Olusoji (1)

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Olusoji (1)

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 1, pp. 4-9; October 2012 Online Journal of African Affairs ©2012 Online Research Journals Full Length Research Article Available Online at http://www.onlineresearchjournals.org/OJAA Newspaper Readership in the Civil Service: Case Study of Ekiti State Civil Servants. Olofin Alabi Olusoji B.A (Eng.) University of Ilorin and M.A (ESL) Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Oyo State, Nigeria. E-mail: olofin1@yahoo.com. Downloaded 20 September, 2012. Accepted 15 October, 2012. This study aims to examine newspaper readership in the civil service, using the Ekiti State civil service as a case study. A survey research method was used. Questionnaires designed purposely to provide answers to the research questions were administered to 200 civil servants randomly selected in Ekiti State. The result shows that newspapers are very much available in Ekiti State and that 186 (93%) of the respondents read newspapers, where as 14 (7%) do not read newspapers. The result also shows the frequency of their reading newspapers. 68 (34%) read newspapers regularly, 54 (27%) do occasionally, 22 (11%) read weekly, 53 (26.5%) read anytime they see, where as 3 (1.5%) do not read. Keywords: Newspaper readership, civil service, public opinion, economic progress, government, Ekiti State. INTRODUCTION There is no doubt that newspapers are a major force in forming public opinions on matters affecting national and international efforts towards economic progress and global understanding. Man requires information in order to keep abreast of events in the world around him. News papers which are printed on a daily or weekly basis are an excellent source of information, education, entertainment and mobilization of the public to foster development both at national and international levels [1,2]. Nigerian civil servants as the engine room of government activities require newspaper information daily in order to guide and provide quality advice to enable the government take appropriate policy decisions. It is from this perspective that this paper intends to examine newspaper readership in the Nigerian civil service using the Ekiti State civil service as a case study. power and proper information is vital to clear thinking, it is considered appropriate for the civil servants to take advantage of this unique benefit provided by the newspaper to advance their career prospect. It is from this perspective that this paper seeks to ascertain the extent of newspaper readership among the civil servants in Nigeria, using Ekiti State as a case study. Research Questions 1. Do civil servants read newspapers? 2. Do civil servants buy the preferred newspapers? 3. Why do civil servants read newspapers? 4. What contents of the newspaper do the civil servants read? Scope of the study Statement of the Problem The economic and social phenomenon of Nigerian society not withstanding it is not possible for a reader or an institution to purchase all the daily newspapers available at the news-stand everyday. Even if there is the financial capacity for this purpose, it still does not make economic sense to go for all the newspapers. For this reason therefore, there is the need for selective purchasing. Relying on Daramola [3] that information is This research could not be conducted on a large scale due to various constraints such as insufficient finance, time, and other complex logistics. This accounts for why the study was limited to Ekiti state and in particular AdoEkiti, the capital of the state. The rational behind the choice of Ekiti state finds explanation in the uniqueness offered by the location of a conglomeration of several ministries at the state secretariat, new Iyin road, AdoEkiti. This makes it possible to have easy access to a
  2. 2. Olusoji large concentration of civil servants. Theoretical Frame Work: Uses and Gratification Theory The frame work adopted for this study is Uses and Gratification Theory. This theory is considered most favorable because the major crux of the study focused on how the individual uses information to advance his cause and promote a good working environment. Dennis and Defleur [4] and Anaeto et al. [5] citing Katz et al (1974) agree that the Uses and Gratification Theory conceived the audience as being active and also concerned itself with how people use media for the gratification of their needs. In addition, the study further benefits from the model because it provides more insight into what civil servants do with the mass media, the motive for using and the positive and negative consequences of using mass media METHODOLOGY This study is carried out mainly to determine newspaper readership in the civil service. This is no doubt a fact finding research that bothers on people’s attitude and behavior. In view of the subject matter of this paper and the various research questions designed for the work, the approach considered as most appropriate for this study is the survey method. This approach is in line with Osuola [6]. The survey group comprised of 200 civil servants, picked from 10 randomly selected from the 16 ministries in the secretariat located along Lyin road, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. We are aware too, that questionnaires are good ways of collecting sample and direct