Mass Media Preference Among Students

(Mass Communication)




 This study analyzed the factors that can affect mass media preference among the students of IMT. The study embraced the introductory aspect which deals with historical background of various channels of mass media the introductory aspect which deals historical background of various channels of mass media. It went further to explain the theoretical background and research hypothesis. The literature review was pivotal, touching the relevant aspect necessary for this research like the audience of mass communication the theories affecting mass media audience and other related works. The data collected was analyzed using percentage, chi-square statistical measurement all the hypothesis was tested. The five hypotheses tested gained statistical support and al the null hypotheses were rejected. The result showed that the level of education influence mass media preference and the amount of money the students have also influences the mass media preference. Thirdly, the quality of programmes influences mass media preference. In conclusion, it could be said that the preference of a particular mass media has a lot to do with the amount of money one has educational level and quality of programme offered by the media house. Some students prefer reading papers to watching of televisions.




1.1        Background to the study      

1.2        Statement of the  Research Problem     

1.3        Objectives of the study       

1.4    Significance of the study      

1.5    Research Questions

1.6    Research Hypotheses

1.7    Theoretical framework

1.8    Scope of the study

1.9    Limitation of the study

1.10  Definition of key Terms




2.1   Sources of literature    

2.20 Media use pattern /preference among the

        Students of IMT Enugu

2.21 Audience behavioral characteristics and theories

       of mass  communication

2.2.2 Students attitude toward mass media in Enugu

2.3 summary of review               


3.0    Research Method

3.1    Research Design

3.2        Area of the study

3.3    Research Population

3.4        Research Sample

3.5        Sampling Technique 

3.6        Instrument of Data Collection

3.7        Method of data collection 

3.8   Method of Data Analysis

3.9   Expected Result



4.1 Data presentation and analysis

4.2 Analyses of Research Questions/Hypothesis       

4.3 Discussion of results


Summary, conclusion and recommendation

5.1   Summary

5.2    Conclusions

5.5        Recommendations

Appendix i

Appendix ii





Little or no effort was made in the past on mass media
preferences including audience analysis and the communication behaviour of audience with references to variable like sociological and psycho-graphic background.  The research work will focused attention into the media use patters in Nigeria; how the students are influenced in selection of media channels, the various media channels and their usage and how various physiological and psychological factors that affects or influence students in their media preferences. The media channels in Nigeria vary from organs of mass communication, prior to the evolution of the mass media in the various communities within the country had formal ways of communication among their members. Apart from seemingly natural conversation, a completely developed system of "oral media" has been in place. It is not uncommon even in a supposedly jet age, to see a whole village summoned to a meeting at the sound of gong.

The modern means of communication kicked off in Nigerian (1859) with the publication of newspaper "Iwe-Irohin" by reverend Henry Townsend. Beginning with a religion coloration newspaper had passed through pre-colonial and post-colonial phases and have gradually matured into economy. Beginning with religion collimation Iwe-Irohin turned out to be the student nationalist agitation of the colonial period.

Today, there are about 30 to 50 daily and weekly newspapers respectively in Nigeria. The magazine was relatively developed latter after the newspaper. Magazine journalism in Nigeria can only be said to have solidly taken off with the establishment of News watch magazine in (1985).  The birth of news watch had catapult all forms of news oriented magazine just as that of prime people similarly have for human angle magazine. Today Magazine readers in Nigeria have various accesses to a multiplicity of diverse magazines offering a broad range of issues.

Radio broadcasting dates back to December, 19th 1932 when the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) set up an experimental radio receiving station in Lagos to pick up the short wave transmissions of the empire service from Britain. The Nigeria post and telegraphs department was directed to work out of a method of distributing programs to subscribers in Lagos, Ibadan and Kano. This service was to operate in conjunction with the empire broadcasting services. This method called radio distribution services or re-diffusion was based on piping programme originated from BBC in London.

In 1956, the Nigeria broadcasting commission was inaugurated under degree 39 of 1956. The sole responsibility of the NBC is to provide independent and impartial broadcasting services. They help in the provision or engage in un-prejudicial presentation of ministerial speeches, speeches from various political parties on drives controversial views other than political views and the presentation of religion thought.

