Mass Communication Project Topics

The Effect of Graphics on the Print Media

The Effect of Graphics on the Print Media



  • To examine whether photographs tell story?
  • To examine the extent which photojournalists use their camera to tell stories?
  • To know how newspaper houses use photograph in reporting an event?
  • To know if readers find photograph interesting?
  • To know how photograph capture and retain the attention of newspaper readers?
  • To know how headlines and photo scanners find photograph interesting and holding their attention?




The fear for the existence of print media at the beginning of 21st century caused by the development of new technologies and the emergence of on-line publications, as well as the global economic crisis, is accompanied by the threat of extinction newspaper photography as visual text that is often more eloquent and powerful than written. The French daily Libération tried to notify the importance of the photograph at the end of 2013, by removing all the photographs from one of the issues. The editors explained their decision on the front page saying: ‘Libération owes eternal gratitude to the photograph, whether it came from the photo journalists, fashion photographers, portraits or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned  not because it is used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of the world … This is not a funeral service, we hereby do not bury photography art, we pay tribute to it which it deserves1 .’ Regardless of the form, photo news or photographs that illustrate the function of the written text, the pictures in the newspaper are the ones which have a decisive influence on whether the text will be read or not. The attention of the readers starts from photography, proceeds through headers and charts, if any, to the text (Veselinovic 2005). However, under the pretext of reducing costs, the number of journalists and photo journalists in the world losing their jobs is increasing2 . In the era of multi-tasking, the media employers have realized that it is easier to train journalists to shoot and edit videos for online editions, which can be used for traditional, printed editions, as well. Such a decision could be problematic because it potentially undermines professionalism in journalism, an important requirement for the establishment and sustainability of a democratic society. The print media are particularly sensitive because “informative press, in competition with other media, is considered a pillar of public life because it represents the most important source of information, it gives us reports about matters of public interest, more thoroughly, by offering a greater range of opinions, has the greatest influence on the public agenda, and, more than others, performs a controlling function and encourages citizens to participate in political life” (Matic 2012). Despite its importance, the circulation of print editions of newspapers are declining in the developed parts of the world, and this phenomenon is accompanied by lower income from ads which, ultimately, leads to a general crisis of the print media. When it comes to declining circulation and the crisis in the print media, Serbia is not far behind the developed world. According to Matic, the sale of national daily newspaper in 2007-2011 decreased by 19 percent, and the market is increasingly dominated by low-cost semi-tabloid and tabloid newspapers, while the serious newspapers have the worst circulation. Commercialization and tabloidization of journalism are becoming the standard, and examples of non-compliance with ethical standards are increasing (Matic 2012). The newspaper photograph is not exempt from the process of the collapse of Serbian quality printing.



Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literatures that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.

Precisely, the chapter will be considered in two sub-headings:

  • Conceptual Framework
  • Chapter Summary


Print media

Print media is a collective term for media printed on paper. Although it is sometimes understood in a rather broad sense, the term does not cover text-based media online. It therefore does not include media outlets that exclusively publish content online. This article takes the perspective of political communication studies and focuses on periodically published print media dealing with current events and politics. This mainly regards the traditional printed media directed at a heterogeneous mass audience. It also includes small-circulation community-based newspapers and magazines as well as alternative print publications aiming at smaller audiences with issues and opinions beyond the mainstream. Books and flyers, even though printed on paper, are not considered. The term print media in this sense not only denotes the printed product itself, but includes the particular organization behind it which shapes journalistic selection and presentation patterns, production routines, and economic considerations.

Differentiations and generalizations

Print media include a broad range of different types of media outlets. The most basic distinction is between newspapers and magazines, but it is obvious that there are finer grained distinctions within newspapers and within magazines. From a political communication perspective broadsheet and tabloid newspapers as well as news magazines rather than consumer and special interest magazines are particularly significant. They each have different characteristics. For the purpose of sketching out the basic features it is inevitable to use the broader categories of newspapers and magazines. Newspapers are collections of news items and opinion pieces mostly regarding current events and politics, which are published daily or at least five times a week. Magazines, in contrast, are periodicals with a longer cycle which are typically characterized by less news coverage, less political content, more entertainment, and more illustrations.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of  forty two (42) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only thirty (30) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of  30 was validated for the analysis.




This chapter summarizes the findings into the effect of graphics on the print media using Osun defender newspaper as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the effect of graphics on the print media using Osun defender newspaper as case study. The study specifically was aimed at  examining whether photographs tell story; examine the extent which photojournalists use their camera to tell stories; know how newspaper houses use photograph in reporting an event; know if readers find photograph interesting; know how photograph capture and retain the attention of newspaper readers; know how headlines and photo scanners find photograph interesting and holding their attention.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 30 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are active staffs of Osun defender newspapers.


Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion;

  1. Photograph tell the story about events and news in a high extent.
  2. The use of cameras by Photojournalists to tell stories is high.
  3. Newspaper houses use photograph in reporting an events as much as possible.
  4. Readers photograph find photography interesting in news.
  5. Photograph capture and retain the attention of newspaper readers in high extent.
  6. Headlines and photo scanners immensely find photograph interesting and holding the people’s attention.


From the findings of this study the researcher is of the opinion that newspaper companies should ensure adequate provision of more efficient and up to date technological equipment to enhance the operation of photojournalist as this will also retain more of the readers attention.


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