐ²Ð‚™ reading habits do influence them. But newspapers still have a serious image problem. When researchers displayed pictures of teens reading newspapers, those in the focus groups tended to snicker. Some said the kids in