On June 1978, NBC was abolished by degree 8 of 1978 and replaced with federal radio corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). The FRCN is a public corporation under the ministry of information. It is a political institution that can be manipulated for social, ethical and political aims. It has its office all over the federation. Today in Nigeria, each state can boast of her own radio broadcasting system) Federal government got ground to establish its own television services (NTS) in partnership with the NBC that all state should developed their own television system.




Put together the power of mass media derives largely from their ability to teach massive audience which can be made up to millions of people.


Mass communication as agent of socialization depends mainly on audience been able to create its impact thus, the major concern or primary function of this study is the question of audience factors and how they determine mass media preference especially among our students. This study has gone a long way to explain who media audiences are, and the level of impact they have on mass communication.

Understanding media audience is very difficult but this study have been able to list and describe the characteristics of mass communication audience, recognized the effect of mass media on audience.

 Nigeria today, most mass media organization know little or nothing about their audience thus such station executive or  programme planners package without due consideration of their audience taste, this mainly results in failure of such programme on the organization losing their audience, this situation can put mass media organization out of business especially under private media system.


This study therefore sets out to address the problem of the relationship between audience preferences of some kind of media channels same demographic factors such as sex, age, level of education and socioeconomic status manifest in the population under study. This study verified each group and why they prefer each channel.


The primary objective of this study is to study audience characteristics and how they influence mass media preferences.

The process of mass communication considered with regards to its potential solution of the contemporary realities of the recipient attention.

This study aims therefore to show the audience as an active partner in the process of mass communication.

Based on the following rational objectives of the study, this study aims at:-

1.      To find out if the gratification derived from listening or paying attention to a particular mass media channel is primary motive for preferring such medium.

2.      To investigate the extent to which the content of media or newspaper programme influences audience preference.

3. To determine whether person’s level of education influences his/her media preference.

4.     To know if socio-economic status affects media preferences among students.


The result of this study will help various angles that make up mass communication network.

To media planners, the result will help them in programming effective and efficiency for different sociological groups in general especially the students. This will enable them direct their messages at the target by fitting the contents of the needs of various audiences segmented by demographic and psychographics variables.

Advertisers will equally use this result to time their audience and satisfy them. This will equally help the scholars and media critics to provide a general framework across media comparison based on users reaction rather than biased claims by the media organizations.


This work will add to the existing work and knowledge in mass communication and act as a ban for other researchers to continue their findings under mass media preferences. This will equally help an analyst and lecturers and media organization immensely.

Generally, this work will promote mass media patronage and help on different mass media organization.


The researcher raised the following research questions from the objectives of the study:

1.     To what extent does educational level of students of IMT affect their mass media preference?

2.     To what extent do the incomes of IMT students affect mass media preference?

3.     To what extent do IMT students read newspapers

to watching television?

4.     To what extent do Nigeria students prefer listening to radio to other mass media channels?


The researcher intends to test the following hypotheses:
Hypothesis One

Hi:    The educational level of IMT students affect their

Mass media preference.

Ho: The educational level of IMT students do not affect

their  mass media preference.

Hypothesis Two:

H2: The finance level of students of IMT affect their

Mass Media preference.

Ho: The finance level of students of IMT does not

affect their mass media preference.

Hypothesis Three:

H3:   Students of IMT prefer reading newspapers to watching television

Ho: Students of IMT do not prefer reading  newspaper

to watching television.

Hypothesis Four:

H4: Students of IMT prefer listening to radio to other

mass media channel.

Ho: Students of IMT do not prefer listening to radio to

other mass media channel


 The Uses and Gratification Theory

  The uses and gratification theory of mass communication research it is founded on the basic assumptions that some audience of a given medium of communication select among the various items of the content which they want. McQuail (1987). The reason for media usage as Katz et al (1974) indicated can be found in social and psychological circumstances that pose a problem for which eventual media uses result in their solution.  The uses of gratification perspective in communication research, is out of the realization that the audience of mass communication are not passive recipient of its contents Blumber (1979). The approach argues that the audience rather than being passive are active, possessing particular needs and knowingly selecting communications channels and message most likely to fulfill their needs Lometh, Reeves, and Bybee, (1979).

The evaluation of the approach resulted in a plethora of students seeking to explain the uses which audience members put the media too. Most of the studies done in the past five decades can be categorized under three main groups:

i.       Those pertaining satisfactions derived or looked for more than mass media contents.

ii.      Those that concentrate on the origin of underlying needs and predication.

iii. Those that show evidence of the origin and consequences gratification sought from the mass media Mcquail (1971). Most studies however, have been on the first category.  Even in Africa research efforts had been concentrated on the use of gratification paradigm to determine. If Africa
audience patterns of media use are similar to that of Western counterparts. They have in essence been confined to inscribing the satisfaction derive or looked for mass content.

