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Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers’ Preferences Dissertation


Executive Summary

The print news industry has been the mainstream news provide among elite communities mostly in developed countries until the emergence of free news media which seems to have taken center stage among the young people and slowly finding its way to the older generation.

Generation Y is fulfilling their surveillance needs in the most efficient manner in terms of access, costs, and availability; with the above characteristics, free news media has seen a niche market where it can sell its products and services.

Free news media offer news in simplified form that is formatted to attract the attention of its target market who happens to be the youth in the current generation as they prepare to grow with the population to their old age.

On the other hand, the print news media has maintained a conventional news presentation format that seems give preference to national and international news on different matter; they have the space and the time to offer in-depth analysis and sometime experts’ opinion on certain issues.

The format as adopted by print media is more informative than the one addressed by the free news media, however the current generation of youth seems not to be very concerned on quality but consider their personal interests when choosing the material they are going to use for information (Alday 13).

The situation on the ground portrays that print news media no longer command an increasing market; however their demand is decreasing for the good of free news media.

The main question is why the trend despite print media being respected for their integrity, educational, and informational functions; what are the main variables that can explain this trend.

Is the trend favored by the approach of either media or is the current generation responsible of the changing trend; to answer the above questions, this research understood a research among 300 Americans living in different states via interviews and questionnaires.

Results shown that reading is a behavior that leads to habit that can be developed or molded using aspects similar to those discussed in operant conditioning theory; the main blame why the negative growth in demand for print news material can be attributed to a large extent to the social environment that readers have grown in as well as the accessibility of the materials.

However, when the print media are made accessible and formatted to meet demand of current generation, the young get the sense of reading them.

The research has seen two main variable that seem to work hand in hand to support the growth of free news media at the expense of print media, they are generation Y and its characteristics and the timing and formatting of free news media.

Generation Y needs fast and summarized information with some elements of interesting information about the world more inclined in sporting, entertainment, and recreational news; this is what the free media offers, thus it is able to fulfill the need of the youth.

On the other hand, the format and issues in print media seems not to be in line with the interests of the youth; this leads to low demand of the products.

If the print media industry needs to reverse the trend, it should consider changing its approach and make products that are consumer oriented; these calls for understanding the market they are operating and understand what motivates them.

Despite the observed situation, the print media industry still has some loyalists and can make some strategic intervention; the interventions should be made by all players in the industry as one player cannot change the perception created by an entire industry.

Managers in print news media should focus on news needs of the young generation which form the largest population in the universe.

The format and stories given high value should be able to attract young leaders as well as maintain the loyalty of existing readers; print media materials needs to be hybrid that they cater for the needs of all people in the community or they can separate the market according to news needs (Bakker 328a).

Introduction

In recent world of technology coupled with the growth of generation Y and improvement of technology, have changed people’s media consumption patterns; there has been a move to free news media leaving the print media like newspaper at an underdog position.

According to a report released in March 2011 by Project for Excellence in Journalism, an international organization that evaluates and studies the performance of the press, observed that there was a 17% increase in use of free news from the amount recorded in 2009.

When people rely on the internet and other courses of free media, reader’s perception on different issues such as international relations, culture, politics, economic, and social dimensions have changed.

Of late there have been advocacy for the free press media, this enables free news media to have the better part of the society since they are not controlled neither are the information they give become accountable to anyone.

They offer news that allows readers to post their opinions a different approach than the one taken by traditional press news media; the speed at which someone can get a certain news article and the minimal cost, if any, involved in retrieving the news article has enabled the sector of the media to affect print media in sales volume (Christensen 180)

Generation Y is known not to be financially stable and have the internet with them usually, they have internet enabled phones, laptops, desktops, televisions, and radios; these are medias that can offer news at almost no cost.

On the other hand, they offer information that are current and probably offer the information in the most understandable manner to the target audience or community in general.

On the other hand, the print media gives a collection of news, both international and local news and handles different areas of the social, political, and economic arenas; however they happen to have the greatest position as reported medium, they give news that have already been reported by most free press media.

The main strength that print media has had is its diversity and wide interpolation and analysis of news, by the time they are printed, news will have attracted different views thus they can report news that have already been commented, improved or restructured in different ways (Flavian and Gurrea 19).

The formats that print news present their news as well the issues that they tend to put more emphasis in has an effect on the demand that they command from current young generation.

Current generation of the young tend to be more focused on the kind of material that they get access to, the nature of format of presentation as well as the way news have been presented plays a crucial role in determining whether the youth will consume the materials or not.

With the notion that newspapers and other print materials have abstract news that seem inclined in mainstream issues in the society like economic development, politics, and international relations has made them not attractable to the young generation.

The young tend to be more interested in moving news or continual news that has three dimensions; the notion has created a negative perception to print news media (Flavian and Gurrea 2)

The main question that triggers in the mind of a researcher is why the sudden change that seems uncontrollable despite some companies in the print media industry having come up with structures to address the problem; the answer to the above is seen in the challenges that the industry is facing to change human behavior.

Changing ones orientation culture is hard and sometimes and almost impossible practice. It is also worth noting that there are some growing numbers of people who are ignorant on news and they seem to have negative perception about either news sources; this group is also adding insult to the print media.

The research aim at giving an in-depth analysis of current news industry that is invaded by free news media’s and prints media; the main aim is to evaluate how free news media has affected print news industry, it will evaluate how readers’ perception has been shaped by inventions and innovations of the print media.

To get an the analysis right, the research will review necessary literature review and conduct primary research to address the issue brought about; the research will be limited to the effect that free news have had on print media industry but it will not elaborate on individual medias and the effect they have on either.

At the end of the project, it will offer recommendations that can be implemented by print media industry to face the challenge posed by free news media (Goal, Miesing and Uday 2).

Research Questions

This research will be guided by questions that the paper will address; the main goal of the research was to discuss, explain and understand the effect that free news media’s have had on print media, after understanding the underlying factors, then the research would offer an insight advice to the industry on which approach that can assist them improve their working environment.

With the above goal in mind, the research operated under the frameworks of the following questions:

  1. Which variables tend to favor consumption of free news material or print news?

(The question seeks to get the variables among the youth and the elderly in the community.)

  1. How do variables vary with age, economic income, and social environments among readers?
  2. What are the main areas that can be addressed to improve the reading habit among the communities? (this question was in respect to offering sound advice to print news companies which are the main culprits of loss of business to free news media)

The questions can be broadly be classified as:

Primary question

The primary question that triggered the research is the effect that frees press media has had on readers perception and how they have affected they have affected print media.

Guided by the main question above, the research will seek to establish underlying conditions that will assist answer the question effectively. The following are the secondary questions to support the study.

Secondary questions

The secondary questions to support the research and are as follows:

  1. What is free news and what has lead to its growth (statistical analysis of how the section of media has grown over time will be gotten); this question seeks to understand the news media industry and the trends it has taken in the near past
  2. What is the major role of media houses and how do they shape people behaviors perception and attitude; the question is aimed at giving finer details on how free news media’s has affected peoples notion and opinions
  3. What is the effect of media and their opinions on people, concentration will be on the young generation?
  4. Which medias are more preferred among different youth groups (the effect will be analyzed on the basis of age and preferred media); is there a shift from print media to free media or do the users of free news use them only
  5. Is there any link between readers’ preference free newspapers and more updated news?
  6. Why the newspapers that offer free news are focusing on certain sections of readers?
  7. Do the free newspapers offer competition to traditional or mainstream newspapers or just go together with them?

After answering the above questions through qualitative and quantitative method of collecting data and researching, the paper will seek to offer recommendation to the print media industry on how they can improve their business processes, this leads to the tertiary questions:

Tertiary questions

  1. Is the print media industry to blame for the negative growth in its demands and the perception created against it by young generations?
  2. What strategies and effects should the print media industry adopt to ensure they remain competitive in the business?
  3. Has the free news media come to see the end of print media or they can harmoniously live in the society?

When secondary and tertiary level questions has been answered through the research, then an answer to the primary question will have gotten as well as concrete and practicable recommendations sort to assist the print media companies improve their performance.

Area of study

To assist in collection of data and information, the area of primary data collection and analysis was chosen to be the United States of America with the researcher concentrating on New York City for interviews and focus groups.

To reach other areas in the country, the researcher sent questionnaires to people living in different cities using mails and emails; the questions will be inclined to go in line with the research questions but since the country has different people of different backgrounds in race, education, and economic standing, different approaches will be made.

Efforts were made to ensure that the answers given are objective and the respondent never felt that they are being interrogated; data to the extremes was trimmed off the analysis stage.

Why this research is interesting and worth doing

The research has three main reasons that justifies that it should be undertaken; the first reason is to assist psychologists, social scientists, business people, and Politicians understand people dynamics as well as how they have affected the perception of people.

Though the research concentrates on the effect that free news have had on print news media, it will explain the behavior of current generation as information is power, the information that people get determine their actions, behavior and attitudes.

The second justification is because the research will offer an in-depth analysis of how technology has come to shape modern lifestyle as well as how the lifestyle has had a negative impact on the traditional systems of living.

The print media in this case will be considered as a traditional tool that effectiveness has been hampered by technology.

The research will offer recommendations on the best approach that companies in the print media industry can implement to improve their businesses.

Literature review

This chapter has been derived from other scholar’s materials on the issue; it aims at offering the background on the matter as well as creating an in-depth understanding of the topic; it will address the following areas:

News and readers

News is defined timely, informative, educative information given to the right population in the right manner and form; news must have the ability to satisfy a certain target group with the information contained; it has to answer the five W’s questions of Why, Who, When, Where and How.

Reporters and editors make a printing or airing of news according to the value they have towards a certain target population, this is the reason why in media articled, the first headline story is catching the eyes and attention of the reader; mostly they are national news in print media and entertaining news in free media.

