AN ASSESSMENT OF READERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE LANGUAGE OF NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT (A READERSHIP STUDY OF VANGUARD NEWSPAPER)
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Advertising is an effective communicative discourse. It has the sole aim of persuading the readers to gain their trust of the reality of the promoted product (Al-Siyami, 2013). In last decades, the market glut of advertising caused the increased intention and interest in linguistic aspect of advertising. Advertising unifies language, pictures, music; it contains information, invokes emotions and imaginations, it can capture all five senses and, besides it, it has social and practical aim (Lapsanka, 2006).
Advertising has become a science. People began to describe, analyze the linguistic means and evaluate the language trying to find out the principles, create new kinds of relationship between elements of language and improve the techniques, with the aim to be unique and maximize the effect at full blast (Lapsanka, 2006).
Language is a powerful tool for a human being to communicate with others effectively. Therefore, the use of right and effective language both in speech and in writing brings success (Kannan and Tyagi, 2013). Newspaper language is a combination of different stylistic features, a mixture of several kinds of materials (Juhani, 2008). Newspaper language is relatively formal and impersonal. Colloquial words and expression are not found except in quotations (Juhani, 2008).
Newspaper forms an effective form of media in a developing country (Bansal and Gupta, 2014). Newspapers provide up-to-date information on local, state/provincial, national, and world issues. They are among the most widely-read periodicals that are available and accessible to the vast majority of people of all ages and walks of life in any community. (Bruneau, n.d) submits that people expect advertising in the newspaper. He submits further that many people buy the paper just to read the ads from the supermarket, movies or department stores. Igbeka& Ola(2010) argued alongside that every category of reader can find some important, current, and interesting information in newspapers.
Newspaper creates reading habits and easily differentiates people who read and who do not. Reading is the art of learning something. Newspaper is the store house of knowledge and provides knowledge of different tests and kinds of different segments of the society. Reading builds vocabulary skills and background knowledge that strengthens reading skills and increases the enjoyment of reading (Strommen& Mates, 2004; Majumder and Hasan, 2013). Today's newspapers use design elements that make information easily accessible to the reader. For example, important stories have large bold headlines, while graphics appear next to related stories (Igbeka& Ola, 2010).
Newspapers also reflect the changes in the language as well, and in doing so, help students and teachers keep up pace with such changes. Most newspapers are linguistically up-to-date and provide valuable linguistic data` (Tafani, 2004; Vavla, 2009). Newspapers provide a wide range of various text types and language styles, which are not always found in textbooks (Vavla, 2009).
There is no doubt that newspapers are a major force in forming public opinions on matters affecting national and international efforts towards economic progress and global understanding (Olusoji, 2012). Bordering on this terrain, this study assessed the language of newspaper advertisement, with Vanguard newspaper being the focus of the study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Every advertising medium has characteristics that give it natural advantages and limitations (Bruneau, n.d). Newspaper is one of the popular channel of providing information, education and entertaining the audience. Newspaper also have a comparative advantage over other media like Radio and T.V due to its feature of permanence, Unlike advertising on TV and radio, advertising in the newspaper can be examined at one’s leisure. Again, Igbeka& Ola (2010). Newspapers use design elements that make information easily accessible to the reader (Igbeka& Ola, 2010).
However, advertising has been criticized as debasing language, as it often does not follow the rules of grammar. Not much work has been done in determining reader’s perception of the language of newspaper adverts. Therefore, this study sought to assess readers’ perception of the language of Vanguard Newspapers.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of readership of Vanguard among Kwara State University undergraduates?
2. To what extent the language of advertising influences readers’ attraction towards vanguard newspaper?
3. What is the direction of the language of Advertisement in Vanguard Newspaper?
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1. To ascertain the level of readership of Vanguard newspaper among Kwara State University undergraduates.
2. To know if the language of advertising influences reader’s attraction towards Vanguard newspaper.
3. To establish the direction of the language of advertisement in Vanguard newspaper.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant as it would establish the perception of readers’ regarding the language of advertisement of Newspaper, which would give a pointer on how advertisers could possibly improve the tone and the direction of the language used.
Furthermore, this work would serve as a point of reference for other future researchers’ who would want to build on this study.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study was limited to Vanguard newspaper readers in Kwara state university.
1.7 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Perception: Perception is the recognition and interpretation of sensory information (Williams, 2017). In this study, perception refers to the internal assessment of readers towards the language of advertising which could be positive or negative.
Language: Newspaper language is a combination of different stylistic features, a mixture of several kinds of materials (van Dijk, 1988; Juhani, 2008).
Newspaper Advertisement: These are advertisements of product, services and organization done inside the newspaper, which varies in size, placement and depth..