1 Q 6. Case Study: You are engaged to carry out a market survey on behalf of a leading Newspaper that is keen to increase its circulation in Bangalore City, in order to ascertain reader habits and interests. Develop a title for the study; define the research problem and the objectives or questions to be answered by the study. Ans. : Title: Newspaper reading choices Research problem: A research problem is the situation that causes the researcher to feel apprehensive, confused and ill at ease.
It is the demarcation of a problem area within a certain context involving the WHO or WHAT, the WHERE, the WHEN and the WHY of the problem situation. There are many problem situations that may give rise to research. Three sources usually contribute to problem identification. Own experience or the experience of others may be a source of problem supply. A second source could be scientific literature. You may read about certain findings and notice that a certain field was not covered. This could lead to a research problem. Theories could be a third source. Shortcomings in theories could be researched.
Research can thus be aimed at clarifying or substantiating an existing theory, at clarifying contradictory findings, at correcting a faulty methodology, at correcting the inadequate or unsuitable use of statistical techniques, at reconciling conflicting opinions, or at solving existing practical problems Types of questions to be asked :For more than 35 years, the news about newspapers and young readers has been mostly bad for the newspaper industry. Long before any competition from cable television or Nintendo, American newspaper publishers were worrying about declining readership among the young.
As early as 1960, at least 20 years prior to Music Television (MTV) or the Internet, media research scholars1 began to focus their studies on young adult readers’ decreasing interest in newspaper content. The concern over a declining youth market preceded and perhaps foreshadowed today’s fretting over market penetration. Even where circulation has grown or stayed stable, there is rising concern over penetration, defined as the percentage of occupied households in a geographic market that are served by a newspaper. Simply put, population growth is occurring more rapidly than newspaper readership in most communities. This study looks at trends in newspaper readership among the 18-to-34 age group and examines some of the choices young adults make when reading newspapers. One of the underlying concerns behind the decline in youth newspaper reading is the question of how young people view the newspaper. A number of studies explored how young readers evaluate and use newspaper content.
Comparing reader content preferences over a 10-year period, Gerald Stone and Timothy Boudreau found differences between readers ages 18-34 and those 35-plus. 16 Younger readers showed increased interest in national news, weather, sports, and classified advertisements over the decade between 1984 and 1994, while older readers ranked weather, editorials, and food advertisements higher. Interest in international news and letters to the editor was less among younger readers, while older readers showed less interest in reports of births, obituaries, and marriages.
David Atkin explored the influence of telecommunication technology on newspaper readership among students in undergraduate media courses. 17 He reported that computer-related technologies, including electronic mail and computer networks, were unrelated to newspaper readership. The study found that newspaper subscribers preferred print formats over electronic. In a study of younger, school-age children, Brian Brooks and James Kropp found that electronic newspapers could persuade children to become news consumers, but that young readers would choose an electronic newspaper over a printed one. 8 In an exploration of leisure reading among college students, Leo Jeffres and Atkin assessed dimensions of interest in newspapers, magazines, and books,19 exploring the influence of media use, non-media leisure, and academic major on newspaper content preferences. The study discovered that overall newspaper readership was positively related to students’ focus on entertainment, job / travel information, and public affairs. However, the students’ preference for reading as a leisure-time activity was related only to a public affairs focus. Content preferences for newspapers and other print media were related.
The researchers found no significant differences in readership among various academic majors, or by gender, though there was a slight correlation between age and the public affairs readership index, with older readers more interested in news about public affairs. Methodology Sample Participants in this study (N=267) were students enrolled in 100- and 200-level English courses at a midwestern public university. Courses that comprise the framework for this sample were selected because they could fulfill basic studies requirements for all majors.
A basic studies course is one that is listed within the core curriculum required for all students. The researcher obtained permission from seven professors to distribute questionnaires in the eight classes during regularly scheduled class periods. The students’ participation was voluntary; two students declined. The goal of this sampling procedure was to reach a cross-section of students representing various fields of study. In all, 53 majors were represented. Of the 267 students who participated in the study, 65 (24. percent) were male and 177 (66. 3 percent) were female. A total of 25 participants chose not to divulge their genders. Ages ranged from 17 to 56, with a mean age of 23. 6 years. This mean does not include the 32 respondents who declined to give their ages. A total of 157 participants (58. 8 percent) said they were of the Caucasian race, 59 (22. 1 percent) African American, 10 (3. 8 percent) Asian, five (1. 9 percent) African/Native American, two (. 8 percent) Hispanic, two (. 8 percent) Native American, and one (. 4 percent) Arabic.
Most (214) of the students were enrolled full time, whereas a few (28) were part-time students. The class rank breakdown was: freshmen, 45 (16. 9 percent); sophomores, 15 (5. 6 percent); juniors, 33 (12. 4 percent); seniors, 133 (49. 8 percent); and graduate students, 16 (6 percent). Procedure After two pre-tests and revisions, questionnaires were distributed and collected by the investigator. In each of the eight classes, the researcher introduced herself to the students as a journalism professor who was conducting a study on students’ use of newspapers and other media.
Each questionnaire included a cover letter with the researcher’s name, address, and phone number. The researcher provided pencils and was available to answer questions if anyone needed further assistance. The average time spent on the questionnaires was 20 minutes, with some individual students taking as long as an hour. Approximately six students asked to take the questionnaires home to finish. They returned the questionnaires to the researcher’s mailbox within a couple of day.