Mass Communication Project Topics

Effect of Graphic Presentation in Newspaper Production (A Study of Punch and the Sun Newspapers)

Effect of Graphic Presentation in Newspaper Production (A Study of Punch and the Sun Newspapers)

Effect of Graphic Presentation in Newspaper Production (A Study of Punch and the Sun Newspapers)

Chapter One


  1. To ascertain the extent to which readers expose themselves to The Sunand The Punch newspapers’ front page graphics.
  2. To determine which of The Sunand The Punch newspapers’ front page graphics mostly attract readers’ to read the newspapers.
  3. To know which of The Sunand The Punch newspapers’ front page graphics have more influence on readers’ preference.




Meaning of Mass Media

Concisely, the term mass media simply translates to the modern means of giving news, opinion, education, entertainment and agenda-setting to large numbers of people, especially through radio, television, newspapers, magazines and films.

According to Joseph Dominick (2009, p.36), cited in Philip Onuoha (2012, p.39) a medium is the channel through which a message travels from the source to the receiver.

When we talk about mass communication, we also need channels to carry the message. Therefore, mass media are the channels used for mass communication. The definition of mass media will not only include the mechanical devices that transmit and sometimes store the message (television cameras, radio, microphones, printing presses) but also the institutions that use these machines to transmit messages. “A Media Vehicle is a single component of the mass media, such as a newspaper, radio station, television network, or magazine.

McQuail (2000) describes mass media as the means of communication that operate on a large scale, reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to lesser degree.

Forms of Mass Media

According to Onuoha (2012), mass media are basically grouped into two major categories, the print media and the broadcast media. Onuoha posited that the print media is also sub-divided to four other categories; magazine, newspaper, bulletin, and books while the broadcast media is sub-divided into radio, television, film, sound recordings, and lately, the internet.

More so, these eight are not the only mass media that exist. Others are billboards, comic books, posters, direct mail, matchbooks and recently, the new media (internet and social media).

The print media, especially the newspaper, and broadcast media, especially television and radio, have the largest audiences; they employ the most people and have the greatest impact. People are also most familiar with these media.

Concept of Print Media

Print media are printed materials for disseminating information to large number of people; this is represented by newspaper and magazine. (Ewuola, 2005).

According to Akinrosoye (2011), the print media can be classified into the following categories: a. Newspapers

  1. Magazine
  2. Tabloids,
  3. Bulletin,
  4. Magazine,
  5. Handbills,
  6. and tracts

For the purpose of this study, print media will mean Newspaper/Newspapers alone.

  Meaning of Newspaper

Akinrosoye (2011) defines Newspaper is an un-bounded, printed publication issued at regular interval which presents information in words, often supplemented with photographs.

A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It is usually printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint.

  Characteristics of Newspaper

Akinrosoye (2011) offers the following features of newspaper and magazine:

  1. Periodical Publication: There must be an interval in which a newspaper and magazine is published .It could be daily, weekly, annually and so on .The interval must be regular and maintained.
  2. Mechanical Reproduction: The newspaper must be produced by mechanical devices to be given pure academic classification of a classification of a newspaper.
  3. Accessibility:The newspaper must be accessible to the general public to purchase.

History of Newspaper in Nigeria  

The consensus among scholars and experts of varied backgrounds is that the first printing press was founded in Calabar, Nigeria in the year 1846 owned by the Presbyterian mission while Rev. Henry Townsend in 1859 also founded and published ‘Iwe Iroyin’, the first newspaper in Nigeria and Africa’s first and oldest vernacular newspaper, in Abeokuta.

Townsend, a Christian missionary from England, who spoke the native language of the Egba people among whom he had settled earlier in 1848. (Lawal, 2004).

Published fortnightly, Iwe Irohin was from its inception published in Yoruba language and started an English language supplement six years later in March 1860. The paper sold for about one penny (120 cowries) a copy and two shillings for annual subscription.

On the demise of Iwe Irohin, Robert Campbell, a Jamaican educationist, set up the Anglo-Africa in 1863; but two years after its establishment, the Anglo-African collapsed. By 1880, many people in Lagos began to feel the need for a newspaper to fill the gap created by the collapse in 1867 of Iroyin and the Africans showed frustration in the absence of a voice they required to sooth the temperament of the times; it therefore, was ‘not a surprise that a wealthy businessmen, Richard Blaize, brought out the first truly Nigerian newspaper in November 1880. He called it the Lagos Times and Gold Coast Colony Advertiser’.





