READERS PERCEPTION OF THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPH IN REINFORCEMENT OF NEWSPAPER MESSAGE
Every newspaper house today uses pictures to either complement stories or stand to give news independently. This practice has given photojournalism a critical place in the print media of mass communication. The study sought to content analyses the use of pictures in two newspapers, punch.
The aim was to among other things, ascertain the frequency of the use of photographs in the newspapers and identify the various types of photographs used in them. It also identified the sources of the pictures used in the newspapers. Out of a population of 105 editions of the newspapers cutting across all Tuesdays in the months of May, June, and July 2014… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Background of the Study
Photography has been utilized across a wide range of print in newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media such as in advertising and commercial, video and filmmaking, fine art photography, portraiture, and journalistic form. Photography image plays a very significant role in our daily lives. It’s apparent that photo other images are widely used as the main medium in presentation such as billboard advertisements, illustrated magazines, newspapers, television, and also the Internet.
No branch of journalism requires so much knowledge and skill than picture reporting. The industrial revolution played a significant role in the development of press photography according to Gelnshain, (2002, p.12), the first book with litho other illustration (pictures) appeared in 1840. The photographs were selected based on the criteria of testing subjects, which stabilizes the presentation. After this pioneering indeed, two publications, London labor, and the London poor, appeared in British critical study.
The use of photographs as another presentation started with books, according to Peter (2009.p,6) the application of this experience in periodical came; surprisingly fast in May 1842. This was when Herbet founded the famous illustrated London news. The publication relied heavily on pictorial information.
According to Mustaffa (2011,p.97), every image delivers its message with different purposes such as to inform, educate, promote, entertain, and persuade. Images are extensively deployed and employed for a variety of purposes and intended effects in a wide range of communication and leisure industries. Mustaffa also stated that the significance of photography has to be considered within two main stands.
The first is the nature of photography as realistic forms of representation and the second is its representation that‟s similar to the linguistic analogy, with its own codes and conventions or as mirror representation or interpretation, in another word, the reproduction copying of object or character appears in the photograph represent reality (similar) and truly experience… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Statement of the Problem
In newspapers, photographs are supposed to draw a reader’s attention and communicate messages, but this day the reverse is the case most photograph in the newspaper does not really pass messages, this research seeks to address the problem of the inefficiency of Newspapers to use News Pictures that effectively communicate a message or tell a story… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- To investigate how news pictures are used in the newspaper.
- To examine if photographs serve the function of information dissemination in newspapers… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Concept of Photography and its Historical Development
Photography is an aspect of science and art, and both aspects are inseparably linked through its astonishing rise from a substitute for the skill of hand to an independent form. Okoro and Nnadiukwu (2000, p.34) note that photography is a product of Physics and Chemistry, adding that the functional mechanism of the camera capturing photographs is essentially an optical phenomenon.
Hasan (2013, p.722) notes that the most common process of photography is through a mechanical, chemical, and a digital device is known as the camera. The aesthetic aspect of photography, coupled with its appeal to the sense of light in terms of physical appreciation makes it an art. The study of color and its separation for beauty, framing, and organizational aspect of photography are aspects of arts and humanities in the business.
Thus, photojournalism involves using ones present at the scene of events; instinct on when to take shots and preparation for the coverage with the proper mental attitude and physical equipment; to produce meaningful picture materials for news. According to Bittner (1989, p.128):
We may not always think of photography as being a mass medium. After all, only a few close friends may see our snapshots of the last campus holiday or a family picnic. However, when we consider that a news photo may travel around the world on a picture wire and appear in hundreds of newspapers that are read by millions of people, we can see that photographs and the work of the photojournalist quickly become mass communication.
Photography is the process of forming stable or permanent visible images directly or indirectly by the action of light or other forms of reflection on sensitive surfaces. Okoro and Nnadiukwu (2000, p.1) also defined photography as the making, by an optical-chemical process, with tools specially designed for the purpose of visual reproduction.
Photography which can be described to be an image of somebody, something or a place was coined from two Greek words: “photos” which mean light and “graphs” which means drawing. Therefore, photography literally means drawing with light. The term photo is an abbreviation of photographs while many people call it pictures. In digital photography, the term image has begun to replace photography… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The advent of photographs mechanically printed into newspapers opened upmarket for press photography. According to Okoro and Nnadiukwu (200, p.140), Newspaper photography was the first means whereby the Man in the street came into direct visual contact with the world in which he lived. Pictures were mostly taken for their actions and content rather than any aesthetic consideration. Today, they are used in the newspaper for different reasons.
