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The Influence Of Online Newspapers On Their Print Versions’ Revenue Generation In Lagos State



1.1       Background of the study

Newspapers, radio, television, magazines, posters, pamphlets/leaflets, billboards, the internet, and other forms of mass media are utilized in every culture to inform, communicate, and educate (among other things) as change agents. Newspapers are a type of mass media that distributes current information at regular intervals. Newspapers are beneficial for education, information, enjoyment, relaxation, and entertainment as a mass media. This explains why newspapers are crucial, according to Ola and Ojo (2007), since they convey current information and keep readers aware of events and activities both inside and outside their immediate environs. Okunna (1999) backs up this claim by stating that newspapers are crucial since they provide as a source of current information or news.

“The press has evolved via the acutely practical tactics of the early journalists…to a press that has embraced the full impact and vigor of both the print and electronic media,” writes Okunna (1993). It’s no wonder, therefore, that the persistent issues that have followed the print media sector at every turn have been viewed as hurdles that trail every company that has made significant progress. Ohaja (2005) argues that “when the electronic media were launched, they had an edge over newspapers since they were giving the same condensed information as the latter but at a faster pace and in a style that plainly reflected reality…”. Wilson (1997) contends that “it is not true that new technologies replace old ones” in light of the aforementioned obstacles. They may substitute for some of their functions, generate new ones, or augment the old ones, but they cannot completely replace them.” Since McLuhan’s forecasts, there has been an unprecedented influx of new and better information tools, which are gradually complementing and replacing older traditional mass communication technologies. New information processing, storage, and retrieval methods, as well as new media distribution systems, have become fashionable. Newspapers now employ the services of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). As long as individuals in Nigeria and other nations are linked to the Internet, electronic pages of newspapers may be sent to their doorsteps.

The rush of newspapers on the internet might be linked to a variety of secondary factors, such as enthusiasm for new technology and a general desire to be a part of the current trend. Economic factors may be at the root of the problem. Newspaper owners have, for the most part, concluded that the internet presents possibilities and problems to which they must respond. In reality, some of the possibilities may be self-evident. Offline newspapers (hard copies) are partly a symbol manipulation technique and partly a plain industrial manufacturing process. The newspaper may go through a variety of alterations that constitute the physical manufacturing and distribution of the commodity once the writers and advertising staff have provided the made-up, final content. Printers and printing machines, as is customary, make hundreds and millions of nearly identical copies of the newspaper. Dispatchers load newspapers into trucks, which are subsequently distributed to wholesalers and eventually retailers, depending on the situation. They then either deliver it to the consumer or display it with the candy and smokes. All of this necessitates the expenditure of funds for personnel and equipment. On the other hand, an online publication does not incur any of these fees. True, it necessitates some server space, but this is little in comparison to the printing operations and trucks required for the real product. Consumers are responsible for distribution fees, PC purchases, and telecommunications prices. According to Sparks (1996), internet newspapers give proprietors the possibility of significant cost savings. In comparison to working offline, online newspapers provide what some journalists have grown to see as a key competitive aspect in newsgathering.

According to Sparks (2000), physical newspapers may print several editions, but in general, they only have one or two primary publishing points in every 24-hour period. In the news day, the requirement to print and distribute a tangible product might impose stringent time restrictions. This suggests that there’s a chance that a significant news event may happen too late to be reported in the newspaper on the day it happens. Some journalists believe that covering breaking news is an essential element of their job. Radio and television, both of which have the ability to continually update news throughout the day, have long been regarded to be at a disadvantage to printed newspapers, albeit observation shows that this option is only used for a minority of articles. The fact that an online newspaper comes every morning, as opposed to the continuous flow of broadcasters or the weekly and monthly periodicity of magazines, is no longer distinguishing feature (Featherly, 1998).

Furthermore, all of these distinct mediums now occupy the same physical area. Geographical distances, which formerly segregated the industry so effectively, have now been mostly eliminated. Any type of news from anywhere in the globe may be accessed by an internet reader at any time. Conversely, through new media and in new ways, the marketer may acquire access to the most scattered readership. As a result of all of this, newspapers are facing genuine competition and challenge in their main business for the first time in years. They no longer have, or rarely have, the privileged contact with readers, and hence with advertisers, that was a significant part of their offline success.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Given the growing number of Nigerians who access the internet on a daily basis, as well as the fact that major newspapers continue to adorn newsstands on a daily basis, it is becoming increasingly crucial to discover whether readers of different editions of newspapers prefer distinct material. The digital revolution, according to (Ashong & Henry2017), has had a negative impact on the newspaper industry. The hardcopy newspaper had firmly established and reinforced its position as the primary and most frequent source of news for many people prior to the introduction of the internet newspaper. However, the arrival of online newspapers inadvertently posed a threat to the print business model because it created a troubling dichotomy in news presentation and content preference by altering readers’ traditional pattern of seeking and consuming news, and with readers and advertisers flocking to the internet, hardcopies lost their major revenue streams.

