Cartoons have more recently become a prominent feature in newspapers. An increasing number of publishers and editors have realized its relevance and are beginning to exploit its full potentials. Despite its usefulness and popularity which is assuming a viral dimension in many media houses, one wonders, as replete and common place as these cartoons are in newspapers, do they command the attention, let alone the readership of the reading audience? Hence, this researcher sought to know the pattern and trend of: Audience perception of The Punch newspaper cartoons: using Caritas University as a study. Employing the survey research method, enabled by administering self administered questionnaires, this study found out that newspaper readership and newspaper cartoon readership is generally high among Caritas respondents. Six out of every ten lecturers read cartoons on a daily basis, while two out of every ten students read cartoons every day.
- Background of the study
Cartoon readership decreased as student readers got older. Among the lecturers, readership of cartoons increased with age contrary to findings among students. With the humor and the inherent message being the major reasons why readers read cartoons, it is clear that cartoons are not seen as mere pieces of drawing to make readers laugh, rather it leaves a trail of telltale message in its wake. Even though this study revealed that cartoons are not essentially why people buy newspapers, many newspaper readers do not consider their reading experience complete without reading one or two cartoons. This, perhaps, explains why seven out of every twenty Caritas student reads The Punch newspaper and ten out of every twenty Caritas lecturer reads the same newspaper as revealed by the study. Going by the various findings of this study, more newspapers need to incorporate cartoons into their editorial menu, using it more strategically, appropriately and responsibly. Religion, ethnicity, tribalism, sectionalism and bigotry should be downplayed in cartoons and in fact avoided. The researcher equally lends his voice to the effect that cartoonists should steer clear of issues that can cause libel because libel costs millions. Cartoons have over the years become a major feature of newspaper and magazine content in Nigeria. A panoramic observation would reveal that most daily newspapers and weekly magazines publish various cartoons and comic strips. The Punch, the Guardian, New Nigerian, Nigerian Tribune, Tell, Newswatch, the News, etc, all publish cartoons and comic strips on social, political and economic affairs of the country or as illustrations of some editorial matter. Some of these cartoons have become so popular that some newspapers and magazines are sought by some readers because of their cartoons. To buttress this point, a one-time editor of Sunday Times puts it this way in the March 19th, 2000 edition of Sunday Punch (p.27); In mass communication, certain schools of thought have argued that the mass media promote the cultural, economic as well as the political interests of the dominant class in the society. This is the view of scholars like Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse (The Frankfurt School) and other Marxist scholars like Stuart Hall and John Fiske. By definition, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Macro-Paedia, vol.3) sees cartoon as a pictorial parody or imitation, which, by the devices of caricature, analogy as well as ludicrous juxtaposition, sharpens the public view of a contemporary or topical issue, event, political or social trend. A cartoon carries with it the caricature as an almost indispensable element. Just as the caricature is for an audience that is familiar with the original, the cartoon is based on wide acquaintance with the subject. Cartoons come in various forms: the comic strip, animated cartoons for the electronic media (such as Tom and jerry, Superman Pocahontas, etc.) and editorial cartoons in newspapers and magazines. It is important at this point to note or emphasize that this paper focuses on newspapers and magazine editorial cartoons.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Cartoons have over the years become a major feature of newspaper and magazine content in Nigeria. A panoramic observation would reveal that most daily newspapers and weekly magazines publish various cartoons and comic strips. The Punch newspaper publishes cartoons and comic strips on social, political and economic affairs of the country or as illustrations of some editorial matter. Some of these cartoons have become so popular that some newspapers and magazines are sought by some readers because of their cartoons. This makes the researcher to investigate the audience perception of the punch newspaper cartoon.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is audience perception of the punch newspaper cartoon. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
- To ascertain why people patronize punch newspaper cartoon to others newspaper
- To ascertain the effect of cartoon to readers
- To ascertain the impact of newspaper cartoon on the readership of punch newspaper
- To find out audience perception of the punch newspaper cartoon
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: People does not patronize punch newspaper cartoon to others newspaper
H1: People are patronize punch newspaper cartoon to others newspaper
H02: there are no impacts of newspaper cartoon on the readership of punch newspaper
H2: there are impacts of newspaper cartoon on the readership of punch newspaper
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the readers of newspaper and the general public. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the audience perception of the punch newspaper cartoon. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
AUDIENCE: An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature (in which they are called “readers”), theatre, music (in which they are called “listeners”), video games (in which they are called “players”), or academics in any medium
PERCEPTION: Perception (from the Latin perceptio) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.
NEWSPAPER: A newspaper is a serial publication containing news about current events, other informative articles about politics, sports, arts, and so on, and advertising. A newspaper is usually, but not exclusively, printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint.
CARTOON: While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to (a) a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic artistic style of drawing or painting, (b) an image or series of images intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or (c) a motion picture that relies on a sequence of illustrations for its
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research
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