information Gbolagunte and Popoola [7]. To facilitate detailed and accurate information from the respondents therefore, a total of 200 copies of the questionnaire were personally administered. The questionnaire, which comprised of both open and close-ended questions, was made simple to facilitate proper understanding and accurate response from the respondents. Presentation and Analyses of Findings Due to personal involvement and proper monitoring of the administration of the Questionnaires to the respondents, it was not only possible to receive maximum cooperation; I was able to retrieve all the questionnaires as well. The questions provided in the questionnaire were specifically drawn to provide answers to the earlier research questions. However, questions 1-4 were drawn to elicit the bio-data of the respondents. Our analyses shall, for this reason, be based only on those questions that provided answers to the core segments of this study based on the research questions. In view of this, the responses provided for the Research Question 1: Do civil 5 servants read newspapers? Were captured under questions 5-9. Research Question 2: Why do civil servants read newspapers? Was given attention under question 10 through its 3 options. Research Question 3: Do civil servants buy newspapers? Received attention through the responses supplied under questions 11-14. Finally, questions 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 were asked to provide answers to the Research. Question 4: What content of the newspaper do civil servants read? Research Question newspapers? 1: Do civil servants read Questions 5-6 in the questionnaire were drawn to provide answers to research question 1: Question 5: Are newspapers available in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State? This question is to find out the availability of newspapers to the civil servants. Interestingly, all the 200 respondents answered in favor of this question. This is an indication that the civil servants recognize the information value of newspapers. Question 6: Do you read newspapers? This question is quite important because it provides answer to the core subject embedded in the topic of this paper. The question definitely provides insight into the newspaper readership of civil servants in Ekiti State. The available response to the question indicates that an overwhelming majority answered in favor of the question. Out of the 200 respondents, 186, corresponding to 93.0% read newspapers. The result further revealed that only 14 respondents, representing just 7.0% do not read newspapers. The result derived from question 2 indicates a direct confirmation of the result provided for question 1. If newspapers are available, it makes sense to assume that they are available because the civil servants derive valuable information from reading them. Question 7: if yes how often do you read newspapers? The nature of this question requires consideration for various reactions and options embedded in it since the question is trying to find out whether the civil servants read newspapers daily, occasionally, weekly, anytime I see, or not at all. From the respondents’ reactions, 68 respondents, representing 34.0% read newspapers often, 54, amounting to 27.0% read occasionally, 22, representing 11.0%, read weekly, where as 53 (26.5%) read anytime they see, while a tiny minority of 3 corresponding to only 1.5% do not read at all. The first option under this question is considered to be quite significant to this study, for this reason, If question 5 recorded an overwhelming 100% in favor of the availability of newspapers and question 6 recorded as high as 93.0% in support of civil servants that read newspapers, the response of 68 translating to only 34.0% that read newspapers often, appears not to bear a
  3. 3. 6 Online J Afri Affairs favorable correlation between questions 5 and 6 which recorded a high percentage in favor of the two questions. With these results, it is anticipated that the civil servants should indicate interest in reading newspapers often. As we can see from the results, this is not the case. However, we cannot close our eyes on the other options provided for the question since other civil servants who read newspapers occasionally, weekly and anytime they see which all together, make up a total of 129 respondents translating to 64.5% still fall within the ambit of the research question. Since the question merely sought to know about the newspaper readership in the civil service in Ekiti State, we shall still be in order if we consider the aggregate of all those options of the civil servants who read daily, occasionally, weekly, and anytime I see provided in question 7. The total respondents to question 7 will therefore, be regarded as 197, corresponding to 68.5%. This present result now provides correlation between the previous 2 questions {5 and 6} and this question 7. Question 8: If no, why? This question also provides options for the respondents. They are to choose among the options: lack of time, lack of interest, and lack of money. A total of 17 respondents indicate that they do not read newspapers at all. Out of this, 9, accounting for 52.9% consider it a waste of time, 41.2% indicate lack of interest as their reason, why only 1 representing 5.9% do not read due to lack of money. One interesting findings about those who do not read due to lack of money is that they all belong to the category of junior workers who are low income earners, low educational background and are also saddled with running errands for the senior officers. Research Question 2: Why do civil servants read newspapers? Questions 9 and 10 were advanced to elicit responses to this research question: Question 9: Indicate the type of newspapers that you read. Response to this question varies according to the available newspapers. In all, twelve newspapers were identified, while all others that were not specifically mentioned were classified as “others”. The Punch newspaper received the highest number of respondents. 