Some characteristics that define news, include, timeliness; news need to be given in the right time so that the reader can get the best out of them; news have been defined as a perishable good that lose value as it ages.

However, some news stays longer than other stays and makes history while others are just a onetime affair and their value is gone.

Readers want to know what has happened, or what has happened in the last few hours, yesterday, last night or this morning, such news are more likely to make more sense than last month or last year’s news.

Despite this characteristic of news, a twist, a further disclosure or a different angle of a worth telling story makes a past story interesting and news again (Greenlees 6).

Second important characteristics if prominences, this means there are people in the community that target market may find more “worth” to be in the headlines than others.

For example if the target market of a certain news article is the young, they are more likely to want to see actors, sportsmen, and singers on the front page than they would like to see politicians and economists.

On the other hand, the older generations are more likely to be attracted by national news of culture, politics, international news among others; when targeting either of the population, newspaper marketers have to make this differentiation.

The difference in audiences and target people for news creates third important characteristics of news, proximity; this means that a news article needs to be close and more relevant to the needs of the target population.

For example, a reader in the United States is more likely to be attracted by a reflection of what has transpired in the economy than he would get attracted to news article about what is happening in South Africa.

The characteristic of proximity bring on the issue of season and audience expectations, during elections, people are attracted to politics news that they would be to documentaries.

On the other hand, during world cups, for example FIFA world cup, people are more attracted to such news if they are the only hitting matter at that time. Despite the numerous characteristics of news, the weight that each character has is dependent on the audience.

From a wider angle, audiences can be divided using the age parameter, we can have the teenagers, young adults, adults and the old people.

Each of them has its need and expectations that they have towards the news they get attracted to. On the other hand, source of news can broadly be classified as print news sources and free news sources (Gurrea and Flavian 1)

Print news are information gotten from paper printed news that come out periodically; in the context of news, the most used print news articles are the newspapers that are produced daily reporting matter of the last 24 hours and sometimes offering some reviews to older news and information.

Other than newspapers and other dailies, there are a number of weekly and monthly articles that are being produced reflecting on certain matters that transpired in the last week or month; in most cases the articles may be looking at certain aspect in the community say politics, economies, sports or other social happenings.

Such articles include magazines, professional journals, articles, opinion documentaries and other forms of printed media with the aim of analyzing past evens; from the above analysis, it is clear that print media report occasions that have already taken place and mostly those things that have been reported through electronic medias like televisions and radios.

One major benefit that people get from these Medias is the afterthought of certain news that had been aired. Print Medias have the time to analyze reported news and get the opinion of experts or peoples who might have been involved in the news; they thus are able to offer informed and updated information.

Most print news materials are sold as news by the printing and the gathering company (Kagee, Saalih and Anthea 32)

Free News sources are sources of news where the reader does not need to buy the materials, however there is access to the information that the writer wanted to offer.

In modern world of computers, there has been an increase in this category of news where people can get them from the electronics Medias like televisions, radios, and the internet.

When accessing this information, a reader is at free will to choose the material he would like to consume and the ones that does not make much sense to him. Free News is characterized to offer current news and in a short form manner where they report the situation on the ground as things unfold.

They have the element of three dimensions where the user of the information can feel the news and see the background as it was. For example in television, a viewer can get the environment of the story as it is on the ground and be able to relate it with the reported story.

In some cases, free newspapers are distributed among passengers creating a better use of time when travelling than just sitting and waiting for the track to move; though the above falls in the category of free media since the reader is not expected to pay for the service, they form a minimal potion of the large free news media.

Some of the world leading free news sites include Craigslist, Monster.com, and Redfin, online newspapers, you tube and the use of search engines to get a certain news article (King 272)

Readers can be classified into four main categories depending with their approach and the materials they get access to at one particular time; Buckingham, 76 distinguishes the readers in the following four ways; paid newspaper readers, free News readers, readers for both paid and free news readers, and non readers (Buckingham 76).

The above categories of readers have been developed by age, economic situation, socialization and how a person feels about himself or the value one places to news Mahoney, (Kathleen and Collins 1).

Table 1 below shows a graphical analysis of the main characteristics of readers as have been observed and will be considered in the study:

Table 1

(1) Free news readers
They are readers who have free news media like televisions, the internet, and free newspapers as they main source of information and news. They can be referred to as loyalists of free news and see them to have high levels of integrity; their motivation to consume the materials vary with age, income, social environment, and socialization.
(2) Paid print news readers
They are people who have high value of news and do not mind spending some of their hard earned income on the materials; the reason behind the purchase can be well be explained from a personal angle as they vary with motivation.
(3) Free news and print news readers (accumulation)
They are people who are in the mid way between paid print news readers and free news media, this category of people may have some inclination towards one side but in most cases they use one media to get the general overview but use another for the finer details.
(4) Non-readers, but consuming other news media
They are people with less interest in the source of news but can get it when available; for example when travelling, they can buy a newspaper to read alongside but they could have bought it had it not for the need to utilize the time wasted travelling in a better manner other than sitting.
(5) Non-readers, no news consuming at all
This category of people are completely ignorant of the need of news in the community; they feel that they are good to go and depends on what other people say and personal intellectualism to reason issue facing them (Picard 34)

According to Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, article called “Print news is fading, but the content lives on”, on December 25, 2008, the growth in technology has resulted to increased users of free news than the user of print news despite the contents of print news getting an upper hand in form of quality and relevance.

The report suggested that since the invention of World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in the late 1980’s, over one billion people have gotten an alternative source of information and diverted from traditional analog, physical world as a source of information and connections.

The change has moved in the favor of digitalized information. A survey conducted by the group showed that in 2007, 27% of respondents have the Internet as their main source of information and news, in 2008, the percentage rose to 40 percent who said they had the Internet as their primary source for national and international news.

In 2007, the report has shown that 34% of respondents have the newspapers as the source of information and 70% who relied upon the television and Radio for information about what is transpiring in international and national news.

Observing the trend, one thing is for sure that the print media is losing relevance and is not able to attract a growing number of leaders. In the future, the sector of the economy seems to be losing its track and is facing fiancé competition from the free news media’s.

When to Pew Research Center for the People & the Press studied the trend among the statistics showed that Americans under 30, has 59 percent of the sample in support that they rely on the internet to get information; this was 25% higher than the level that had been recorded in 2007 of 34 percent. The trend and shift to internet materials is thus fast and rapid.

According to PersMediaMonitor, 2007 there has been a decline in print media since the invention and growth of electronic media; the trend is not limited to a certain population or country but across all nations. Between 1998 and 2006, Netherlands recorded a decrease of print media with more than 750,000 copies.

Readers of print news can be classified as readers by substitution, by accumulation (double reading) or by new readership the free newspapers; in which ever the case, the main question is whether free media is a perfect substitute of the traditional print media or not.

The answer to the above question that Free News Media seems to fulfill a need that existed among the societies, which the print media has ignored, overlooked, or not considered by their very nature (Bird 87).

Research has shown that there is more informative news, sometimes more quality news, offered by the print Medias that cannot be offered by Free News media, the authentication of the news is enabled and readers can depend and rely with them more than the print media ones.

However, the question is, if that is the situation, why are they reducing and suffering negative perception and attitude.

The print media companies are having a challenging battle to fight as they try to make their products more attractive and competitive in the changing business environments; in the United States, almost 99% of the print media companies have an online version of the same material that can be accessed freely or through subscriptions.

According to Runlet, 2002, a research done on internet usage of 2001 shown that at least 20% of internet users visited. The decreasing number of print readers coupled with an increasing access to free press media is threatening the existence of print media business.

According to Picard 21, the difference and increase in free media readers is also facilitated by the target market that the free media they have, they target the youthful population and the literate; with this combination, they are able to command a large pollution since the world is composed of over 60% of the youth.

Markers of free news appreciate that time that people suffer time constraint, they thus make the news as believe as possible, and probably touch a number of elements with a single news shot.

For example, most television news is for less than one hour, yet they will cover the entire happening of the world in a priority form.

What the free press news lack is the consistency and detailed analysis of a certain situation; they just inform the reader on what is happening in national and international scenes without getting into many details.

The growth in a population that is fast and wants things to move at a fast rate has created an improved market for the free news media that seems to have inclined their formats and news to meet the needs of the young people who have been the increased number in population.

The marketing approach taken by free news media has created varying perceptions and preferences to readers; in general, they have divided the market into three main groups; the habitual readers, the occasional readers and the non-readers.

Habitual readers are more likely to use print newspapers as source of their information, updating once self and to get awareness. They can be referred to as print media loyalists and cannot stop reading the materials; they do not mind spending their finances on print news.

Despite the loyalty that this group has, they are sometimes attracted by free news media especially when they want to get some quick information in the Medias (Picard 21)

Occasional readers are not keeping on buying print news; they use the Medias to get just some faint information about what is happening around.

They are people who are in between and in most cases, they get the general picture from free news media’s then if the news is interesting and worth further clarification then they buy the print media.

This category of people is the line that the print media and the free media are fighting for as either tries to win the large position of it.

The non –readers on the other hand are people who rarely spend their money to buy print media, in the case they want to get some information; they get it from their colleagues, friends and opinion leaders.

This category of people are increasing by day especially as the world faces some financial difficulties, they form the young people who have no resources to spend on information.

Despite the attitude that this category of people have, when they want information, they are more likely to use free news media since they are more freely available and one can seek particular information about an issue of interest.

The following diagram was made by Picard, 21, where he tried to portray the degree and the marketing segment that the print Medias have:

Newspaper non-reading, Peiser found no substantial fluctuations.