Photojournalism is all about news, information, education, mobilization, and entertainment. Therefore, Photographs in journalism inform, educate, entertain, and enlighten readers about current issues and also reflect on the past as well. Photographs in newspapers enhance the credibility of the stories. As they reflect reality, they also furnish evidence to show the authenticity of a news story to give proof of an event that occurred… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The theory adopted for this study was the media dependency theory. Proponents of the theory, Sandra Ball-Rokeach & Melvin Defleur (1976) in Asemah (2011) believe that the more dependent one is on the media for having his needs fulfilled, the more important the media will be to the person. The key idea behind the theory, according to Asemah (2011, p. 178), is that audiences depend on media information to meet their needs and goals and that social institutions and media systems interact with the audience to create needs, interests, and motivate the person… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter explains the methodology used by the researcher to investigate the role of the Press in the use of the photograph in Nigeria, with special emphasis on the coverage by the print media, specifically the newspapers. It contains an explanation on the research design, research population, research sample size, and data collection and analysis methods used during the research process.
This study shall make use of the quantitative content analysis as the method to assess the role and the use of the photograph in Nigeria newspapers. According to Uwom and Oloyede (2014), the quantitative content analysis ably evaluates communication in a systematic, objective, and quantitative manner for the purpose of measuring variables. The choice of this method was ably informed by studies affirming its efficiency (Boyagoda, 2017; Uwom and Oloyede, 2014; Rong, 2009).
Okwechime (2016), defined population in technical terms as the totality of items, understudy from which the researcher, will draw his sample. In this research, the population of the study is the total number of editions that the Punch newspapers, produced from January 2016, through December 2017. The Punch newspapers are purposely selected based on credibility, reach national outlook, and reportage.
A sample is a limited number of elements, selected from a population, which is a representative of that population. The Slovins Formula for sample size will be used for this study. The Slovin’s formula (Statistics, 2018), below has been applied to generate the minimum sample for this study.
n = N/[1+N(e)^2] ………………………………………………………………(1)
n = Sample Size
e= Sampling error (usually 0.10 or 0.05)
^= Raised to the power of.
Therefore, the sample size of the study is as follows;
n = 1462/ [1+ 1462 (0.05) ^ 2]
n = 1462/ [1 + 1462 (0.0025)]
n = 1462/ [1 + 3.655]
n = 1462/ 4.655
n = 314
Therefore, the sample size for this study is 314 issues of newspaper editions from the Punch newspapers… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
In studying the frequency of photographs used in the selected newspapers as seen in table 2, it was found that the newspapers used photographs in all the pages of their newspapers during the period under review. However, most of the pictures, 93.8%, were concentrated inside the pages. The front page which is the attention gripping page (Jennifer, 2008, p. 10) had only 2.9% while the back page had 3.3% of the photographs published within the period.
In comparing the Punch and Other newspapers, the study revealed that Punch newspapers made use of more pictures than other newspapers (see table 2). This could be due to the fact that the Punch newspaper has more pages than other newspapers. On the front page of the newspapers, Others had a total of 44.8% photographs placed while Punch used 55.2% photographs. In comparing the inside pages, the Punch dominated as it had total of 60.9% photographs on the inside page while Others had 39.1% photographs. The back page is not left out as Punch newspaper tops the frequency with 51.2% with others having 48.8%.
By using pictures in all the pages of the newspapers despite variations in the types and placements, we conclude that there is a high frequency in photo usage in newspapers in Nigeria. This agrees with the position held by Fasheke (2004) that photography has come to shape the scientific, social, and political economy of the developed countries; and it is obviously shaping Nigerian journalism development.
Photographs are classified into various categories by different scholars. However, for a more effective textual analysis, we categorized the type of photograph into the candid, aware, and semi-aware pictures as given by Okoro and Nnadiukwu (2000, p.104)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The place of photographs in journalism cannot be overemphasized as it could be said to be the only aspect of journalism that breaks the barrier of illiteracy. However, the act of reporting news with photographs needs to be professionally done so that the media house will not be found guilty of misinformation. A well-used picture in a newspaper can make the news. So also, a badly used picture can mar the whole story and the newspaper in general. The following conclusions were reached based on the findings of the study:
- The newspapers make use of photographs on the front, back, and inside pages.
The newspapers make use of more pictures on the inside pages… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The following recommendations became imperative, gauging from the findings:
- The media house should appropriately train their photojournalists in line with the requirements of photojournalism and the journalists, in turn, should have a sense of responsibility and professionalism in quest of their duty… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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