68, accounting for 34.0 % read The Punch. The Tribune followed with 46 respondents accounting for 23.0%. 18, representing 9.0% read The Nation. The Sun had 14 respondents which account for 7.0%. The Guardian had 13 representing 6.5%. Daily Trust and other categories lumped together as “others” have 9 respondents each amounting to 4.5% respectively. This Day with 6 respondents accounts for 3.0%. Both Daily Sport and Tell Magazine each had 2 representing 1.0%. Only one respondent representing 0.5% read Daily Independent. The reason for the high frequency of readership in the Punch, Nigeria Tribune and the Nation is understandable. This can be attributable to the proximity of the production of the papers. Since the people had earlier shown their preference for news, education and entertainment, it is natural that they would have interest more on the issues around them than any other matters. It is a common knowledge that newspapers reflect more on the news in their immediate surroundings than others. Question 10: Why do people read newspapers? This question provides options based on individual interest for reading newspapers. All together, 4 options were identified and the respondents are to indicate which of the options satisfies their reason for reading newspapers. Specifically, three reasons were mentioned namely; to satisfy desire for news, for information, education and entertainment, and all other reasons grouped together as “others”. Out of these, 54 representing 27.0% read to satisfy the desire for news, 101, corresponding to 50.5% read for information, education and entertainment, 38 respondents, which translate to 19.0% read for leisure. Only 7 respondents, just 3.5% of the population read for other reasons not stated here. Research question 3: What content of the newspaper do the civil servants read? Answer to this research question is provided by questions 16, 17 and 18: Question 16: what content do you prefer to read? The respondents are provided with various newspaper contents such as news, sports, education, business and all the other contents grouped together as “others”. Here the news top the list with 95 respondents corresponding to 47.5%, next to this is education with 30 respondents which accounts for 15.0%. Other categories regarded as “others“, followed with 28 respondents accounting for 14.0% next to this is sports which had 24 respondents an equivalent of 12.0%. The last under this category is the business section which has 23 respondents, these accounts for 11.5%. From here, it is clear that the civil servants in Nigeria read more of news stories in the newspapers than any other aspects. Question 17: What segment do you prefer to read? Just as we have under question 16, the respondents are to choose from the various segments provided under this question. Once more, the news tops the list. 70 respondents, corresponding to 35.0% prefer to read the news segment. This result represents more than onethird, of the sample an indication that civil servants read more of news than any other aspects of the paper. This is followed by 35 respondents which make up 17.5% that pay attention to politics, 30 respondents, corresponding to 15.0%, read sports.25 respondents accounting for 12.5% prefer to read business. 24 respondents, representing 12.0% read fashion. A total number of 16 respondents, making up 8.0% of the population read
  4. 4. Olusoji other segments of the newspaper, not specified among the options. Question 18: Where do you prefer to read newspapers? This question is to find out where the civil servants read. The respondents are to choose from the three options specified under the question. They also have the benefit of opting for none of the stated options if that is applicable in their case. A total number of 105 respondents which is an equivalent of 52.8% read newspapers in the office. 16 of the respondents corresponding to 8.0% read in the library. Those who prefer to read at the news stand are 14 an equivalent to 7.0%. As many as 65 respondents corresponding to 32.2% of the population do not read in any of the stated response categories. As shown above, the percentage of the civil servants who read in the office is more than half of the population sample. This is understandable as civil servants spend close to nine (9) hours in the office. It is expected that newspapers offer opportunity for relaxation to cushion the effect of long hours spent in the office. In addition, because newspapers are supplied officially in most offices, it makes good sense to read such papers to serve the purpose for which they were provided. Research Question 4: Do Civil Servants buy the preferred newspapers? Answers to this research question were provided by questions 19 and 20: Question 19: How do you get the newspapers you read? This question is to find out whether civil servants buy, read the office copies or read at the news stand? Out of the 200 respondents, 50 which represent 25.0% buy newspapers. 