Table 2

The potential audience of newspapers

Figure 1. The potential audience of newspapers (Picard 126 (b)).

According to Picard 126 (b),free media is able to enjoy a larger population or market share as people can get the information when going on with their daily cores, for example, someone can listen to what is happening in the world when watching or listening to radio news at the same time when working.

This is different with print media that calls for the reader to leave any other task and concentrate with reading; the notion they create is that they cost nothing other than the reader’s time, which could otherwise would have been a waste as people commute from one area to another.

To target the non-readers, the medias offer snap short news which are fast news that offer the general idea about what is happening in the world scenes (Picard 126 (b)).

Age

According to a supranational research by Lauf, 21, age has become one of the main parameter of marketing and selling of news across different markets; the research suggested that the readers of print media are continually becoming old while the young population seems to be inclined to free news media.

Lauf referred to the emergence of the new format as an erosion of reading habit among the youngest groups where print media seems not to be able to attract the youthful population any more despite their increased population in the world.

NOM Print Monitor in 2006 reported that readers of the 13 to 24 year old youngsters accounted to 42.9% of the population that read free news, 48.3 percent of the readers happened to be 25 to 34 year old youngsters.

The research suggested that the readers preferred the materials since they were freely available and cost them less penny; the only thing that they wanted was time; some people also suggested that they use the free media as their form of entertainment; they can watch, browse or listen to the news at their own free will.

Among the youth reading of print news has been affected by the attitude they hold against the news, they have the feeling that the news contained are cumbersome and have some information that are not catching their attention.

The young especially the teenagers are known not to be very keen on serious or developmental news, but they are interested with interesting news that catch their attention at once; this notion has made them prefer to watch television news which has the headlines of interesting and eye catching news.

They also feel that the print news is a repetition of free news thus they have no business reading what they have already seen or heard.

Stone 213, developed the approach of double paradox in news among the free media and print media, she observe that the young feel that reading the print media only amounts to double reading of the same information which by itself does not seem to add value to their lives.

When free media are reporting about the news, they offer a third dimension about the case at hand, for example when television are airing about a certain story, they have the videos about the incidence which makes the news interesting and more meaningful to the audience.

The trend and the third dimension are paramount to the young who fell that they are connecting with the situation on the ground more.

The youth are need more than the news, conventionally there were the news hours that were fixed; the young find the conventional news to be offering the overview of the world that to them is important, however the other aspect of news, which is to offer education to the young, is met by other methods of presenting news like “soapification”.

When news have been “soapificated” the youth are more willing to listen, watch and even spend much of their times browsing and getting the humorous news.

Print media has for long being missing this angle of soapification, when they are offering a certain story, they discuss it plan as it occurred, and they do not have a way of connecting it with what is happening on the ground, as soapification would do. The approach fails to satisfy the needs of the youth (Stone 213).

Formatting

The nature of young people is that they do not feel the urge or need to be fully informed citizens, but they are keep to check on current affairs, which they get the information from free news.

To monitor current affairs, the internet is serving as an important tool to the youth; on the other hand, when getting the news, the young are able to look back in time and get informed in a single cite.

When it comes to the case of print media, one can hardly get a chance to lean back and update on current affair unless he or she get a heap of print media for the past days which may not be available.

This makes free media an easy way of catching up with current affairs and trends in social, economic, and political scenes.

The structuring of free media is friendlier to the youth than the case is to the print media, one can easily peruse through the material and get what ones wanted or listen headlines and get a full report on current affairs.

Blackhurst 56, defines the nature of news consumption as taken by the youth as “snacking news” this means the youth are more interested with moving news; by moving news, the scholar was of the opinion that it means quick check on the headline without much of details; this happens to be the nature that free news media has taken.

The youth seems not to be more interested with the inner consumption or the inner details of the matter but they are more interested in joining the debates about current affairs, this happens to be the approach that free news media has invested in.

The youth are more interested in what the scholar referred to as getting a multidimensional picture of a story, political, personal, social, economical; this means that the youth need to have the news as they happen and be left to make their own judgment not reading the opinions of other people.

In printed news, they feel there is a number of personalized information to the reporter who seems to be reporting the news as they were as a third party.

For example when someone is strumming news from the internet using some tools like the you-tube, they do not get the reported news but gets to learn the conditions and the situation of the news. There is the background and the third dimension in the news (Blackhurst 56).

The approach that print media and free news take are different in the nature of their contents, free news seems to concentrate on short stories designed for quick reading like are local entertainment, television and sports, while the print media has the finer details of the news.

The young people have blamed the Medias for using so many words to say the some simple statements. The free Medias have stories on music, movies, stories, episode and movies that make more sense to young people than the contents of print Medias that include politics, economic, cultures, opinions, and historical news.

The content of the free News media’s corresponds to the demands and the needs that the youthful population has (Jarvis).

With the differentiation of the materials, the young have formed a habit that seems to favor free news media’s; in modern ways of bring up children, reading has been a secondary role to the electronic media, at young age, children are exposed to televisions, internets and free news media.

When they grow up, more so in their youthful life, they are likely to hold onto the habits and socialization traits that they had at childhood.

Research has shown that the habits that a person adopts has a strong influence on the perception and likelihood that he or she will have in reading newspapers, articles, magazines and other print media materials.

Habit is a direct predictor of behavior, this means that when the youth have the habit of being exposed to electronic media, they are more likely to have it as a habit and hinder their chances of reading print Medias.

On the other hand, the minimal population of the young people who are reading newspapers and magazines are more likely to have parents that introduced them to reading at an early age or they can find the newspapers at their disposal more often.

However, the reality on the grand shows that children are more exposed to electronic Medias than they are to print media, the effect is a population that has strong attachment to electronic sources of news other than the printed version (Jarvis).

Availability

Raeymaeckers (2004) discusses the issue of availability of print Medias and free media news, he refers to the paradigm as “access factor”, the researcher is of the opinion that people are more likely to get news from those materials that are at their disposal.

Newspapers, magazines, journals among other print media may not be freely accessible and when available they come at a cost.

Raeymaeckers (2004), research shown that in homes where newspaper is available, then children from such homes develop reading habits than those in homes where there are no such materials.

Her research shown that those people from homes that have regular news papers have 38% higher chances of becoming future readers while in those homes where there were no newspapers, there was 51% more unlikelihood to read newspapers in the future.

When reading news papers, there is a perception that they will lead to a waste of time; there is an opportunity cost that a reader will have to incur as he will need to allocate sometime for the process; for example when at home, a reader has to decide whether he is going to read the paper or do the home chores.

With the limitation of time and demanding of life, people will thus be more likely to seek alternative methods of being informed and free news comes in handy.

A characteristic that stands out when interpolating what news mean is that they need to be current/fresh, they can get stale after sometimes; this is challenge to print media as they will have to know at what instance are their news relevant and not stale.

Some news get stale by the first mention or when they have been aired, thus print materials written after the expertly or say a night may as well be giving stale news that prove irrelevant to the readers.

Reading is a habit that builds to certain behavior; youngsters learn and adopt a certain behavior from the social environments that they have been brought up in; in this right the behavior that parents have has a large influence on whether younger generation will adopt the behavior of reading.

In contemporary world, where parents are working hard to make ends meet, they hardly have the money to buy print media and most of them rely on newspapers and other materials that are available in the office for information.

It is possible to find a print news reader who hardly buys the paper but reads from the office, and other social places. In developing countries, there is a tendency that people who depend on print news spend some time in shopping centers looking for a page of the daily to be informed; however, they do not buy the paper.

Children from such parents will hardly see their parents reading news papers thus the behavior and habit of reading is not developed in them at an early age. The result is a population that does not have the value of reading.

In Kenya, a developing world in East Africa, the nation’s newspaper sellers record higher sales of news papers on Sundays.

Nation Newspaper in the country records approximately double in sales on Sunday; according to the company’s website, they have made the Sunday’s paper more like a lifestyle paper which address national and international issues slightly but focuses on issues like sports, lifestyles, actors, young newspaper, relationship issues among other soft topics.

At the same time on the day the country which has over 80% as Christians is seen as a resting day. With the two parameters quoted by Nation Media group as the facilitators of Sunday sales, then one cannot be wrong to predict that lifestyle, expectation and time issues are among the factors that are contributing to reduced sales in print media.

On the other hand, people perception of weekday’s newspaper seems to be inclined to hard issues and consumers times of which the readers are not much interested in.

According to conceptual model, human behavior can be predicted more by the external environment that someone prevails than it can be predicted by inner or inborn traits; according to NICHOLS 11, behavior is not fully based on inner forces nor is it automatically controlled by external stimulate.

The scholar argues that human behavior can be predicted by considering three main interacting factors as personal factors, the environment and behavior of others; the interaction created the model of triadic reciprocality. (See figure 2 for the interaction according to triadic reciprocality model).

Figure 2

Conceptual model containing the expected newspaper reading variables for young adults

Figure 3. Conceptual model containing the expected newspaper reading variables for young adults

When discussing the issues of personal contribution, the psychologist is of the opinion that personal factors that affect print media news reading include own attitude, social demographic issues, self efficacy, willingness to pay, personal cognitive, affective biological factors and perception (NICHOLS 11).

Methodology

This chapter will focus on how the emergence of free news Media has an impact on print media; the chapter will concentrate on different methods and procedures that were used to collect, analyze and make inferences in the research; it will also discuss a full description of research methods used, different techniques employed and give a justification of each method adopted.

Research methods

This research employed the use of qualitative research methods since other than offering the situation, the paper was interested in finding theories that explained the relationship between the dependent and independent variables used in the research.

This method aims at getting an in-depth analysis of why the emergence of free news has taken preference in today’s youthful population. Qualitative is a method more common in social sciences and marketing studies.

