THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON MEDIA PREFERENCE AMONG UNDERGRADUATES IN SELECTED UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The focus of this study is on the influence of gender on media preferences of undergraduates in selected universities in South East Nigeria. Going online created more opportunities for mass media activities but if not properly handled, the benefits would not be appreciated. This study sought to discover the level of media patterns as well as contents that satisfy the information needs of the respondents. Using the survey research design, 399 copies of questionnaire were distributed to undergraduates in the selected Universities in South East Nigeria. This study found that male and female respondents preferred national media and perceives the internet as the most credible media that endears them to the traditional media. The study is rooted in theory of the selective processes. The study recommends that there must be synergy between the opportunities provided by the new media technologies and the traditional media.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE
1.1. Background of study
1.2.Statement of the problem
1.3.Objectives of the study
1.4. Research questions
1.5. Significance of the study
1.6. Scope of study
1.7. Conceptual and operational definition of terms
References

CHAPTER TWO
2.0. Literature Review
2.1. Conceptual Review
2.1.1. The mass media in the face of the new media
2.1.2. The nature of media audience
2.2. Empirical review of related studies on the influence of gender on media preferences
2.3 Theoretical frame work
2.4. Summary of literature review
References

CHAPTER THREE
3.0. Research Design
3.1. Population of Study
3.2 Sample Size
3.3 Sample Technique
3.4 Instrument of Data collection
3.5 Measuring Instruments
3.6 Reliability and Validity of the Instruments
3.7 Method of data collection
3.8 Method of data presentation and analysis
References

CHAPTER FOUR
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Data presentation and analysis
4.2 Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendations
Bibliography

Appendix

CHAPTER ONE


1.4.      Background of study
Recent studies have shown that audiences are experiencing different forms of media

convergence and the media is becoming more mobile than ever. However, expert studies have

shown that media are thriving on convergence. This implies that the lines that separate various

media are currently diminishing through convergence.

Baran (2009, p. 52) in Etim (2013, p.3) defines convergence as the erosion of the distinctions among media. He reviews examples of convergence to include movies, music, video games, books and television shows that are made available simultaneously on multiple media platforms. The sheer complexity of the convergence phenomenon is almost dizzying. As Baran decribes it: you can read the New York Times or Time magazine and hundreds of newspapers and magazines on your computer screen. Cellular phone maker Life’s Good sells a mobile phone that not only allows users to talk to other people but – because it includes a digital camcorder, zoom and rotating lenses, and a digital still camera, complete with flash- allows those same users to “broadcast” their “television programmes” and photos… This erosion of distinction among media is called convergence….


Today’s media consumption has gone beyond the usual single to convergence. Etim (2013,

p.5) observes that “the multimedia capability of the computer fostered interactivity, thus making

it possible to customize the converged media to highly refined audience segments or even to

individual tastes. So now, we are able to access TV shows, movies, music, games, newspapers,

magazines, books on our computer screens.” Communication media has been reduced to a less


complex routine through convergence of the various channels.
The fate of the media lies with the extent to which it satisfies the need of its audience. It

is no longer an issue of what is available but how relevant it is in satisfying the media needs of

the audience. Audience is the life wire of any communication media and they are becoming more

active by the tick of clock. It is unbecoming to assume the choice or taste of audience at any

level. At every stage in the field of mass communication, it is pertinent to find the current

preferences of audience members. Regular audience research pays off on improved audience

participation and sustenance of media activities.


Gigli (2004, p.9) stressed this about young media consumers, “they are also eager to learn, and drawn to information that shapes their identities, builds their sense of social belonging and makes sense of the world. They are attracted to content that entertains them, and to that which presents children and young people similar to themselves, in situations that relate to their own lives…The trends and issues highlighted here—from young people’s media options and behaviour, to the quality and influence of media aimed at them—all point to the need for more effective use of the vast positive potential of mass media and new technologies to advocate for, and enrich the lives of, children and young people worldwide.” Gigli (p. 3)

One of the best ways through which the mass media would ascertain the current changes

in audience is audience fragmentation or demassification. It does not matter so much what the

audience yearned to see in the media yesterday as it is relevant to know what they desire in the

media today. This implies that audience research of yesterday need to be revived towards

determining the current trends in audience expectation. Asemah (2011, p.25) affirms that “there

are different areas of interests in our society like sports, news, religion, business, politics, etc.

most media organizations now focus on one area out of many areas of interests and this is what


audience fragmentation is all about.”
Dominic (2007) in Asemah (2011, p.36) perceives the Mass media as the channels that are used for mass communication. The definition of mass communication or mass media do not only include the mechanical devices used for relaying messages to the entire public, like radio, television, magazine, newspaper, etc but it also covers all institutions that these machines use to transmit messages. The business of the mass media is not complete without the human resources that employ the services of the technology for media operations.

Ndolo (2011, p.1) notes that:


This phenomenon called communication has not only remained a critical component of society but continues to constitute the very fulcrum on which society revolves. As a dynamic, ongoing, transactional process of understanding and sharing ideas and feelings, it plays a central role in our lives. Communication performs this role through a medium or group of media.

This assertion by Ndolo expresses the dynamism of the mass media while noting that mass media do not perform in isolation of the society where it is situated. It takes huge investment of human and capital resources in order to ensure the smooth operation of message gathering, processing and dissemination. This gives essence to the study of audience preferences in order to maximize profit and curtail losses. Much as the mass media is expected to discharge its constitutional rights especially in sections 22 and 39 of the Nigerian constitution, it is expected that they stay in business through improved services aimed at attracting loyal and consistent audience.


The business of the mass media is aimed at making the world around us better than it were through communication from one location to the other. There is every need to ensure that what is said is meant, what is meant is understood while what is understood produces the.....

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