Research method describes the step by step, the technique(s) a researcher used or will use to carry out a study. It involves the sample and sampling procedures, tools for data gathering as well as methods of data analysis. Abdulwahab (2012) posits that methodology covers the research design, the target population, sample size determination, description of sampling procedure, research instruments and statistical techniques, sources of data, and method of data analysis.

The research method used for this research is survey. Survey is a quantitative research method used principally for human related study. According to Wimmer and Dominick (2004), Survey is a method of data gathering used most often for gathering information from a sample of individuals.

Survey was used for this work because it enabled the researcher to gather data through questionnaire from newspaper free readers who are respondents, and this was done to measure the reader’s preference of the front page graphics of The Sun and The Punch newspapers.


The adopted design for this study is the quantitative research design, which is survey; a method used principally for human related study.

Survey was used for this research work and the instrument for data gathering used for this work is questionnaire, which was used to collect data from newspaper free readers at 10 different vendor stands in Akungba-Akoko and Ikare-Akoko. This however gave the researcher the opportunity to elicit relevant responses from the respondents.


AbdulWahab, (2012) describes population as a technical term used in research to describe the group, which may be of people, animals, or things, from which the research intends to draw his study’s sample. Nwosu (2006, p.491) defined population of a study as “the total number of elements within a given environment which a research is set to study”.

Population for this study consisted residents of Akungba-Akoko and Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State. The researcher selected these locations on the basis of proximity to the researcher’s own location, as well as the ease of access to the residents.

According to Official statistics (National Population Commission, 2010), the total number of Akungba-Akoko residents is 178,019 while residents of Ikare-Akoko total 680,026. Therefore, the population for the study was 858,045 as indicated in the table below.




In this chapter, data collected were presented and analyzed accordingly, using the frequency tables and charts.

As stated in chapter three of this study, the study evaluates the preference of newspaper readers, particularly The Punch and The Sun newspapers readers, using questionnaire to gather information from respondents who are newspaper free readers at newspapers stands (vendor stand) in Ikare-Akoko and Akungba-Akoko, totaling 104.

Although 200 copies of questionnaire were meant to be administered to the respondents, during the course of administering the questionnaire, 104 out of the 200 respondents were available during the period. This was because the vendors had earlier given the researcher a statistics of the average free readers that do visit their stands to be between the ranges of 10-30, which is not a static figure because the number of the readers that visits vendor stands on daily basis varies and not static. Therefore, 104 copies of questionnaire were administered on the respondents using available sampling technique, (31 in Akungba-Akoko and 73 in Ikare-Akoko).

The chapter four of this study analyzed and interpreted the data retrieved from the respondents in tables and charts and used them to answer the questions raised earlier in the chapter one of this study.




This chapter presents the summary of this study from chapter one to four with a view of comparing them in perspectives with existing knowledge and other investigations on the issue of newspaper preference, especially as it has to do with newspaper front page graphics. It also draws conclusion from the findings made during the study and makes necessary recommendations to ensure that newspapers’ front page is given more attention by graphically and aesthetically beautifying the front page of daily newspapers.

The chapter one of this study, gave an overall background with insight to the concept of graphics and also highlighting the graphical elements that make-up that pages of a newspaper. The chapter also discussed the statement of the problem, the objective of the study, research questions and scope of the study, among others.

Chapter two of this study identifies and defines major concepts of this study, review relevant literature; using three empirical studies by different author, which were considered relevant to this study. The empirical study reviewed are: The Use of Front-Page Picture(s) in Newspapers, September 2009 by Jennifer Ehidimamen; The Effect of Graphics on the Print Media (A case study of Osun Defender), January 2011, by Temitayo Odumakin; Impact of Photographs on Magazine Cover Page: (A Case Study of Tell and Ovation Magazine). Also, some of the concept reviewed includes; Graphics and Graphics Design, Colour and Colour Combination, Pictures and Photograph, Newspaper Production Process, Type-face and Layout among others.