It is used to understand human behavior and the reasoning behind the behavior; in this case it was used to analyze the relationship that prevails between the perception, marketing approach, age and the use of free news media’s in relation to use of print media materials.

The main questions that the method aims to answer is how and why on top of what and when. Focusing on the customer will give the researcher the required information.

To collect data, qualitative research methods use the following methods of data collection interviews, focus groups, cases studies and observation, it is not limited to the above methods.

One element that supports qualitative research method is the use of deductive reasoning when collecting data and information about the matter at hand. Deductive reasoning method is a systematic method of obtaining knowledge where one proceeds from a general point of view to a specific analysis.

The researcher starts from the known to explain the unknown. It provides a means of testing validity of a conclusion by having major premises and minor premises.

In this case, the researcher will come from the known point that there has been increased demand free press news and what the research wants to know is how it has impacted the print media industry as well as how the industry can strengthen its place in the fiercely competitive market.

The research focused on people of all ages with the lowest age limit set as sixteen years, however there was no limit to the highest age that one could be; the reason for including the entire population irrespective of their age and social status is to assist the researcher make conclusions that would cut across different social issue in the community.

In previous studies, the focus has been more on the youth and assumed that free news has minimal impact on older generations.

To collected data, the information was conducted from a total of 300 respondents, living in different parts of the united states; those who were accessible where undertaken one-on-one interviews while those who lived in other cities than New York were sent questionnaires using emails, there was collecting of data from twenty persons who commented on social network (face-book) comments and questionnaires.

The ages for the research had the following parameters, µ = 45.43 years, SD = 12.657, females 54% (162), while men were 46% (138); they came from different educational backgrounds whereby there were:

  • 12.5% secondary or senior high schools,
  • 13.5% with college diplomas,
  • 24% held bachelors level education,
  • 25% were students (combined bachelor levels, masters, and college students),
  • 10% masters level,
  • 5% other educational level.

Data was collected via a web based questionnaires systems and one-on-one interviews: 540 people were invited for the interview via the website; this was an exercise conducted over a period of one month, however only 176 responded the internet questionnaires (May 15th to June 14th June 2011).

The rate at which they filled the questionnaires was an important factor to determine whether the results would be accepted or not.

Figure 3

Readers statistics

Variables

The questionnaires contained questions divided into fifteen categories; there are different aspects that aimed at getting the qualitative and quantities aspect in readers, the following were the variables that were considered in the study are as follows:

News consumption pattern

The variable was aimed at estimating how often respondent use either free-news media to source for information: the questionnaire has five main selecting questions: ranging from seldom to almost daily.

The variable will be able to look whether there are people who are switching from free news media to print media and if they are there at what rate; secondly, it will look the rate at which people are switching from the print media to the free news media, this will assist in predicting the loyalty rate.

Reading time

The variable was aimed to determine the amount of time that readers use in either print media or free news media’s. The questionnaires were aimed at getting weekly statistics on the amount of time that people default to their source of news. The variable will add some insight on the perception and the attitude that people have developed against print media materials (Beckett and Robin 104).

Socio-demographic variables

The variable was aimed at including variable like age, gender and level of education that the respondents had; the question was held open that the respondent may opt to fill or leave the question.

Surveillance

The variable was aimed at gauging the general motivator that people had that drove them to use a certain material or get information from a certain media or news source. (It was based on a scale of seven points).

Social environment

The question was aimed at getting the social-economic condition of the respondent which has the capability of enriching the conclusions as different parameters are used.

Willingness to pay

The question has the main aim of determining the degree at which respondents valued paying for news and whether they considered news as worth the cost they are sole either the dailies or periodicals.

When and why people read print materials

This question was aimed at gauging the connecting that existed between there being some free time or waste time and reading of print news material, the question was triggered by the notion created by literature review that there is high connection between free time and reading of print news materials.

Behavior and Habit

The question was aimed at gauging the connection that exists between ones behavior develop via the socialization method and inborn traits and the habit that one has as far as reading is concerned.

Facilitating conditions

There was a tendency or notion that the growth in free news media’s had been facilitated by the prevailing conditions that human face themselves in; this question was aimed at gauging the influence that different situations had on the reading habits adopted by different people in the community (Costera 23).

Format and news presentation

Earlier researcher has suggested that there existed a strong linkage between the way news have been presented to the target people and the way they are accepted or welcomed, this question aimed at gauging the effect that format of presentation had on a certain news articles or piece of information.

Self-efficacy

The question was aimed at looking the effect that self efficacy had on people reading habits and ensuring that the influence of once personality, beliefs and moral standings where something to go by as long as news consumption was concerned.

The subject of the news

Literature had created a close linkage between the interest of news to certain category of people and the degree at which the target group will consume the news (Cobb 23-45).

(The questionnaire used will be attached at the end of the research report)

Primary data collection method

Primary data methods aims at getting the right information about the trends in the market at first hand; under this approach a company gets information from the ground and analyses the information for its own use the methods include:

Observation method in the study was used in relation with other human senses; the research was listening and observing people trends on the kind of information they are giving and seeking to know where they got the information.

The flow of traffic in print media vetting machines and retail center offered information on the frequent visitors of the places in respect to their age and to some extent their living standards, gauged by the kind of car they are driving, how they carry themselves as well as the ethnic group they came from (ethnicity was limited to Asians, Europeans, Blacks, and Chinese).

When collecting information from the methods, the research observes the trends and notes some consistency and relationship; for example different times of the months were subject of the research that shown different statistics, on the other hand, weekdays and weekends had different trend observed.

Since the research was a qualitative research, the research used the phenomenological perspective approach, under this method, the researcher was immersing himself in situations and discussions that would offer the required information; though his participation could be called for, the main interest was to facilitate discussions and opinions which he afterwards recorded and complied the report.

When in the field, the research keeps the objectives that he wants to attain to himself or her since when disclosed the participants are more likely to offer misleading information that might distort the reliability and the quality of the research (Bakker 23b).

The next method adopted in the research was focus groups; focus groups are a method of data collection that encourages participation in a more relaxed environment. For instance the group may be allowed to talk in their vernacular; this will relax the mood and encourage more information.

In the research, focus groups were chosen according to the ages that they represent; with the ages in mind, then information relating their perception on print and free news was gotten.

As people are discussing it is as they are solving their own problems, they give their views and discuss their attitudes, perception and how they feel about an issue under discussion; when they are doing this, the researcher was busy collecting information.

As people discuss and contribute to somebody’s answer, they widen the scope of the research and some areas that were not initially thought of or where excluded from the research may come up (Raging 23).

Among the youths, the focus groups where allowed to discuss the matter using sheng and other languages that they were feeling comfortable in, the discussion was focused on how they learn news as well as the source that they feel more reliable.

In the discussion, questions that allowed them offer information on when they bought a print media material and the reason why they had bought the material.

Among the old age, focus groups where allowed to discuss the emergence of free news as well as how they feel the methods have affected the source of information and how they are (Lievrouw 310).

The method explores participant’s ideas and thinking. Since it is an open forum, people are set free to air their views and sometimes to give recommendations. This assists in opening the internal thinking window of the participant. At this point the feelings and emotions of the population will be understood.

For example the old people might feel that the kind of materials that they get their information is the main cause of the social issues in the society. Focus groups where made not only to have the numbers but also the underlying reason behind a certain perception.

This makes the researchers work more informative. Since the participants are allowed to react to each other’s views, this can reduce biasness by a member.

If there was someone who was giving the wrong information may be from a previous experience, the reaction of other participants will tell. This assists in getting data that are more objective (Berg 23).

Discussions lead to more content to a research problem being discussed. The questions are not fixed; the participants are given the freedom to extend and come up with other question as long as they are in line with other original one. It comes with issues that could not have come up in case of one-on-one interview.

This may not have been thought of when designing the research guiding questions. As group discuss about a certain issue, it is easy to probe for more information.

This will be by interrupting the group and pose some directing questions. The information so gotten is not only the plane information about a certain issue but it goes further and seek to give the underlying principles that explains a certain behavior (McChesney 24).

Another reliable method that was used in the research was the use of interviews; interviews are face-to-face discussion, guided by some questionnaires that give direction and focus the discussion. When conducting the interviews, the interviewer was not only able to get data from verbal communication but also from non-verbal.

In the case of effect of free media on print media, the choice of interviewees was using the method of random sampling method; under this method, the interviewer was interested in getting a wider view and information from different sources irrespective of age, social status, and socialization process that interviewees underwent (Stebbins 67).

Human beings talk with their mouth and their bodies; the combination of the moral and body communication will be the focus that the interviewer was interested in, it gave the attitude, perception, and feelings that the interviewer had.

The tone that interviewee used in the interview emphasized on a certain issue of their concern. Our tones expresses anger and inner feeling, it brings out emotions and perceptions regarding certain issue.

In my research case for instance, how do you get informed; those interviewees who were fewer readers were being puzzled by the question and seen withdrawn in thoughts as they gave the data.

Since people have different perceptions and feelings, the nature and the angle of answers I got was varying; there are people who would offer direct answers while in others they were indirect and called for the use of deductive reasoning to get the answer.

The way he/she will present it in-terms of language, tone and facial expression will give me information that assisted me when making my analysis. The researcher is also able to adopt other data collection tools like observation (Taylor and Bogdan 12).

When undertaking an interview, the interviewer acts as a catalyst during the process. This makes the interviewee open up. An experience gotten from one interviewee can be used in subsequent interviews; it built pools of wisdom that an interviewer can use in subsequent interviews, to get more information.

It allows flexibility. For example if you realize that people negative perception in free news media, then the interviewer can adjust the questions, instead of asking directly the experience that someone has had, the interviewer can tune the question to open up the interviewee.

