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Online news – News, Research and Analysis – The Conversation – page 1



The research investigated the influence of online news on hardcopy newspaper patronage in Nigeria. Reading from online news websites, blogs, and social media is growing more popular among students as technology advances to the point where students may get news online using their smartphone and computer. As a result, few copies of newspaper were sold since people read news as it broke rather than waiting until the next day to read from the newspaper. The research was founded on the Theory of Technological Determinism. A survey research method was used, along with copies of questionnaires that were administered within the International Institute of Journalism, Uyo. A sample size of 100 students was drawn using the non-probability method (accidental technique.) The frequency and percentage method of data analysis was used to analyze data. According to the statistics, hard copy newspapers may soon be in short supply as more readers prefer online publications. It was clear that a bigger proportion of respondents, particularly students, regularly browse the internet for news. It was suggested that media companies diversify their production by converging to the new medium that is being used currently in order to stay competitive.

                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

Abstract                                                                                                                       vii


1.1       Background to the Study________________________________________1

1.2       Statement of the Problem _______________________________________3

1.3       Objectives of the Study_________________________________________4

1.4       Research Questions____________________________________________4

1.5       Significance of the Study________________________________________5

1.6       Scope of the Study____________________________________________6

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms _________________________________6



2.0       Introduction_________________________________________________8

2.1       Conceptual Review___________________________________________20

2.2       Empirical Studies____________________________________________25

2.3       Theoretical Framework_______________________________________25



3.0       Introduction________________________________________________33

3.1       Research Design____________________________________________33

3.2       Research Method___________________________________________33

3.3       Study Population_____________________________________________34

3.4       Sample Size ________________________________________________34

3.5       Sampling Technique _________________________________________34

3.6       Instrument for Data Collection__________________________________35

3.7       Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________35

3.8       Data Collection Process________________________________________36

3.9       Method of Data Analysis_______________________________________36

3.10     Ethical Consideration__________________________________________37



Introduction _________________________________________________39

4.1       Data Analysis ________________________________________________39

4.2       Discussion of Findings_________________________________________48



5.1       Summary__________________________________________________50

5.2.     Conclusions ________________________________________________51

5.3      Recommendations ___________________________________________52





1.1       Background to the study

Communication is an essential part of human interaction and is vital for the development and maintenance of relationships, as well as for the effective functioning of organizations, communities, and societies. It is an intrinsic human desire to exchange information, ideas, thoughts, feelings, and messages through voice, writing, or other means of expression. As a result, there are numerous ways to communicate, including verbal (using words), nonverbal (using gestures, facial expressions, and body language), and written (using text, symbols, and other kinds of representation). Effective communication necessitates a thorough knowledge of the message being communicated as well as the ability to listen and reply appropriately (Olayinka, 2017).

Interpersonal and group communication, as well as transmedia, benefited from being simple to use and did not necessitate complicated technologies. Because of the limitations of not being able to communicate with a large audience, mass media such as the telegraph, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and, more recently, the Internet/ICT/social media have helped to expand the range of interpersonal and mass communication (Olayinka, 2017).

However, practically all human activities on Earth have been revolutionized and have undergone significant change from their traditional processes as a result of advancements in information and communication technology, particularly the internet, in the twenty-first century. As a result, one of the human activities that has had the most influence in this era is manner of communication, information transmission, and interaction. It has improved access to people and information, and it provides faster, cheaper, and easier means of communication at both the interpersonal and mass communication levels.

According to Kur (2004), as cited in Awake (2002), the dynamic aspect of the twenty-first century and subsequent centuries is based on technological transformation. No wonder, Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian English Professor, proposed the concept of “Global Village” in 1964, regarding the entire globe as having the potentials of becoming a “global community” where information and news about anything and anywhere in the world would be readily available for anyone’s consumption in any part of the world. Without a doubt, the impact of modern communication technology in achieving this feat cannot be overstated.

It should be mentioned that the Internet (international network or inter-network) is at the forefront of all current communication technologies, allowing access to all individuals on the planet in a highly rapid, effective, and efficient manner (Wikipedia, 2016). You will need not only an internet connection but also a gadget to access the internet in order to use it. The number of gadgets that can connect to the internet is growing by the day. We access the internet using desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets, and the internet may now be accessed through a smart TV, among other devices.

As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide which is 59.5 percent of the global population. Of this total, 92.6 percent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile phones (Joseph, 2021). In 2019, the number of internet users worldwide stood at 3.97 billion, which means that more than half of the global population is currently connected to the world wide web. But while the digital population is visibly growing in many parts of the world, internet access and availability can differ significantly depending on the region. As of the first quarter of 2021, China was ranked first among the countries with the most internet users. China had 854 million internet users, more than double the amount of third-ranked United States with just over 313 million internet users. Nigeria is now in 6th position worldwide with 126.8 million (Joseph, 2021).

The growing number of internet users is one of the factors responsible for media convergence i.e reading, viewing and watching news online practicable. For instance, the number of internet users in Nigeria has further increased to 93.4 million, according to a new report on Internet status in the country. The report obtained by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).  Meanwhile, with the growth of the Internet, access to newspaper online became partially possible, this development has in no small way affected hardcopy newspapers and its circulation volumes. It should be recalled that newspaper can be seen as a set of large printed sheets of paper containing news, articles, advertisement etc. and published every day or every week and become stale the next day when new copy emerged. Sequel  to the above notion, it could be safely said that online news are the publications of print media (Newspapers) that are made available on the internet which can be easily globally.          