The chapter three of this study presents the methodology adopted for this research work, it discussed the research design, population of the study, sampling technique, method of data collection and method of data presentation.

A total of 200 respondents were selected through an available sampling technique, a nonscientific sampling method. The available sampling technique was used because this study focused on front page graphics and readers’ preference with particular focus on The Sun and The Punch newspapers. Therefore, for the researcher to get accurate information, free readers of newspaper at vendor were therefore selected in Ikare-Akoko and Akungba-Akoko. However, the researcher could not access all the free readers at vendor stands in the two locations because the readers come to the newsstand differently whenever they like. The researcher only administer questionnaire on free readers that were available at vendor stands in Ikare-Akoko and AkungbaAkoko during the period of this research.

Chapter four presents the data gathered from the respondents and presents it in tables and figures for clearer understanding of the findings. Consequently, findings showed that;

  1. The Punch newspaper front page graphics is better designed than TheSun newspaper
  2. The Punch newspaper front page colour combination is more attractive to the readers than that of The Sun
  3. The Punch newspaper front page type-face (font) is more preferable by readers than that of The Sun newspaper
  4. The Punch newspaper’s front page layout is more attractive to the readers than that of The Sun newspaper
  5. The pictures used on the front page of The Punch newspaper mostly attract readers than the pictures on the front page of The Sun newspaper
  6. Majority of the respondents mostly prefer to buy and read The Punch newspaper than to buy and read The Sun newspaper
  7. Majority of the respondents believed that the front page graphics and design of The Punch newspaper contributed to the reason why they buy and read The Punch


Having carefully reviewed relevant literatures for this study, administered questionnaire to the study population, gathered, analyzed and interpreted the data, the researcher therefore concludes, that graphics lure newspaper readers to read newspaper and also purchase the newspaper.

It can therefore be concluded that all the respondents read newspaper and all the respondents are exposed to both The Punch and The Sun Newspapers’ front page.

That the front page graphics of The Punch newspaper is more graphically attractive to the readers; perhaps the front page is given more graphic attention to attract readers to buy and read the newspaper.

Majority of the respondents, and of course newspaper readers, prefer the colour combination used on the front page of The Punch Newspaper, the pictures used, font type (type-face), layout (arrangement) and the masthead, such that it lures them to buy and read The Punch Newspaper.

It can also be concluded that the design of a newspaper’s front page has the power to make or mar the sales of a particular newspaper and that graphics is a persuasive tool that could be used by newspapers to lure people to buy their newspapers.

The findings in chapter four of this study reveal that The Punch newspaper is preferred by readers mostly because the front page is very attractive.

It also reveals that Punch newspaper has more influence on readers because the newspaper has good colour combination, attractive photographs, good font-type and a beautiful masthead, thereby making it preferable by readers.

The general outlook of Punch newspaper mostly attracts readers to read Punch newspaper because it has a good layout.


Having discovered that the design of the front page of a particular newspaper can make or mar the sales of a particular newspaper, it is however recommended that;

  1. Newspaper publishers should make the front page of their newspaper more colourful and beautiful, to attract more readers and retain existing readers.
  2. Prominence should be given to picture usage on the front page becauseit is the first page that passersby will see and if it is interesting and attractive enough, passersby will stop to take a look at it and eventually purchase the newspaper.
  3. More prominence should also be given to the way the front page of a newspaper is arranged. The layout of the front page of a newspaper determines picture placement, font usage and other necessary elements. Therefore newspaper front page should be given more concentration and thorough planning to make it attractive to readers.
  4. Beautiful fonts (type-face) should be used on the front page of newspapers to attract more readers.
  5. Also, good and creative graphic artist should be employed by newspaper publishers and they should be allowed to use their creativity to beautify the front page of newspapers.
  6. Newspapers should also try to redesign their masthead and make it more colourful, because that is the graphical representation of the publisher of the newspapers.

Suggestions for Further Study

To fill the knowledge gap that this study was unable to cover, the researcher put forward the following suggestions for future researchers:

  • There is need for future researchers to enquire the reasons why newspapers use graphics and the graphic software each newspaper use for newspaper make-up design.
  • Also, future researchers can examine the influence of photograph on the pages of newspapers.
  • Also importance of photo news on the inside pages of newspaper should be investigated by future researcher.


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