Finally, the answers given by an interviewee are immediate; there is no time for reflection. The advantage with this is that the answers are more likely not to be biased, since the interviewee does not have the time to tune his answer.

This also makes collection of data fast. Clarifications can be sort from the interviewee in case something is not clear unlike other methods. In certain situations, interviews can be tape-recorded; this will work as back-up information alongside notes collected during the interview.

When analysis data, the accuracy of data captured is of essence and thus recorded interviews gives a repeat of what was said for better recording (Raeymaeckers 226).

Sampling instruments and strategies

To ensure that the information and data collected was relevant and represented the population, random sampling method was used; the strategy was aimed at ensuring that well-defined sampling strategy that utilizes an unbiased and robust frame for an effective analysis, interpolation, and inferences; in random sample selection, every element has the same probability of being interviewed.

In the research the method used was a two stage method where initial sample was selected using simple random sampling method (probability sampling) and the actual samples to be interviewed are chosen using stratified random sampling and Cluster sampling.

Under Cluster, sampling the sample from probability method was grouped in age ranges that were as the following ages: 18-21, 22-27, 28-33, 33-42, 43-55, and 55 and above.

The six clusters were further undertaken a random sampling; in order to conduct a meaningful survey, the individuals enrolled for collecting information should represent the population under study. In other words, the participants should be a subset of the population on whom the study is to be generalized.

The method was aimed at ensuring that the sample was representative of the population; from the literature review taken, it had been noted that age is a major contributor in the perception and attitude that people have with free news and print media (Marshall and Rossman 67).

Income had also been established as a major contributor to the trend, different people and areas that are known to be of different social status were selected using stratified random sampling.

Under the method, different villages were chosen as the areas under study depending with the kind of lifestyle that the people in the area live, it was trough the use of stratified sampling method.

The main reason for considering this approach is to ensure that issues of income, which has been quoted as a major contributor to varying trend in the free news and print media approach has been noted and understood for better inferences.

Research design

The design that has been used in the research was process onion approach as presented by Saunders et al (2003), the method was superior as it offered a suitable research approach that doable the strategies of this study.

The first layer raises the question of the research philosophy to adopt; the second layer flows from the first layer and considers the subject of research approach that was adopted in the research.

The third layer portrayed the research strategy followed by the forth layer which was more concerned about time frames that the researcher used when conducting the research; the final layer (fifth layer), the approach provided for data collection method that were employed in the research.

The onion research design assists a researcher to collect rich information about the situation at hand and gather detailed information on the effects that free news have had to the print media as well as the growth and strengthening of perception and attitude to print media as a result.

Other than looking at the situation, the method offers room to give effective recommendations to producers of print news material to assist them improves their business in the changing times.

The method offers a framework of systematic analysis of situation in the efforts of coming up with the best solution for the problem at hand (Denzin and Lincoln 45).

Ethical issues within the research design and conduct of the research

Informed consent

The data collected needed to be treated with privacy thus there were calls to protects reader’s rights to privacy; they were concerns on issues of autonomy; the right of privacy assumes that people of the age of majority have the right to know where they will get their information and have no obligation whatsoever to disclose this to anyone.

Disclosure that be at their own free will and should be given the right of information protection and security.

Despite protecting the information offered, students will be required to present the information to their tutors for the benefit of the research but they expect the information to be confidential and treated with maximum respect.

To avoid the ethical problems encountered, the researcher informed the participants of areas that might touch their own life and offered them free will to disclose or hold the information; when the information was disclosed, it was kept under privacy and confidentiality (Creswell 34).

Limitation and opportunities

In order to conduct this research, some limitations and opportunities have faced. The limitations will rise within both the primary and secondary research. The limitations in the primary research are revealed in the performance, quality, and working time of the survey, and examining and analyzing the answers.

In regards to the secondary research, the limitations involve the reliability of the gathered information, data validity, and the confidentiality of the information. In addition, it must have ensured that the information is recent, and not outdated.

Other than the reachable population, there will be some virtual interviews conducted to an online structured questionnaires; several studies have attempted to determine the viability of the research conducted using the online method, however to ensure that the variability and reliability of the interviews, the results gotten was compared with the results of posts and face to face online.

In the move to embrace modern technology, the researcher used social networks to collect data and information, in this context, posts and updates in Facebook were made to collect some comments from researcher’s friends through the method of networking.

When using social networks, the researcher ensured that those people who made comments were people he knew and were of high moral standing (Comcowich).

Data presentation and analysis

After collecting data, the next step that the researcher took was to present the data in a readable manner, with the presented data, and then it is interpolated and analyzed to give the inferences that will prove the hypothesis true of false.

When presenting data, it must be made in a coherent, organized and understandable manner to ensure that the process runs effectively and according to plan; when data meets the above objectives, then making inferences and conclusions from the data is facilitated as trend and movements can be seen and interpolated.

This section will focus on the data collected, how it was presented, interpolated and analyzed to offer the final inferences; generally, the information was acquired from historical survey (literature review) that formed the basis of the report as well as an in-depth analysis of the system, there also were primary data collection and contents analysis.

The main objective of the research is to understand how the emergence of free news media has affected business in the print media industry as well as how perception has been shaped in that effect (OKRENT).

In this sense, this part will offer the information collected from people of different ages and social status in the community:

The youth

The information concerning the young was conducted on people of the ages 16 to 25 years; they are people who belong to the so-called generation Y where technology and easy way of doing things are the order of the day.

Those in their teenage seemed to care less about national and international news and never considered being informed as a necessity, they were feeling that being informed forms part of socialization process thus they needed not to be buy print media in the name of buying news.

78% of the sample between the ages of 16 and 18 were of the opinion that the free news media were as good as the print media and they have an upper hand since one can scroll channels in search of the kind of news he or she would like to see.

When asked what their characteristics of news are, they were quick to say that it was something new in their scenes that were also entertaining (Wilkins 23).

The kind of news that they are looking for is that of celebrities, sports, and models, their main interest was achievers and cared less about the process or the inner details. For example when watching sports say foot ball, they were interested on who scored, which team work but have no interest on how the game was.

The kind of information that they were interested was flash news, they were more available in the free press news and thus they inclined to such news sources.

When they got across the print news media, they hardly buy them however when they see them, they scroll for interesting news and topic and get the general idea again without much of details.

As ages proceeded, the samples shown an improved understanding by the participants on the needs to be informed, between the ages of 18 and 25, the research shown that people were concerned about the kind of materials they are getting their information from.

Peers had the highest influence on the source of news that the age group was getting its information; when they were discussing about a certain issue, they were doing it depending with the kind of media house that they got the information from.

For example, information collected from international media houses and bodies like CNN, Aljazera, or the BBC were considered news with higher integrity than news gotten from local media and newspapers.

Despite the approach and perception, there was a tendency that they believed that news written in print media were more informative and educational than the news offered via the free news media.

There was a tread that shown that as a person get older, he gets more inclined to reading print media than using free news media, however the age group was feeling that the internet is offering a cheaper way of reading print media material thus even if they will be reading them, they proffered the online version of the materials.

Cost of print media is an issue to this group of people who felt that some cases, the cost may be as high as $20 dollars yet the information given there may have some elements of repetition.

They quoted magazines and journals as the most expensive source of material but applauded them for having more details and educational materials (SHIH 21).

From the results of the research, to say that young people consider the Internet and television as their major source of information can stand the test of time (See table 2), Radios hang in the balance and they also command a large position of the news market than probably newspapers and other print materials have.

The decision to listen to a certain Radio station is determined by the entertainment nature that the station or the radio program is to the young person.

For instance, some programs discuss young issues over the radio and are open for discussion by members of the public, in this cases the youth are more likely to listen to then; alternatively in the case that the information offered is dull and more “corporate” in the eyes of the young person, then they are unlikely to be listened to.

Among the youth, dynamic news sources (free news media’s) are more common and popular than the case is for the static mediums like newspapers and magazines (Graber 145).

Table 3

News sources

News source Consumption measure
Internet1 3.87 (SD=1.44)
Television1 3.75 (SD=1.39)
Radio 2.77 (SD=1.52)
Paid newspaper1 2.45 (SD=1.51)
Free newspaper1 2.18 (SD=1.03)
Mobile phone 1.50 (SD=1.23)
Other news source 1.18 (SD=0.64)

Note: 1=seldom or never, 2=1 or 2 days per week, 3=3 to 4 days per week, 4=5 days per week, 5= almost daily.

1 Different between reader groups on.01-level.

Among the respondents, the mean time spent on a newspaper (in this case it combined both free newspaper and paid newspaper) in a particular time was about one and half hours in a week with a standard deviation of 82.7.

When this is further diagnosed, it means that the mean time spent with a newspaper in a single day is less than fifteen minutes. The statistics however indicated that the mean time for the paid newspaper was higher than that of free newspaper and indication of probable attachment with the amount spent on the paper.

To explain this reading habit, the research tested ten variables under different target groups; when testing the variables eight of them passed the reliability scale test and the results were as shown in the table 3 below.

Table 3: Scale reliability

Scale reliability Number of items Cronbach’s α
Surveillance needs 7 0.86
News format 5 0.65
Self-efficacy 5 0.67
Facilitating conditions 5 0.66
Habit 5 0.79
Newspaper reading as pastime 5 0.80
Willingness to pay 3 0.74
Social environment 6 0.72

In table four below, it s is an analysis of the variance of the eight compounded factors and how they varied among the readers groups that were targeted; according to the results from different sections, the main hindrance among the young to read print media is the habit that they have as well as the socialization process they were exposed to which resulted to a certain behavior trait among them (Christopherson 78).

