SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS AND NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG HOUSEWIVES IN IKOT EKPENE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
It is known that man cannot survive without communication. And so, right from inception. Human beings have sought to improve their ability to receive and disseminate information about its environment and society. Communication is very essential to man because it allows and enable knowledge to be shared and makes expression more detailed. From the beginning, communication has been related to social, economic, cultural and structural organization of the particular society.
Therefore, throughout the years, man cannot direct the fact that communication is an integral part of human existence. In pointing that the role communication played in pre-historic society and the indispensability of communication today, Bittner (1989, p.40) says the society’s survival and growth depends largely on a number of communication. The mass media influence on the society is well notice when it comes to Fashion, Religion, Politics, Education Culture and Entertainment. Among the various means of communication, Newspaper is the bedrock of information dissemination; this is due to its advantages and easy review. Newspaper is a publication containing news, information, opinion, advertising, features and other editorial matters. It may be of general or special interest often, it is usually published on daily, weekly, by weekly and monthly basis.
The first printed newspaper was published in 1605 and this form of information has thrived even in the face competition from technology such as radio and television. Recently development of information in the internet are posing major threats to its business model, however, paid circulation is declining in most countries and advertising revenue which makes up the bulk of newspaper’s income in shifting from print to online medium.
Schramm, W (1976) say the great importance of newspaper as mass medium is derive from its as a carrier of current information or news. This is the role which newspaper has played from its inception. It is also a role which it has played much better than any other medium in terms of information reservation or storage. However, the readership of newspaper among housewives n Ikot Ekpene has been influenced by many factors among others, is the socio-economic status despite more than four decades of developmental efforts, the majority of the population of the housewives are still poor as it was in the period of development. And as such the cost of newspaper is beyond the reach of the majority of the housewives, particularly in rural area.
According to Miller(1998) most mass media are out of women particularly in the rural areas, most do not have enough money for newspaper and magazine or for radio bitteries referring to this limitation in Nigeria and particularly in Ikot Ekpene.
He also observed that housewives who are purchasing and reading newspapers are the ones who husbands are high income earners even in Ikot Ekpene. And as such, we cannot cancel this fact of inequality from the society which comes as a result of socio-economic status among housewives. It is always believed that irregularity of wealth and income in our society is responsible for less consumption of news paper, causing it to be beyond the reach of housewives in Ikot Ekpene
2.1 Statement of the problem
The existence of inequality which is a moral phenomenon gives birth to the emergence of the low income earners and poor the in society. Also the low purchasing power of most people within Akwa Ibom State has acted as disincentive of news paper. The effect of socio-Economic status on news paper readership among housewives in Ikot Ekpene has been seen and felt as having posed a formidable barrier to acquisition of knowledge and information through the news paper. The fact that the socio-economic status among housewives as some would have enough to take care of their needs and still have excess to spare, while others are not even able to attain to their most pressing needs, this is observed particularly among housewives in Ikot Ekpene .
1.3 Objectives of the Studies
The study aims at accomplishing the following objectives
- To find out if socio-economic status can affect the readership of newspapers among housewives.
- To find out if lack of money can affect the readership of newspaper among housewives.
- To find out if income earned by the male sex can influence the readership of newspaper among housewives.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the problems and the objective of the study, it seeks to answer the following questions:
- Do housewives in Ikot Ekpene read newspaper depending on their socio-economic status?
- To what extent can lack of money affect the readership of newspaper among housewives?
- To what extent does income of earned by the male sex affect the readership of newspapers among housewives particularly in Ikot Ekpene?
1.5 Significance of the study