The uses which the audience put mass media to the
need that mass communication can satisfy individuals because people have different values, attitudes and interest they will make different uses of the media or prefer different media channels, however most of the past studies have resulted in a crystallization of the uses which people put the mass media. McQuail (1987) organized the uses write from typologies.

1.     Information: Finding out about relevant events

and conditions in immediate surrounding society and the  world.

2.    Seeking advice on practical matters or opinions

and decision choice.

3.     Satisfying the curiosity and general interest

4.      Learning self education.

5.     Gaining sense of security through knowledge.

ii. Personal identity

1.   Finding reinforcement for personal value

2.   Finding model of behaviors

3.   Identifying with values other's self

4.   Gaining insight into one's self

iii. Integration and social interaction

1.   Gaining insight into circumstances of others

2.   Identifying with other and gaining senses of


3.   Finding basis for conversation and social


4.  Having substitute for real life companionship

5.   Helping to carry out social roles

6.   Enabling one to connect with family friends

    and society

iv. Entertainment

1.   Escaping or being diverted for problems

2.   Relaxing

3.   Getting intrinsic cultural or aesthetic enjoyment

4.   Filling time

5.   Emotional release

6.   Sexual aroused.

Since the uses of media among the audience have listed above. This study will how go into in- dept analysis about all the factors contributing to mass media preferences. It will look into the media channels in Nigeria, how they are utilized and factors affecting their utilization.


This study based on the following assumption. It is assumed that quite some reasonable number of student of IMT devote their time or entertain themselves with radio, television, magazine, newspaper or even watching satellite.


That most of these are intelligent and have basis that quite some number of these students have enough money to purchase any mass media gadget.


Conceptual/Operational Definitions of key terms

The following key terms in the study are hereby defined:

1.          Level of education:

2.          Conceptual: The amount of systematic or formal training  one acquired

Operational: The highest educational qualifications of the students of IMT are classified as follows SSCE, OND, HND, etc.

2.    Mass media Audience

Conceptual: They comprise people that listen or exposed themselves to mass media.

Operational: The number of people who patronize the mass media.


3.     Mass media

Conceptual: This includes newspaper, television, radio, magazine to mention but a few which are used for dissemination and transmission of information to heterogeneous audience.

Operational: In this context, mass media refers to the use of radio, television, satellite, newspaper, magazine etc. to disseminate information among our student.

4.     Mass media channel

Conceptual: Oxford Advanced English Dictionary define  mass media channel as the course through which information, news messages to like passes" media  channel can also defined as the means by which information passed to reach heterogeneous audience simultaneously.


Operational: This refers to the course or way through which information; ideas reach to the students of IMT.

5.    Mass Media Preference

Conceptual: The act of choosing one media channel more than other.

Operational: This refers to the number of students who likes to be exposed to radio, television or satellite.

6.      Newspaper

Conceptual: A publication printed and issued daily, weekly or monthly and contains features, opinion and advertisement.

Operational: In this research work, newspaper means publications like Daily Times, Guardians, Concord,  This day, Vanguard etc. the student of IMT reads.

7.    Socio-Economic Status

Conceptual: A person's social standard. It also refers to income level of the person who is sponsoring the mass media.

Operational: Income level of the person who is sponsoring the students. It can be classified as very low, moderate, low, high and very high.

8.    Television

Conceptual: Apparatus for showing and receiving pictures about events or plays. That is the sending of pictures from a distance and the reproduction of them on a screen.

Operational: The sending of picture from a distance and the reproduction of them on a screen.

9.    Gratification

Conceptual: The state of being pleased or satisfied. That is the number of times mass media programme satisfied the students.

Operational: The number of times mass media
programme satisfied the student.

10.     Media Content

Conceptual: That which is contained in the media message that is, the substance or essential meaning of media message.

Operational: The number of programme contained in various mass media channel any particular.

11.   Degree of Usage

Conceptual: The intensity or regularity of usage of mass media that is, radio, television or newspaper.

Operational: Number of times the student devotes to usage of mass media every day.


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