Today’s newspapers are losing subscribers and going out of business all over the world. No wonder, since Marshal McLuhan, a late Canadian professor of English, predicted that we are living in a unique revolutionary communication age, there has been an unprecedented surge of new and better information tools, new media delivery systems, new information processing, storage, and retrieval systems, and people are turning to the web for news that is rich and instantaneous compared to analogue media. Some media organizations may not have considered the economic ramifications and effects. In the early 1990s, Vivian (1998) claimed that the San Jose Mercury News, a newspaper in the United States, received up to 325,000 visitors to its web site in a single day, despite only 270,000 copies of the daily’s printed product being distributed. The Nigerian experiences in all of these have been partially explored, and this study is based on the assumption that online newspapers have an impact on the revenue generation of their print versions in Lagos State.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the influence of online newspapers on their print versions’ revenue generation in Lagos State. Specifically the study seeks to: 1. Explore what  factors motivate readers’ to  patronize online newspapers more than their print versions

  1. Determine readers’ perception of Online and print newspapers in Nigeria?
  2. Ascertain how convenient is accessing online newspapers in comparison with their print versions?
  3. To what extent patronage of online newspaper more than print version affects revenue generation of newspaper cooperation?

1.4       Research Hypothesis

HO1: The extent at which  online newspaper are patronized  more than print version is low in Lagos State.

HO2: Online Newspapers  has not significant influence on the patronage of their Print Versions’ Revenue Generation.

1.6       Significance of the study

Newspapers has enjoined other mass media to also deliver their contents digitally. But as readers rush to online content, it is possible that conventional print newspapers may suffer a decline in readership. Findings from the study will be of significant importance to the society as it will make the public aware of the impacts of online newspapers on print media. This study will also be of importance to the different channels of mass media as it will let them know how the preference of readers.  Finally, the result of the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and serve as a reference material for student and scholars who wishes to conduct further further studies in related field.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the influence of online newspapers on their print versions’ revenue generation. It explored what  factors motivate readers’ to  patronize online newspapers more than their print versions. It determined readers’ perception of Online and print newspapers in Nigeria. It ascertained how convenient is accessing online newspapers in comparison with their print versions. The study is however delimited to Ikoyi Metropolis of Lagos State.

1.7       Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint, all  were downplayed  by the researcher while ensuring that the best is given.

1.9       Definition of terms

Print Media: Print media is one of the oldest and basic forms of mass communication. It includes newspapers, weeklies, magazines, monthlies and other forms of printed journals. Print media has the advantage of making a longer impact on the minds of the reader, with more in-depth reporting and analysis.

Readership: Readership means  the quality or state of being a reader

Revenue generation: Revenue generation is one of the most important activities that B2B companies engage in. It’s the process of planning, marketing and selling products, with the ultimate aim of generating income.

Online Newspapers: An online newspaper is the online version of a newspaper, either as a stand-alone publication or as the online version of a printed periodical. Going online created more opportunities for newspapers, such as competing with broadcast journalism in presenting breaking news in a more timely manner.



Ashong, C.A. & Henry, O. (2017). Content Preference among online and Hardcopy Newspaper Readers in Imo State. Journal of New Media and Mass Communication, 4 (1): 1-15.

Obaid. S (2014) Readership and readers’ perception of Omani Newspapers. Global Media Journal Spring, 2013. Onwubiko, C. (2005). Using newspaper to satisfy the information needs of readers at Abia State University Library, Uturu. Journal of Education and Information Management, 7(2), 61- 72.

Okoye, I. (2002). “Feature Writing in the era of Multi-Media Competition” in Okunna, C. S. (ed) Teaching Mass Communication: A Multi-Dimensional Approach, Enugu: New Generation Books.

 Okunna, C.S. (1993). Theory and practice of mass communication. Enugu: ABIC Publishers.


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