70 respondents a 35.0% of the population prefers to read from the copies of the newspapers provided for their office. Another 70 respondents representing 35.0% of the population buy only when they feel like doing so. Only 10 respondents which is an equivalent of 5.0% do not buy newspapers at all. This last category attributes financial constraints for their inability to buy newspapers. The result we have here shows that most civil servants prefer to read official copies of newspapers. Question 20: Do you buy the preferred newspaper regularly? The question received attention from only 50 respondents out of which 40 representing 80.0% buy newspapers regularly. The remaining 10 respondents corresponding to 20.0% do not buy regularly. They attributed the irregularity to lack of fund. CONCLUSION This paper sets out to examine newspaper readership in Ekiti State. From the analysis, we discovered that 7 newspapers are a regular part of life of the civil service in Ekiti State. The research revealed that the degree of newspaper readership in Ekiti State civil service is high. This fact is supported by the answers provided under the research question one which shows that a significant number (186) of the respondents reads newspapers. The first major findings that bears relevance to this work is that Ekiti State civil service is made up of highly literate civil servants. This fact is supported through the answers under the research question one. This is however, not a surprise as the state is regarded throughout the nation as the fountain of knowledge. This fact is further supported by the answers provided under item 6 of the research question one; do you read newspapers? The response shows a total of 186 an equivalent of 93.0% of the total population in favour of the question. Under item 7, it is further discovered that civil servants read newspapers regularly as shown in the frequency of response as 68 representing 34.0% read daily, 27.0% read occasionally and 22.0% read weekly. The analysis also shows that civil servants have preference for the Nations, the Punch and the Nigerian Tribune. We also found out that civil servants read newspapers for the purpose of information, education and entertainment. In addition, it was revealed that civil servants prefer to read in the office. This fact is supported by 52.8% of the population. A greater percentage of the civil servants do not buy newspapers because the ministry provides. Finally, we have been able to show that newspapers are veritable instrument in the quality performance of the civil service job. REFERENCES [1] Daramola I. Introduction to Mass Communication. Lagos. Rothan Press. 2003. [2] Bittner JR. Mass Communication: An Introduction, 5th ed, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1989. [3] Daramola I. History and Development of Mass Communication. Lagos. Rothan Press. 2006. [4] Dennis E, Defleur M. Understanding Mass Communication, USA: Houghtin Mifflin Co. 1994. [5] Anaeto S, Onabajo O, Osifeso J. Models and theories of Communication, Lagos, African Renaissance Books. 2008. [6] Osuala EC. Introduction to Research Methodology, Onitsha: African First Publishers. 1996. [7] Kunle G, Popoola A. Publications Media and Method: A Practical Approach. Lagos Bedslab Nigeria Ltd. 2005; P. 46
  5. 5. 8 Online J Afri Affairs Appendix Section A Instructions: Please tick ( ) in the appropriate box except where question demands otherwise. 1.) In which ministry are you currently serving? (please state) 2.) Sex: (a.) Male ( ) (b.) Female ( ) 3.) Age: (a.) 20-25 ( ) (b.) 26-30 4.) Educational qualification: a.) ND ( ) b.) HND ( ) ( ) (c.) 31-35 ( ) (d.) 36 and above c.) B.Sc ( ) ( ) d.) Masters Degree ( ) Section B 1.) a.) Are Newspapers available in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti-State? Yes ( ) b.) No ( ) 6.) Do you read Newspapers? a.) Yes ( ) b.) No ( ) 7.) If yes, how often do you read them? a.) Daily ( ) b.) Occasionally ( ) c.) Weekly ( ) d.) anytime by chance ( ) 8.) If no, why? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ 9.) a.) b.) c.) d.) mention the newspaper (s) that you read 10.) Why do you read the newspaper (s)? a.) for news ( ) b.) for information, education and entertainment ( ) c.) leisure ( ) 11) Do you buy newspaper (s)? a.) Yes ( ) b.) No ( ) 12) If no, why? a,) due to financial constraints ( ) b.) unavailability of the preferred newspaper (s) ( ) c.) other reasons (please state) _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ e.) Others
  6. 6. Olusoji 13) Do you borrow the newspaper (s) that you read? a.) Yes ( ) b.) No ( ) 14) If yes, why? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 15.) If no, why? __ ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 16.) What content of the newspaper (s) do you have a preference for? a.) news ( ) b.) sports ( ) c.) education ( ) d.) business ( ) e.) others ( ) 17.) Which segment do you give more attention? a.) news ( ) b.) sports ( ) c.) fashion ( ) d.) business ( ) e.) politics ( ) d.) others ( ) 18) Where do you enjoy reading newspaper (s) a.) Library ( ) b.) Office ( ) c.) News stand ( ) d.) anywhere ( ) 9

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