Table 4: Scores and analysis of variance

Scores Overall (n=245) Per reader group
F-values Mean scores, SD in brackets Readers free newspaper
(n=38)
Readers paid newspaper (n=63) Cumulated newspaper readers (n=30) Non-readers, other news media (n=108) Non-readers, no news media at all (n=6)
Surveillance needs 1 3.19 5.07 (0.99) 4.94 (1.10) 5.13 (0.75) 5.07 (1.19) 5.16 (0.93) 3.76 (1.53)
News format 1 3.60 3.82 (0.94) 4.13 (0.97) 3.53 (0.87) 4.11 (1.10) 3.82 (0.86) 3.43 (1.33)
Self-efficacy 1 5.54 5.51 (0.84) 5.49 (0.77) 5.86 (0.72) 5.69 (0.95) 5.29 (0.84) 5.27 (0.56)
Facilitating conditions 1 25.22 4.73 (1.10) 5.26 (0.93) 5.06 (0.83) 5.67 (0.90) 4.15 (0.96) 3.63 (1.57)
Habit 1 21.16 3.23 (1.24) 3.39 (1.17) 4.01 (1.15) 3.78 (1.31) 2.64 (0.93) 1.83 (0.81)
Newspaper reading as pastime 1 6.53 4.05 (1.21) 4.38 (1.04) 3.43 (1.16) 3.97 (1.19) 4.29 (1.15) 4.40 (1.74)
Willingness to pay 1 9.42 3.50 (1.42) 2.82 (1.25) 4.29 (1.56) 3.58 (1.17) 3.32 (1.26) 2.50 (1.05)
Social environment 1 4.56 3.68 (0.99) 3.56 (1.04) 5.83 (0.80) 4.00 (1.01) 3.62 (1.01) 2.31 (0.81)

1 Different between reader groups on.05-level.

In table 5 below, shows the amount of explained variables from the research; however for a better analysis, the accumulative variance was the subject of analysis and review, for other variables the R2 was rather low indicating the difficulty to explain print news readings.

Table 5: R2 and contributing variables

Reader group R2 Contributing variables (regression coefficients β in brackets)
Overall 0.37 Habit (.35), facilitating conditions (.25), news format (.16), and newspaper reading as pastime (.15)
Free newspapers
readers
0.37 Habit (.58), news format (.42), facilitating conditions (.36), and use of public transportation (.37)
Paid newspaper readers 0.38 Newspaper reading as pastime (.21), news format (.25), willingness to pay (.20), habit (.21), and social environment (.17)
Free and paid newspaper readers (accumulation) 0.54 Age (.45), social environment (.36), self-efficacy (.19), and habit (.16)
Non-readers, but consuming other news media 0.27 Habit (.23), facilitating conditions (.38), newspaper reading as pastime (.21), and age (.17)
Non-readers, no news consuming at all 0.77 Habit (.88)

Table six below explains the regression co-efficient of the different influences of readers to read print materials in comparison with their consumption of print media materials.

Table 6: Absolute standardized regression coefficients β on reading time

Scores Overall Per reader group
(n=245) Readers free news-paper (n=38) Readers paid news-paper (n=63) Cumulated newspaper readers (n=30) Non-readers, other news media (n=108) Non-readers, no news media at all (n=6)
Surveillance needs 1 .08 .12 .09 .09 .04
News format 1 .15* .38* .22* .21 .19* 0.54
Self-efficacy 1 .06 .10 .10 .20 .00 0.62
Facilitating conditions 1 .25* .27 .01 .12 .34* 1.56
Habit 1 .36* .61* .23* .26 .22*
Newspaper reading as pastime .14* .39* .20 .08 .27*
Willingness to pay 1 .03 .20 .21* .12 .18* 0.50
Social environment 1 .01 .19 .16 .40 .07 0.40

1 Different between reader groups on.05-level (t-test).

* H0 rejected.

The results in tables 4,5, & 6 answers the research questions of the research as well as tests the hypothesis that had been set.

It had been hypothesized that the need for surveillance needs was an indication of the amount of time and perception that people had on print news materials, however the respondents indicated a different statistics that indicated that there was no such relationship.

It was noted that those people who consume free news have high surveillance needs; the indication was that media consumption is independent of surveillance needs.

The perception that reading print media amounts to sometime wastage has proved to be true in some sense, the variable of facilitating conditions indicated that those people whether old or young who has some ample time and accessibility to print media are more frequent readers than those people who were busy and hardly got time.

There was a notion that reading print media had some elements of entertainment and people, especially the youth; they were willing to buy a certain print materials if it was entertaining and created some fun and joy.

This was not limited to magazines, however it was the same in newspapers and other dailies; in those days that the newspaper held some interesting news, the demand for the material was higher than in those days that they only had national news and international news.

The availability and reliability notion can explain the reason why some news agents have opted to be offering newspapers to travelling people either for free or at a fee, this is aimed at creating something to do when they are on the move.

The perception and notion that reading of print news is a nice method of passing time has tested positive; the indication was created by the behavior that people held when they had free time.

Among the working class, they indicated that they read the papers early in the morning, during lunch either time or they may opt to extend their departure time from the office to read the newspaper. When they are not working, they indicated that they preferred reading newspaper as a meaningful “waste of time”.

The indication is that reading of newspaper is not a conscious choice however it is a choice made after the failure of some other plans; it can be termed as a second choice option where the reader opts to read the material when time allows; this attitude has affected the print media industry as it seems that only a few potion of the population will have some spared time to read papers and other print materials (Zaller 110).

The issue of habit and perception came into action where it was seen as a major player on the notion and the perception people had on print materials verses free news.

Among the readers of print news, it has come up as a habit and belief that they can only get high quality news from the materials, they will spend some time looking for daily and considered other sources of news as not meeting their level of integrity.

Among the free news readers, those sites that had some interesting opening shorts or quotes seemed to be more addictive and were read as a habit; the youth could even have them as the first thing that they looked in the morning.

Behavior and habit for readers can be seen to have been shaped by some variables and experiences that has existed or the experience that the reader has had in the past.

For example over the weekends, readers expected the newspapers to have some interesting news about lifestyle, some children materials and probably a summary of what the past week has had; the notion and conditioning of the mind made a number of people to buy them to fulfill their interests.

Family men and women were attracted by the children news and indicated they could buy the paper for that sense; young adduct bought the papers more frequently because of the entertainment they got whereas statesmen and those people interested in politics bought the newspaper to get the summary of what had transpired in the past week.

On the other side, there are some newspapers that seemed to have a different day for a certain matter in the community; for instance papers in the United Kingdom had detailed business news on Tuesdays, the notion that the day offered an inner benefit to business men made them prefer the day’s paper.

The behavior indicated above followed the operant conditioning theory and Abraham Maslow’s theory of needs: according to operant conditioning theory, people were more likely to do something when they perceive the benefits they are going to derive from the action; this is why there was a difference in reading version and people seemed to buy print materials when they were aware it would assist them (Pérez-Latre, Idoia Portilla and Cristina 70).

The issue of cost has come out as an important factor as far as reading of paid news materials is concerned however the level of its importance is not as much; the main influence is on those people who are low earners who had the feeling that spending money on buying newspapers was a burden and hard for them; it was however noted that among the well to do in the society, some still do not read paid news papers.

The preference that exists with the free print news materials can be seen as a result of two elements, the availability of time, attitude and perception that the reader has on the particular news material.

The young felt they needed not to pay for news as there were other ways that they can get the news; this created difficulty in establishing whether they are negative on paying for the material because they had no money or because it was not worth it.

The attitude, value and perception factors come into play when the issue of whether the young opt not to buy print news because of finances or otherwise comes into play.

The research has identified the existence of different kinds of readers in the market with each having their own characteristics that have influenced the consumption of print media visa vise the free news media: they are:

Free newspapers readers

The trend taken by this category of people indicated that they were wiling to read the materials when they had free time; they saw the material as a good way of spending their time that could otherwise be wasted. For example they use the materials when travelling and hardly to have they taken them serious.

The notion that the materials have a number of propagandas has been created in the past where they had been used by politicians, civil groups and other community based groups as the source influence to the people and to give some information to the public. The news contained is hardly taken as serious.

When reading the free newspapers, the format adopted can be referred to as “snack news format”, this is the format that offers a quick recap of the news and hardly do they get into the inner details of the materials. The youths have been classified to have this set of news as more important and consider them as appropriate.

Paid newspapers readers

This category of people has been characterized with a dislike of snack news format, they are more interested with the kind of materials that offer in-depth information about an issue facing the country. Frequent readers value news and feel the cost they pay for the news is justified and worth the cost.

In their daily schedules, which might be documented or not, they feel that they need to have sometime spared for the newspapers and other written materials works. When they get exposed to the free newspapers, they are not willing to use them.

They have developed the habit of reading the materials and have some automatism in reading them. This category of people has varying perception on electronic news sources; they listen to selected radio stations and have preference television programs and station depending on their interests.

For example those who have an interest in politics are more likely to feel accommodated in the stations that have similar views on the politics of a country (Carlos and Gurrea 1-3).

The category of people are more interested on extensive news reportage and can be willing to pay for recaps, reviews and experts opinions on certain issues facing the community.

Accumulative newspaper readers

This category of people seems to be influence by the environment that one finds himself in, they may be seen over the internet searching for news and can buy a news paper when the prevailing condition allow them to.

For example, when working in the office where newspapers are delivered daily, this category of people are more likely to read the papers and find some interests in the materials. They may become followers of a certain news article or material that comes in certain day or daily.

For example someone who is interested in business news may not be a print material reader however considers buying them on the day that information on business is being offered. When in different places, the readers have the freedom and urge to read other materials not necessary the print materials.

The growth in online news and other free news media are posing some challenge to the public spheres as their integrity cannot be guaranteed; they seem not to have checks and balances that can reduce adverse effects on the readers.

