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Essay On Newspaper Importance Of Research

Newspapers command readers’ full attention

Australians are using more types of media now than in the past. So there’s a premium on those than can command users’ full attention. Newspapers can do this more than any other media.

Newspapers are highly trusted

Faced with multiple types of media to choose from, Australian consumers’ level of trust in the media takes on more importance than ever. Newspapers continue to survive and thrive as the leading source of credible content. The implication for marketers is that consumers are more likely to believe and rely on messages that are presented within such a trusted environment, as shown in the table below.

International research supports this view:

  • Nielsen Global Survey in Trust 2009 – International study
  • Newspapers Today Part 1 – Australian audience report
  • Consumers trust their local paper – Australian research
  • Community newspapers deliver – Canadian research
  • Regional newspaper websites – UK research
  • Newspapers as trusted media – New Zealand study into Newspaper Inserts
  • Print and Online readership – Canadian study

Newspaper advertising is still welcomed by consumers

In an age where avoidance of advertising is increasing, Australians still welcome advertising in newspapers. And they find it believable and are much more inclined to pay attention to it.

Newspapers have transformed into powerful multi-
platform brands

Newspapers have always been strong brands, due largely to the focus on quality journalism and creation of original content.  The digital age has made access to this content even easier, and in the process, newspapers and their websites have become powerful multi-dimensional brands. This will continue to strengthen into the future as mobile technology and penetration increases.

Favourite printed newspapers are prominently positioned as brands in the minds of Australians. The expansion of newspapers into the online sphere and into mobile has renewed the relevance of newspapers in the minds of Australians. They are seen as contemporary brands that compare favourably to iconic digital brands.

Newspapers can entice behavioural change in consumers

The absorbing, dynamic and reputable nature of newspapers provides a powerful platform for advertisers to affect behavioural change in consumers.

Research conducted by the Newspaper Marketing Agency in the UK concludes that newspapers provide the platform and environment for advertising to:

  • Provoke reactions

  • Stimulate debate

  • Challenge conventional thinking

  • Convey complex messages

  • Deliver the essence of a campaign

  • Establish strong emotional connections and a sense of affinity with brands, products and services

Newspapers provide an enriching experience for readers

Newspapers and their website have moved beyond traditional roles of informing and educating. They now deliver a complete experience that is enriching for its users, more so than any other medium.

People have an insatiable appetite for news

A voracious appetite for news and information for Australians aged 14-69 has resulted in people using both newspapers and their websites. 81% of people within that age group agree they want to be up to date with the latest in news and entertainment and 85% agree that they seek out news and entertainment content that is of interest to them.

Newspapers & their websites have a dynamism unmatched by other main media

The dynamic nature of newspapers has evolved since the entrance of new media. Newspapers have integrated print and online to break news, deciding where it’s best placed, on which platform it will run, and when. This position has increased in 2009 than in 2007.

The early morning consumption of newspapers puts them in a unique position to determine what the key news agenda is on any given day. The printed newspaper takes a stance, has a point of view and challenges thinking. This is backed up by newspaper websites which have the ability to break news and provide updates throughout the day. Television is inclined to hold its major stories until the early evening news bulletins.

Printed newspapers setting the agenda for the day is not merely a belief of older generations. Even when looking at the printed form of newspapers alone, 14-24 year olds are more likely than 25-34 year olds to hold this association (33% versus 28%), and are only marginally less likely than 25-49 year olds (35%).

Newspapers and their websites have a unique positioning that extends to a younger audience

The high regard youth audiences place on newspapers and their websites translates into an ability to influence this demographic more than the internet on a range of topics and issues.

The positive and negative sides of using newspapers as a historical source

Hogir Hassan Pirdawood

Lecturer-Department of History, College of Arts, Salahaddin University, Kirkuk Street, Erbil City , Kurdistan Region- IRAQ

In the past few decades, using newspapers in historical research has been a debatable topic among scholars. Some historians believe that the press has a great value to be used as a historical source. However, others think that newspapers are unreliable sources to be used in historical research. With the development of technology and its impact on human's daily life, newspapers, as a periodical publication including regular information and comment on foreign and domestic political events, containing a substantial proportion of their content, and appearing at least once a week1, have changed. in contrast to other types of culture products such as books, documents, letters, novels and others that have been used by historian as historical source s.

The purpose of this essay is to analyse advantages and disadvantages of using newspapers as historical sources. This study includes the analysis of the quality of newspaper information, the value of letters to editor, the importance of newspaper photographs and the digitisation of newspaper. Also, this essay analy s es the bad impact of censorship on newspaper information and the negative effect of commercial force on news products.

