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Newspapers according to Onwubiko  have been accorded a great deal of importance in the transmission ofgovernmental policy, priority changes and even interesting changes. Newspapers are noted as regular source of primary and upto- date information. Like other habits, the habit of reading in an individual develops during the course of time [Sharma,2005]. Reading in all its variety is vital to being better informed, have a better understanding of us as well as others. It makes man to be a thoughtful and constructive contributor to a democratic and cohesive society [Igwe,2013]. Newspapers help to improve reading habits, gain knowledge and improve awareness. They can be part of good study habits for students in any area of specialization [Kumar,2011].
Newspapers not only provide current news, they also contain thought-provoking and informative article, features, editorial and sub-editorials, analyses and observations. In today’s highly competitive world, newspapers could equip youths with necessary information, knowledge and insights which will give them the much needed edge for being successful not only competitive examinations or job interviews, but also in their professional and social life. Newspaper reading also improves the communication skills and creative faculties and help the readers achieve an unbiased and informative worldview. Therefore, newspapers are considered essential for youths.
According to Tosanwumi and Ekwuazi (1994), the history of the Nigerian press dated back to 1859, when in Abeokuta Reverend Henry Townsend released ‘IweIroyin fun AwonAraEgbaati Yoruba’ (The Newspaper for the Egbas and Yorubas). The newspaper was the first to be published in what is now known as Nigeria. It was a bilingual newspaper since it was published both in Yoruba and English. This newspaper spearheaded the attack on slavery. In 1863, the second newspaper was published. It was edited by Robert Campbell and was called ‘The Anglo African’. It carried both local and national news, while its editorials were dedicated to the appraisal of the problems of the time.
The blossoming of the Nigeria Press started 17 years later in the exigencies of socio-political and economic activities. The first newspaper of this period was by Andrew Thomas, who came out with ‘The Lagos Times’ on 10th November 1880. This bi-monthly newspaper was used to aggregate public opinion on topical issues. Fifteen months after Blackall Benjamin began the publication of The Lagos Observer. This was followed closely by The Eagle, which made its debut on March 31, 1887 when Adolphous Mark started The Mirror.
Nationalistic sentiment and struggle erupted with the establishment in 1906, of the colony and protectorate of Southern Nigeria as well as the reports of the amalgamation of North and South in 1914. This led to the emergence of the new set of Nigerian newspapers. Johnson Brothers started The Nigerian Chronicle in 1908, while KukoyiAjasa started The Nigerian Pioneer. He aroused a lot of criticism because his newspaper was seen as a mouthpiece of Fredrick Lugard’s administration. In 1926, the Nigerian Printing and Publishing Company started Nigerian Daily Times. The first editor of Daily Times was Ernest Okoli whose newspaper, The African Messenger, was taken over by the government due to its dwindling financial fortune. The West African Pilot of Dr. NnamdiAzikwe later joined in 1936 and this brought about an increase in nationalistic consciousness. Its news reports were mainly anti-colonialism and it championed nationalist struggles. Chief Obafemi Awolowo established The Nigerian Nordic Journal of African Studies Tribune in 1946. The newspaper strengthened the anti-colonialism campaigns through its critical analysis of the problems of the time.
However, in the present day Nigeria, a host of other newspapers are now in circulation. Some of these are: The Vanguard Newspaper, The National Concord, The Punch, This day, Comet Newspaper, Daily Sketch, The Monitor, sun, Alaroye, The Guardian, The Post Express, among others.
Since the invention of internet and mobile phones which as given many the free and easy access to internet, it is observed that youth now a days devote much time to their mobile chatting as compare to spending time reading and getting information from newspapers. As we all know readingis an art which provides a human being with the foundation upon which to erect his or her understanding of life as well as the elements with which to build his or her worldview. Due to the fact that much youth devote their time to chatting than reading it become important to investigate their reading habit as to the use of newspapers which serve as a source of get information about current happening around them. In view of this, the researcher is motivated to investigate newspaper readership among youth in Awka Urban.
This study on newspaper readership among youths in Awka Urban,is significant because it will provide the empirical basis to evaluate the reason ofyouth’s attitude towards newspaper readership. It has really baffled many if our youth today do have time to read through newspaper in other to harness the potentials of the information contained in it; due to the current trend in the use of internet by youth of modern time.
The researcher, therefore, has deemed it fit to find out the reason of such lack of reading attitude by youth toward the use of newspaper. This study will provide an in-depth avenue why youth relegate the use of newspaper. Therefore, this study will help ascertain the reasons for such behaviour among youths.
In other to carry out this research effectively, the following objectives were outlined as shown below.
In order to adequately investigate the topic under study, the following questions were posed.
Newspaper reading can infuse a sense of social responsibility among the readers while providing news, views and analyses on various issues important to the advancement of the society. By undertaking a survey-based empirical study focusing on the newspaper readership habits of youth in Awka, this paper aims at providing important information and insights which, in turn, would help us strengthen and popularize reading habits among the youths in the society today.
In view of this research topic under investigation, the researcher has decided to limit this study to youth in Awka Urban Area. This is done in other to find out newspaper readership habit among youth in Awka Urban.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
For clarity, some key words used in the content of this research work are listed below and adequately defined.
Exigencies: An urgent need or demand…