The great diversity in political and social news opens the window of deliberation among the readers; with the less control and minimal filtering of the information provided seems to facilitate some levels of disagreement between news and public affairs, some news have been presented in an irritating manner that can threaten democracy and even human fundamental freedom.

The approach that free news media has taken seems to be more interested on personal interests at the expense of the general good of the community; with such an approach, having a community that is less concerned about the interests of others is a likelihood (Mario).

Other than the concerns of preference and format offered by print media, there are some minor aspects that seem to be working to the loss of the industry; they include the growth of campaigns that seek to promote environmental conservations.

It should be noted that print materials use paper of which is a risk commodity; with such campaigns, the perception on print materials is reduced.

Current generation as well as the demand of the market seems to favor the concept of convenience; they are willing to use those materials that are faster and cheaper in cost and to get. With this notion, the newspapers stand to lose as they have not been able to pass the convenience test.

The fall on demand of newspapers or print media has taken shape in different countries both developed and developing countries; the trend seems to lose as internet diffuse in communities.

The cost of print media has an effect on the degree that they are accepted as sources of information; however the effect is not as large as could have been hypothesized, people seemed to have reading as a habit or behavior that can be developed from childhood to adulthood, the main challenge that the print media is having is to change youth behavior as well as the behavior of future generation to adopt the spirit of reading.

The number of readers reducing in number an indication that old readers are losing the spirit and there is minimal recruitment of new readers.

Print media has two main elements that it needs to address, one maintaining old readers and growing the base of readers; this will only be attained by strategic interventions that assist in creating loyalty on the old readers and developing spirit of reading in non-readers (Checking the Pulse of Print Media 170).

The general assumption that information is power and every human being has the need and sense for being informed has been proved otherwise as the research has portrayed that in the world, among the young and the old, there are people who are totally ignorant of news and depend on grapevines to get information; the number seems to be growing with changing and hardening economic situations facing the world; the situation is another challenge that the print media industry will have to meet and ensure it does not affect the business negatively.

The issue of quality and integrity of print media verses free news media has come into play; it has been observed that a number of people feel that print media can be held accountable to come extent; however when it comes to issue of politics, each paper seems to incline in a certain area; for example there are newspapers that seems to be advocating for republicans while others are for democrats.

This separation of views and perception is likely to work for the loss of the industry.

The integrity and quality of materials provided in free news media’s cannot be justified or fulfilled, there lacks someone who can be held accountable of the information; in most cases they tend to offer information in the way they think their users would like to have it for example when giving information about a certain medicine that has been innovated and can help the youth, they are more likely to incline to the advantages that can be derived from the medication and fail to offer the side effects as a result.

When using the past information and statistics collected, in the future the print media industry seems to be threatened by the free news segment however this does not necessarily imply that it is the death and demise of the segment.

The most important thing that should be done is to have immediate intervention by stakeholders and policy makers to come up with the right policies and decisions to address the issues facing the segment; one area that seems to be lagging is how they have been able to understand the market as well as how they format their news; the approach they are taking currently has ignored the demand of current generation.

Free news media has adopted different approach; the difference in approach and the target market that the section of the industry is targeting has changed readers’ perception to the benefit of the section of the industry.

The approach is so convincing that loyal print news customers have been persuaded effectively to change their choice of media; on the other hand, the growth of customer base has slowed.

The effect that the media has created on the print media is loss of business and creation of negative perception towards the print media; the masses seen to have more trust on free media than they have with traditional media forms (Guardian News and Media Limited).

Conclusions

According to the research, young people have minimal reliance on print media, they hardly use the materials however for their surveillance purposes they use free news media to get information; according to the research, the most used method is the Internet, televisions, and radios.

The young people seem to have some negative perception against print media but they generally accept they have quality and more informative information and news. The traditional positive perception and attitude towards mainstream newspaper seems to be fading at the risk of the print news media industry.

In the future, the print media industry is likely to face reducing demands since the young are not adopting reading behavior, however in those places that newspapers had presented news in a manner that attracted the youth.

From the study, the print media has a point to prove that they can cater for the needs of young people; failure to which the perception is unlikely to change.

The free news media’s have some dynamic news approach that fit the desired formats and mode of presentation as has been required by the youth; the conventional print media seemed to be moved with national and international news that were detailed and held less power to attract the youth.

Among the older generations (above the age of 45), they held print media at heart and felt that free news media’s were only there to offer a snap check of what is going on, however they offered no substantial material for an informative nation.

A character of young people has emerged where they have been seen to be supportive of news that offered instant news (the style offered by free news media’s), while the old people seemed to be more interested with fixed moment news (the kind presented by print medias).

Despite the strength that free news media has among the young, there is still a number that has high value for print materials especially the paid media, however among the readers, they form less than 10% of the youthful population.

The print media has the role of creating and reinforcing habits; the research shown that reading is a habit that can be reinforced; the task that print media industry has to play is to ensure that it creates a reading habit among the youth failure to which will lead to reduced market for the products.

Habit has been singled out as the strongest motivation that can drive readers to consume materials made by a certain media source.

Some of the method that can be applied includes having the paper with some information that can be consumer by the youth as well as going the free newspaper way: this will go a long way in creating reading habits among the youth.

The research has shown that the format of presentation of news goes a long way in creating different perceptions and motivates consumption of news; free news media have mastered the format that the young are likely to perceive positive thus they have been able to command the market; this is an area that the print media seems to be lagging behind, they are still inclined to the old ways of presenting news at the expense of losing business.

In modern social economic societies; time is a challenge this makes people has limited time to do direct economic gain activities and have some time to read print Medias. What has come as of benefit to the free news industry is the convenience they have with their availability.

The approach of free news media has enabled people to get news at their convenience thus making them the medium of choice.

For example, television has some news at the time that families are together probably eating supper or lunch, or they are presented during lunch time when people are expected to have time and watch as they are doing the hours activity.

With such an approach, the free news media has been able to command an increased business over and above the print media.

Quality has a price, however younger generations are having a challenge understanding this phrase, generation Y are known to look for a leeway that they can pass through to attain their objectives and goals.

They find paying for news as not a viable or justifiable exercise thus they opt to have the easy way of consuming free news materials.

In the future, current generation will graduate to the old generation and the result will lead to an old generation that does not embrace the spirit of reading; when the current young generations get their children, the children will have no role models or will be socialized without the virtues of reading instilled in them, the final result is a population that does not embrace news form print material.

In the case something like the above comes to pass, and then the print media industry will have challenges remaining in business.

As long as television sets, Internet and Radios are available, the newspapers and magazines as well as other main stream print news material will not be the main source of news; the people are also not expected to perceive payment for news as vital.

Another aspect that has been observed among the youth is the value they have for free news materials; although they consume them, they feel that the materials are not passing the test of integrity and they believe that print media has the better part of integrity and reliability.

Despite the above understanding, they are more willing to use the free news media’s as they are more convenient and have some fitting structural factors instead of the intrinsic value of newspapers and other print media. The issue of convenience comes into play in this sense.

The main challenge that print media companies and the industry in general has is how to increase the reading time rate among the young people a factor expected to improve reading in current generation as well as preparing future generations for the reading task.

The best way that the industry can do is the use of behavior modification approaches like operant conditioning methods. This will involve changing or modifying personal factors that create an attitude and habit that does not favor reading.

The second important aspect that the industry can do is to change the approach that news are formatted and presented in the printed materials.

The approach should be gradual and collaborative by all stakeholders since one of the challenging functions that marketers, sellers and managers have is to change human behavior in a short time yet it has developed for a longer period of time.

The most preferable way that the print media industry can consider is the use of different formatting and making some structural adjustment to fit the demands and needs of the youthful population.

The approach for structural factors involves enacting facilitating and attracting approached to be adopted in the print media industry by say the publishers.

When making printing decisions, printers and media houses should ensure that they meet the needs of generation Y and future generations in respect to cost, availability, reliability and accessibility of print materials.

They should keep in mind that reading behavior can be developed but still maintain the integrity of their materials.

The main reason that has enabled free news media like the internet to assume leadership role is because they poses the characteristic of dynamism: they offer news fast, in the required format and it is easy to access the information (Holliday 12).

The free newspapers target some sections of readers with certain common characteristics like educational level, social interests and entertainments needs; on the other side the print media seems to be inclined on more concrete matters like politics, social movements, international news and economics.

When the new goods, which are substitutes and are in the form of complementary newspapers for traditional newspapers are capable of replace the competitive free newspapers, the traditional newspapers can minimize the damaging effects of free newspapers their advertisement revenues.

This principle indirectly suggests to traditional or mainstream newspapers to offer the services for their readers, which are being offered by free newspapers through their online editions.

To do that, the mainstream newspapers not only should develop the appearance of website and presentation of news on that, they have to offer products online or should post advertisements of online marketing agencies for cheaper prices when compared to advertisement tariff in print edition.

Though this strategy may not increase the advertisement revenues considerably, they damage can be controlled and in long-term, the traditional newspapers can bring down the free newspapers to the standard of pamphlets for franchisee websites, thus drawing a clear line between their readers and the readers of free newspapers (King and Plunkett 67).

Recommendation that can improve the print industry

The focus taken by free media press is different from traditional print media; free news Media’s are offering an easy and cheap access of information; this has made them be able to win a larger marker, however all is not lost for the print media, it can also deliver its self and become competitive, however this will call intervention of all players in the industry.

Despite the adverse effect that the free news media has had on print news media’s, there is some hope that the industry can be revived if some strategic interventions have been put in place. The publishers should invest in understanding their readers and shift from enjoying the booms in the advertising segments.

Scholars have argued that the main reason why the industry is failing is because the print media industry has no much understanding of their target market as well as the changes that the markets are going through socially, politically, and economically.