There are some advantages for using newspapers. First of all, newspapers are comprehensive sources. They cover all of the news that takes place during a day. They provide local and global news stories, announcements, opinions, advertisements, cartoons, television listings and sport news. It is a significant method to let people know everything which is happening in the neighbourhood and around the world. Even with the development in computer technology, newspapers continue to be a necessary aspect of daily life2. If newspaper material is compared with any other source, it will be seen that newspaper provides the extraordinary detail, illumination, precision and clarity which historians look for3.

In addition, newspapers provide great information about economic, political, social and cultural life in the past. A good critical reading of newspapers can lead to important insight into how cultures or societies had come to understand themselves also the world around them. Also, they easily lead themselves to the work of comparative analysis, providing windows onto the intellectual culture which prevailed in a special time, area or society4. Newspaper is the only efficient way of providing political information. It is allowed by the regularity of its publication to pick up every topic which is important5. As Jones says "the only true history of country (England) is to be found in its newspapers"6. A picture of the press is pointed by historian an active force in history, as something which intervened in political, cultural and social relationship. In these contexts, the role of press is attracting increasing attention from historians. A growing interest in searching the language, ideas and habits which helped to make the sense which people were able to make of political realities and social orders in the past7, individual section of different newspapers can usually make up significant aspects of a variety of digital collection, some of digital collections have used selected newspaper articles to search historical events, some use newspaper images of special time periods, others use advertisements to find the economic patterns or material culture of given time8. Also, newspapers are forums for dialogue, opinion and debate of people who read them. A wide range of correspondence from the readers is printed by newspaper. They let the readers of a paper to express their fears, their opinion s, their hopes and their grievances9. Newspapers can present a treasure trove of different information, but with all research, you have to evaluate and judge the pieces of information next to other research and documents you have already collected. Also, pieces of information which are found in a newspaper can point toward other information and other documents such as important land records. Many newspapers of different small towns are published weekly rather than daily that can present the publication date for a story you are looking for10. But, it is necessary for historian to know the parts of the newspaper and what information each one includes11.

Some of the historians who use newspaper articles as sources have complained that their works have been limited due to lack of relevant newspapers. Some historians analysed twenty newspapers which was published from 1860 to 1910, in order to discover the value of newspapers as historical materials. Their research study was clearly designed based on the lack of microfilm and other contents. Another historian who studies strikes and political violence complained that one of the largest issues in using newspaper to encourage his research is that the collections available to him are not enough12.

In addition, newspaper information is published immediately after happening events, so that they can be used as primary sours. For example, newspapers have played a vital role in the daily life of USA. They have served as an importance of historical sources which include secondary and primary, for scholars of different disciplines, students, teachers, librarians and genealogists. They have served a large number of functions which include saving a daily chronicle of events, serving like a political institution and promoting free speech. There is no other source which is as wide in its scope of possible content or as comprehensive in its covering of daily life[13]. Local newspapers can present an important deal of information about the men who involved in the First World War as a soldier. Through reported interviews with the soldiers, who are still in life, can provide, on occasions, nearly immediate personal accounts of events in war, they can provide some indication of how the local community was influenced by the war and how the local community responded to news received about the war. They provide a local dimension and some considerable distance away to great battles. The World War as an aspect of local history is present by local newspapers, newspapers can also provide a local of view of an enormous, lengthy, terrible and complex international event. Also, the reports may contain important information, which may be quite surprising, and not included in battalion war diaries or regimental histories14. However, all popular demonstrations were not reported by the press, even all popular demonstrations on national political issues were not reported by the press. In certain situations, newspapers deliberately ignored them, because they unduly threatened social order or newspapers took the opposite political side15.

Secondly, the fact that newspapers provide letters is also of great importance Letters' pages intend to include readers who both literally and symbolically feel a sense of importance and particular communication, their letter should be selected for publication. In addition, newspapers play an important role in communicating the identity of a newspaper given which they try to recreate the discourse and preoccupations of their readers such as expressed in their daily postbag. As a result, newspapers letters pages stay one of the most popular features of newspapers and represent a significant site for resistance and reproduction of discourse on and around nations. Also, letters to the editor are a strong feature of newspaper discourse16, because historians use letters to represent the views of newspaper editors and to illustrate those of their readership. Letters are a method of exploring what subjects were significant through a time period. Many scholars have used editorials and letters to editor to search and discover themes of sexism and racism, especially what sort of language was used and how different groups were described. For instance, one historian studied the editorials of Marsh Murdock published in The Wichita Eagle in the 1870 and 1880, and letters written in answer by local people to explain differing of principle of domestic ideology.

