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Readers Perception of Tell Magazine as a Means of Communication in Nigeria

Readers Perception of Tell Magazine as a Means of Communication in Nigeria (A Case Study of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State)

Literature Review

It is apparently clear that not much have been done to ascertain the accurate situation of readers perception of Tell magazine. Though a lot has been in this area, the research dwells chiefly on the formation of the press and the ownership of the press system.

The Chunk of the material to be reviewed would largely come from relevant textbooks on communication and media effect, journal, newspapers, magazines and papers presented at seminars, symposia and conferences.

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Clarence Randate, a press baron of the New York Times writing in March 1972 edition described the press as the societal mirror through which the society is seen and judged.

Also Thomas Babington Macaulay, a British journalist in his paper titled “The press as the watch dog of the society” stating that the functions of the press and that of the government are not the same and cannot be the same. He contended that when the function of the press and that of government is fused, there would be anarchy. He described the press as a political and social institution as well as the fourth estate of the realm.

The press according to Mac Bride achieves its impact through the way it influence the entry of news and information into the society in which political life takes place. The press and other political institutions jointly determine the nature of the regime and the quantity of life of society.

The behavior or perception of readers of the print media is so dynamic and sometimes above the prediction of the media. It is very important to note this development by the media.

According to Mogekwu, of the department of Theater Art, University of Lagos in his assessment of the Nigerian press based on ethics and regional influence as inferred by Nwosu, there still exist an enormous gap between the mass media and the people they ought to communicate with.

Ikem Nwosu in mass media and modern society did not see external influence on the mass media, as much as of flaws, but as a necessary reciprocally, “a communication system is an institution and as such it affects and it is affected by other institutions, political and industry”.

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What impact have magazines in Nigerian left on the readers or other mass medium? Awodiya, writing on the topic “welcome growths in the print media” stated that magazines are exceptionally of in-depth formative value to the readers who gratify on backing round and investigative reporting. The magazine serve a historical and news purpose as the newspaper. They provides excursion into the past, the present and the future and into the world of fantasy.

The success of the modern magazine such as Tell, newswatch, the news and the rest has been attributed to its original role as an adjust of the marketing system like the newspaper, it was able over the years to appeal to expounding range of interest and tastes.

Although research so far has been fragmentary and for the most part limited. What roles do magazines play in the lives of readers? There are three important over lapping areas as social orientation, realistic corners and personal experiences according to research commissioned social research.

The magazines teach readers how to do all sorts of practical things not closely involving other people. They help them formulate goals and some magazine gives ways of what one can reasonably expect from life.

In Nigeria, the emergence of magazine in the middle eighties opened a new perception of journalism investigative reporting. According to Eze, a veteran journalist with the daily times of Nigeria. The new group of journalist who graced the magazines industry banged the profession with an enterprising spirit of journalism and specific reporting.

The of the magazine elevated the journalism profession with a new impetus that brilliantly painted the face of journalism in Nigeria. In crusading and original reporting the news magazine have been thriving. In fact, magazines generally, since the second world war do seem to have given emphasis on public service and public affairs reporting. Today, articles seeking to reform even by interpretation comprises a relatively large portion of the total magazine contents.

Rapid industrial expansions, socio-political growths evident in our various societies have created many evils and injustice in the society. Tell and other magazines have joined the crusade in Nigeria to salvage the society of its blanket corruption, social injustice and economic evils. Some matters are handled with mere rhetoric than facts, more sensationalism that sincerity. Sometimes the editorial focus or theme is not advocacy, but probing reports, which pried on government documents. All same, I think magazine are rather successful in their aspiration to graduate from mere informants to powerful means of opinion change through convincing in-depth reporting scrutinized by experts.

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Therefore, because of the dynamics in the behavior of the audience, a readership perception is therefore highly relevant to the progress and development of the mass media. Editors and publishers around the world hold this as true and that is why at intervals they commission such researchers.

Regrettably however, there is scarcity of such researchers in Nigeria.

Perception according to Gibson “refers to the process whereby sensory stimulation in translated into organized experience”. There are however factors that influence how we perceive, smith identified these factors as the ways our bodies are structured to receive and process stimuli from the environment, and also emotion, needs, expectations and learning reflect our perception.

The level of human perception therefore to a certain degree goes a long way to determine the readership of the newspaper or magazine. However, according to studies conducted by Schram and White, age, education, sex and social-economic status are factors in determining what will be read.

Why do people make selections they do in reading?

If any writer knows precisely why, he would have an inestimable advantage over his competitors. Good many factors come in to play in the selection one makes among and with the media. Willbur of Stanton university has offered a tentative answer to the basic questions of why people select as they do, he advanced two general principles of selection.

  1. Least efforts
  2. Promise of reward as being in accordance with existing research. By least effort, Schram means that the reader, viewer or listener takes the route of least resistance in his choice of communication, all things being equal one helps himself to whatever communication medium is mostly really at hand.
  3. Schram suggested that promise of reward men as that a person chooses from available communication whatever the thinks will give him the greatest reward to the rank and file of the society itself especially the constituents of the readership public. Nwosu, prolific writer in his “perception on Nigeria press” (1986) opined that the press proudly hold themselves as the fourth estate realm, conceding superiority only to the political power brokers, and has in the past tried to entrench itself as powerful institution in the age long conflict with government, but inspite of all these, Nwosu beliefs that……….

Public perception of the Nigerian press may not be as favourable as one would expect.

Some see the Nigerian press as an elitist instrument for reflecting the views and interest of the rich, powerful and literate citizens who are mostly urban dwellers.

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The pages of most magazines in Nigerian are fully of items and issues that are designed to satisfy the interest of the urban readership and foreigners. One question to ask is whether the government posses any influence on the performance of the press. Because of the nature of the military rule, the Nigerian press has intermittently been subjected to decrees, which limits the scope and effectiveness of its information gathering and dissemination. In fear of violating such decrees, Nigerian journalist tend to become more verbalism reporters of official versions of events instead of functioning as the eyes and conscience of the silent majority part from some magazines, there is a total lack of investigative journalism in the Nigeria print media.

What then can we say about the total influence of the mass media on the society itself? Schram summarized it this way.

Any given communication that comes to an adult enters into a society were millions of communication have come before, where the mind is already ingrained, and where the mind is already made up and the knowledge structured in most subject of importance. The new communication is therefore usually not an earth shaking event, but merely another drop in the long show process that forms the stalactite of our personalities.

Readers Perception of Tell Magazine as A Means of Communication in Nigeria (A Case Study of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State)


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