Today, almost all print media organizations are now migrated online to post the softcopy of their hard copy news with lots of traffics and adverts, it helps them to reduce cost of production and circulation and helps in competing with broadcast media as they can update it any time as news breaks while it also offers them the opportunity to reedit their copy after publishing which can never be possible in hardcopy. However, as a result of this development, lots of undergraduates and unemployed graduates have turn online news into business by creating their news blogs, in fact, this phenomenon has made almost everybody a journalist “citizen journalist”.

Similarly, one of the common activities on the internet is news reading or watching either on newspapers website or through bloggers including watching live and podcast news video on video-tube (Youtube), vloggers (video bloggers) on their computer, and smartphone. In a recent research conducted by Laittos Multimedia and Research Institute-LMRI (2019) revealed that one of the reasons for online news popularity is because it is cheap and convenient comparing to purchase of a copy of newspaper everyday at N200 which become stale after some minute as new events breaks every hours (LMRI, 2019). It is against this background that the research investigates the influence of online news on hardcopy newspaper patronage in Nigeria.

 1.2       Problem Statement

 At least every year since 2010 a newspaper seize printing and circulating hardcopy particularly in developed nations such as US and UK due to low circulation and emergency of the news online. One of such newspaper is the Independence which was established in 1986 and stop hardcopy printing 20 March 2016, Newsweek magazine ceased print publication in December 31, 2012, issue and transitioned to an all-digital format, called Newsweek Global (Christine and David, 2012). Also, foremost Nigerian tabloid, The Guardian, sacked over 100 staff as a result of the economic hardship in the country (Dokunola, 2016).

 Researches from different scholars and institutions in the recent time have shown that there are decline in newspaper buying and reading habits among people in Nigeria. In a research conducted by Laittos Multimedia and Research Institute (2015) shows that out of 50 persons only one buys newspaper not even on a regular basis.

Also, a survey conducted by Afrobarometer in 12 African countries, including Nigeria, in 2003 indicates that only 13 percent of the sampled population professes to read a daily newspaper. Another survey by the National Population Commission in Nigeria reveals that most Nigerians neither buy nor have access to newspapers, while newspaper readership is generally low in all zones in the country.

However, a survey by the World Bank in 2002 reveals that media exposure in Africa is often collective with many users crowding round television or sharing a single newspaper. This practice is common in Nigeria, with the prevalence of the free readers’ club where people pay a token to read as many newspapers as they wished or borrowing from kin, workmate and peers. Similarly, Adeniran (2015) posits in his findings that large copies of newspapers are sold during national trending event such as election, new government policies e.g budget, appointment of top federal government cabinet, unusual such as mass death etc.

However, Wikipedia records that in 2007 there were 6,580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a day. The late 2000s to early 2010s global recession, combined with the rapid growth of web-based alternatives, caused a serious decline in advertising and circulation of newspapers, as many papers closed or sharply retrenched operations. It is against this background that the research investigates the influence of online news on hardcopy newspaper patronage in Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study  

  1. To examine the extent at which students of International Institute of Journalism, Uyo are patronizing hardcopy newspapers.
  2. To know whether students International Institute of Journalism, Uyo still buying hardcopy newspaper.
  3. To know the nature of information that students International Institute of Journalism, Uyo are seeking in the newspapers either in the hardcopy or softcopy.
  4. To understand some of the factor(s) that is/are responsible for students choice between hardcopy and online news.
  5. To ascertain the challenges that International Institute of Journalism often face in accessing online news.

1.4     Research Questions  

  1. To what extent are students of International Institute of Journalism, Uyo patronize hardcopy newspaper?
  2. To what extent students International Institute of Journalism, Uyo buy hardcopy newspaper
  3. Which of the versions of the newspaper are students and lecturers in University of Ibadan patronize regularly?
  4. What kind of information or news do respondents seek in the newspapers and news blogs?
  5. What factor(s) responsible for respondents’ choice of newspaper versions (print or online)?

1.5       Significance of the Study

Media houses/ practitioner: The study affords newspaper organizations the opportunity to work out modalities with a view to know what type of information people are seeking online and how to meet this gratification.   

Public: It exposes more people to the existence of online news especially how to determine credible sources. This will turn to boost the awareness and facilitate the patronage of online news especially among undergraduates.

Government/NBC: Government through its various agencies such as NBC, BON among other see more reasons and techniques on how to regulate the online bloggers to prevent hate word and spreading propaganda that can mislead people. 

Researcher: Future researchers and students will find the material relevant as it will form bulk literature that exist in the field of mass communication, journalism and digital communication etc that they can lay hands on when carrying out research related or similar to this.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The inability of this investigation to take into account every tertiary institutions in Nigeria limit the scope of this research work. However, University of Ibadan community is used to represent all the tertiary institutions in Nigeria. While demography factors of the lecturers and students will be examined before the structuring and administration of research instrument (questionnaire). Such demographical factors include but not limited to sex, age, academic level, marital status and many more. The reason for selecting University of Ibadan is due to its proximity, lack of fund to travel around, time available and other considerable logistics.    

1.7       Operational Definition of the Terms

The following terms would be defined in relation to the research work.

Online News: These are the news posted on the internet on either newspapers’ websites or bloggers webpage and other social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram  and Twitter etc.  

Hardcopy Newspapers: These are the printed copy of the newspaper otherwise called hardcopy which are circulated from place to play through van, tricycle, vendors etc  

Patronage: The art of buying or reading news either the printed or softcopy online by the students and lecturers of the NIJ, Uyo.

NIJ, Uyo: In this study, this is the short form of Nigeria Union of Journalist, Uyo which may be adopted in the subsequent place.



Account Number: 0709546102

Access Bank: Savings
Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.