Letters that published in newspapers suggest a very good deal about the paper and its readers. First, readers write letters, they use their ideas, arguments and observations. Second, letters are often written in answer to previous articles in that newspaper, therefore they say something about the information values of the newspaper. Third, the editor in that newspaper select and print letters again, this provides an indication of the newspaper's news values, also about how the paper intends to represent the opinions of readerships. Newspapers use to distinguish between the letter to be spiked and the good letters to be contained. However, the letters columns are obviously not representative of public opinion and more closely reflect the arguments and opinions of an articulate minority17. For example, the local press refused to publish letters sent to their editors by the Labour party in a debate on the situation of the Birmingham Liberal Association in January 187618.

The third is that newspaper information is passed through different filters which give newspaper a great value. It would be different with other kind of products such as letter. Most news which takes place during a day or week can possibly appear in a newspaper, this type of raw material which comes from different kinds of news events have to therefore pass through different filters, in order to be acceptable to publish after reporters and editors decide the news is possible to be accessed by the public, these filters include fixing the premises of discourse and interpretation of their stories. Then, newspapers are not neutral types of information, but rather filters and gatekeepers of different ideas19. Newspaper is not the same as other cultural products, such as memoirs, novels and letters which are created by a single author, but, it is produced by a big, complex machinery of literary production and layered social connection. So, no single individual is completely responsible, even in publishing a news article20. Newspapers had become more acceptable the legitimate subject of research and as historical source. The articles of newspapers started to be used in education, particularly in the teaching of journalism, politics and history21. They are written by committee. Each article from newspaper has to go through various editorial stages, they are not written by individuals, usually, large number of people who are contributed in its production22. As, Richardson says'' objectivity is a key defining value understanding the practices of modern journalism and hence is an issue of perennial interest or students of journalism discourse''23. Newspapers do not only provide their readership what is happening in everywhere of the world, but also instruct them in all imaginable line of action and thought. It is difficult to imagine how newspapers can make much more progress than they have already made, either as guides of public opinion or as business concerns24.


1 B. Harris, Politics and the rise of the press (London, 1996), p.4.

2 Newspapers, http://www.abcteach.com/free/r/readinganewspaper.pdf, accessed 27/12/2012

3 The Many Uses of Newspapers, http://dlxs.richmond.edu/d/ddr/docs/papers/usesofnewspapers.pdf, accessed 14/11/2012

4 S. Vella, ' Newspapers', in M .Dobson and B. Ziemann, Reading primary sources ( London, 2009), p 192. `

5 A. Jones, Power of the press: Newspapers, power and the public in nineteenth- century England, (Aldershot, 1996), P.180.

6 Ibid, P.59.

7 B. Harris, Politics and the rise of the press (London, 1996), p. 81.

8 The Many Uses of Newspapers, http://dlxs.richmond.edu/d/ddr/docs/papers/usesofnewspapers.pdf, accessed 14/11/2012

9 J. E. Richardson . Analysing newspaper: an approach from critical discourse analysis (Basingstoke, 2007), p. 149.

10 Newspaper Research, http://www.genwriters.com/genguides/newspaper.pdf, accessed 24/12/2012

11 Newspapers, http://www.abcteach.com/free/r/readinganewspaper.pdf, 27/12/2012

12 The Many Uses of Newspapers, http://dlxs.richmond.edu/d/ddr/docs/papers/usesofnewspapers.pdf, accessed 14/11/2012

13 The Many Uses of Newspapers, http://dlxs.richmond.edu/d/ddr/docs/papers/usesofnewspapers.pdf, accessed 14/11/2012

14 The Western Front Association, http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-people/research-family-story/402-news-archives.html, accessed 13/12/2012

15 B. Harris, Politics and the rise of the press (London, 1996), p. 94.

16 J. E. Richardson. Analysing newspaper: an approach from critical discourse analysis (Basingstoke, 2007), p. 149.

17 J. E. Richardson. Analysing newspaper: an approach from critical discourse analysis (Basingstoke, 2007), pp. 151-152.

18 A. Jones, Power of the press: Newspapers, power and the public in nineteenth- century England (Aldershot, 1996), P.197.

19 S. Vella, ' Newspapers', in M .Dobson and B. Ziemann, Reading primary sources ( London, 2009), p. 192.

20 S. Vella, ' Newspapers', in M .Dobson and B. Ziemann, Reading primary sources ( London, 2009), pp. 192-193.

21 A. Jones, Powers of the press: newspapers, power and the public in nineteenth century England, (Aldershot, 1996), p. 66.

22 F. M. Douglas , Scottish newspapers, language and identity (Edinburgh, 2009), P. 63.

23 J. E. Richardson, Analysing newspaper: an approach from critical discourse analysis (Basingstoke, 2007), P. 86.

24 A. Jones, Powers of the press: newspapers, power and the public in nineteenth century England (Aldershot, 1996), p. 65.

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