• Background of the Study

Newspaper have derived great relevance as a medium of communication, for their roles as carriers of current information.

This relevance according to sandman (2009) is attached to newspapers because of its contents on the television or elsewhere. This is why publishers consider it very important, if not obligatory, to make the newspaper attractive to potential readers. Getting out newspaper is ration on newspaper has been the most important form of communication in the conduct of human affairs, and that over the years face o f the more dramatic radio, television and now the internet.

Apart from news and current affairs for potential readers, publisher strives to make provision for other items on the newspaper for reader. Batta (2007) shares this view as he sees newspaper as a journal of record where all points of view are recorded. Udoakah (1994) also posits that a newspaper has a wide varity of material published in it which includes editorial opinion, criticism, entertainment features.

It is important t to note that news, as well as other items on a newspaper are arranged in a manner pleasing to the eyes. This makes heavier the job of putting out a newspaper.

First of all, as posited by Akpan (2009), the goal of every news reporter is to communicate the day’s information to as many people as would constitute their readers. Therefore, newspaper in trying to ensure understanding, readability and preference make use of same layout concept. These layout concept help facilitate reading and makes for orderliness. The most effective tool for readability and preference of newspaper is packaging also called layout or design.

So many things go in before a proper layout or design is achieved for a newspaper. Newspaper design gives an identify to a newspaper, makes for attractiveness, and ensured that the  paper stands out from other newspaper  on news stand. This is called packaging, newspapers layout is taking to the way manufactures package their product. Producers of newspapers take design as very important, this is because it attracts readers, which in turn builds readers strength to a newspaper. In other words, design plus readership strength makes for advertiser’s fund.

Newspaper design and layout if not for anything, has objectives. Wesley and chriuna (1991) posit that design helps reader most importantly to find, read and understand the news with minimum effort. These layout objectives the newspaper strives to achieve knowing that, as Udoakah (1992) posits, the way information is presented would make a publication to be seen as a serious or sensational one. The physical character is concerned with the format, design and specifications. Some newspaper look dramatic, others dignified, and still others may look dramatic and dignified. The posture chosen should reflect the totality of the content of the newspaper which aids preference  to some extent.

But in recent times, even though newspaper is reader oriented, certain factors influence choice, read ship and preference, this Nwamadi (2000) explains as being preference due to sociological concept of differences in individuals. Furthermore, Seymour- Ure (1998) argues that editorial policy in a wider sense influence newspaper readership and preference, in other words people want to read about  opinions expressed in leading articles of newspaper, their comments and suggestions on issues of the day, all involving value judgment. However, these opinions are based on facts, considering that sometimes newspaper are designed and laid out  properly but does not still stand as the preferred choice for some readers.

Therefore, to epically determine newspaper readership and preference among Abak residents, this study examines reasons for reader’s preference of a particular newspaper over the  other. This study seeks to serve as a guide to aid newspaper production.


1.2     Statement of the Problem

This is an assumption that design layout and packaging aids read ability and preference of newspaper.

Studies have also suggested that a newspaper may carry along with it an effective layout design, but does not still be proffered by a customer.

Other  studies have  also in addition opined that layout and design aids newspaper preference and readability. That readers are attracted and influenced to choose a newspaper that is effectively designed and well laid out over a clumsily designed one.

While other studies suggest, sociological concept of difference in individual and not necessarily design and layout, that make for newspaper preference.

In spite of the foregoing assumption, these still exist that paucity between design, layout packaging and preference. The major question that this work attempts to answer is: what newspaper do residents o f Abak urban prefer to read, and why do they prefer those newspaper.


1.3     Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research work is as follows.