With this understanding of the gap that the industry has created, publishers should adopt a lead generation and qualification management approach.

Lead generation and qualification management approach is a strategic management method that matches sellers’ products with the prospective buyers; the issues of the revenue they are getting from advertisements should be held secondary as it will grow with growth in print material market (Shirky).

Printers should invest in know-your customer programs; these are policies that can assist print media companies understand the needs and characteristics of their audiences and then structure or format their material in a way that addresses the needs of their audiences.

When making their products print news companies should embrace the concept of market segmentation that can be done in one single material or have a series of materials addressing different areas; for instance they can have sections on entertainments, sports, politics, and art; when selling the paper, the front page should offer a recoup of all the contents in the efforts of getting attention of all the prospective readers.

In the same light newspapers/print media manufacturers can opt to have a series of materials for different market segments; for example in a single day, a newspaper company can have four newspapers targeting different niche markets; for example can have sports and entertainment paper, with the focus on the youth, economic and business paper, this will targets the business men and people interested in the business and economic performance of an economy.

Thirdly there can be international and politics paper that places more weight on these issues; this will have a direct target on a niche market that is interested in news of other nations and world.

The final paper can be an educational paper that seeks to address the issues of the younger generations like teenage but have some quality material that can attract a parent buy them for the child.

When targeting the different people, the paper should ensure that it has full understanding of the underlying motivators and interests that the segment of the market seems to have.

To know the market trend, companies should be following links that the people use and seek to know where they seem to be having much concentration; this will assist in developing customized products (Warren 340).

Despite the above segmentation, every paper should have a recoup of others in small columns using the language that the target market can well understand (note that all the segments have a certain language in working and structure that they can understand better or one that can make them feel part and parcel of the material).

When such an approach has been taken, the companies should not forget the need to have customer relationship management programs in their companies as it will go a long way in creating a good repo with the customers.

The print industry should invest in fulfilling niche markets in the communities; these are people with some special needs and whose interests may be inclined in one area and have minimal need for another segment of the news; like the business people and politicians.

Cost will also be a factor that will be affected by the new approach, although cost has been seen as a weaker variable in determination of whether readers use print or free news, when the cost is lowered coupled with the fact that the paper has some information that addresses the needs of customers directly, then the industry is likely to fight back the competition by free news media (Andrew and John 45).

From the literature reviewed, it was found that the emergence of free newspapers initially is due to availability of online news as well as advent of internet.

The print media has the role of countering this; they should ensure that their materials are available to the readers and the readers can connect and feel motivated to buy them; this will lead to constant business.

The youthful population that the world is having is also supporting the advent of the new media; they have a high access to free media and the affordability of the media.

Hence, the free newspapers can be differentiated into two types; the first being the ones that target a section of readers to promote their products and the other type, which act as promoters to the online news portals that are independent or belong to a mainstream newspaper; the print media has the platform set by the free news media thus they should be willing to play in the game that offer interesting news to the youth people who are controlling world’s population.

As the print media increase the number of people reading its materials, there is another way that it should be looking at, the reason that has held the readers to the spirit of reading. Since the industry is not fully collapsed, it means that there are some strong pillars that hold them.

The industry should reinforce them to ensure that there is no loss of business as loss of business might mean that the industry will be losing more readers than it is gaining through promotional campaigns.

This call for the use of promotional matrixes than focuses on customer creating and customer retentions; it is also worth noting that it much cheaper to retain customers than it is to get new customers (Ashley, Mark and Erin 37-46).

Implementation of the recommendations

Although the recommendations given above needs the collaboration of all players in the industry, they can also be implemented at a company level; the following can be the schedule of implementation:

  • Undertake an intensive market research on the target market and collect information that can assist in making strategic interventions; when undertaking the research, it should involve both via the internet and through literature reviews of how it has been done in other companies: this will offer a background of operation
  • Making policies and laying plat forms; with the understanding of the gap that the particular company is not filling, the next step is to come up with such policies that will see the gap closed for the good of the company.
  • Enacting the policies: when enacting the policies they should not be a one day exercise however it should take time to prepare and ensure that readers do not get it as a surprise for instance there may be need for advertising the news changes as well as new looks in the print media or in the free news articles
  • Monitoring and making improvements as needed or called for by the policies; the implemented system should not be static but should be made continuously to ensure that the company derives the best out of the project.

The following time chart shows how the implementation can take place:

Action How it should be conducted Minimum time
Market research and interpolation of target market behavior This can be through primary or secondary research Take a minimum time of six months but is continuous
Making policies Using statistical tools to interpolate and make sense of the trends and data collected One month but the processes repeated every time new data has been collected
Enacting polices Putting on policies and structures for an effective implementation of policies Gradual
Improvement Using market analysis and ensuring that the company is well versed with what is happening on the ground Continuous

(Wakolbinger, Michaela and Klaus 370)

Further research recommendations

This research took a general view where it considered the effect that free news media has had on the print media news, however the extent that the print media industry is affected varies with the particular materials and form of representation.

For example, the effect that frees news media has had on newspapers is different from the effect that it has had on magazines. A research that focuses on particular product in the media industry can be of much help to adding more knowledge in the issue.

Another area that should be looked into is the classification of free news media and cover the diverse meaning that it can have; when considering it, there is need to make a clear distinction between free newspapers, electronic news sources, and paid newspapers; this is likely to offer a deeper and sharper conclusions.

In this research free newspaper was doubling as a variable in free news media category as well as a print news material; in the future there is need to incorporate a mode of separation to make the research more precise and to the point.

The research handled the topic incorporating all age-groups in the community, however there have been some differences in the effect that free news have had among different age groups.

On the other hand, the research did not consider differences in income and the assumption was that the results could be generalized despite economic differences in our communities.

In the future, a research needs to be done that looks into different age groups and the way they have been affected by free news media in relation to their consumption of print news.

This will offer a more insight information on the issue as well as offer concrete and more focused advice and recommendations to players in the industry.

Although the issue of price has proved not to be a very strong influence of print news consumption, the case might be this way in the area of research but in other places it may prove to be the leading issue; a research needs to be conducted with the effect that cost of print media has as far as its consumption is concerned (Vyas, Singh and Bhabhra 30).

Other than the negative effect that the free news media has had on the print media one thing stands out that there are people who have remained loyalist to the materials and consider them as their main source of information.

This is one pillar that the print media has thus in the future a research should be undertaken to understand the underlying forces as well as they can be used for the good of the industry.

The control exercised on free news media seems to be wanting, there seems to have no people nor legislations that address the segment of the media directly; research need to be undertaken to give recommendations on what can be done to control and monitor free news media (Livingstone 23).

Reflections

To develop and write the dissertation, the initial point was to develop the problem through undertaking massive literature review that assisted in getting a green area that needed further analysis through a research.

The research questions, primary, secondary and tertiary, were formulated; care was practiced to ensure that the questions that were developed were able to address the topic appropriately. Dissertation proposal was then written and proved the topic worth research.

With a clear understanding of the issues facing the print media and their main origin as the free news media, the net step was to embark on reviewing materials by other scholars written about the issue or other relevant issues in the area.

The main strength of the dissertation is that it considered a green area in the media industry that needed to be analyzed and recommendations offered; although in the past a number of researchers had considered relevant topics, the research was unique of its kind and added more fresh and recommendations to past researches on the topic.

In this particular dissertation, the main weakness was on the scope of the topic; the research took a wide scope that hindered the need and element of addressing specific issues facing specific industry.

The scope was involving understanding how free news have affected the print news industry; however in the definition of free news there is the internet, televisions, free newspapers among others they were not addressed separately yet their effect is different.

On the other hand, there is the print industry that has players like newspapers, periodicals, and magazines, the effect that free news has had on them varies with the particular commodity; this was assumed.

The main constraint that was encountered in the research is time and resources; to get a better understanding of the topic, it would have been important to review people’s actions and behavior for a certain period of time then make inferences from what has been seen.

This can take a lengthy period of time that was not available; the next issue is the finances that limited the research to the United States of America; at an ideal situation, since the effect varies with countries, continents and geographical areas, it would have been better to travel and collect data from other countries.

This was not possible because of financial constraints. To some extent, there was negative effects of language barriers between the researcher and the respondents; barriers occurred in the signs used, tone and expressions made by either party; this opened a room for some statistical errors.

To have an objective dissertations, the problems stated above among others had to be solved, this called for the intervention of the researcher in looking for the solutions; to reduce negative effects brought about by financial constraints, the researcher took the advantage of internet and cheap mails to distribute the questionnaires, however the questionnaires were restricted to the research areas.

The issue with time was solved by the researcher spending more time on the ground trying to collect as much information as he could possibly be able to. Despite the challenges the dissertation was able to have an in-depth analysis of the issue and offered practicable solutions to the print industry that is suffering in this situation.

The outcomes of the paper did not move so far from the initial expectations however there are some areas that seemed to have given an inverse results; one of the area that deviated from the initial expectations is that the cost of paid print media is the main hindrance to the consumption of the materials: the research has shown that despite the fact that it plays some part, it is not among the main factors that has made free news to control the industry.

The main lesson that was learnt is the need for an in-depth research in almost all sectors of human life; the research did prove one of the hypothesis that seemed almost true that the cost of print news is the main hindrance of people from consuming the materials; it is possible that there are some other areas of life that have been generalized but the generalization cannot stand the test of time.

One area that was well undertaken is how data was interpolated and analyzed; however in the future, there will be need to analyze specific aspects affecting an area instead of taking a wider angle on the issue.

In light of my experience, I would recommend that when one has enrolled for masters program, tutors should train their students how to write dissertation and the process of data collecting should start right ahead; this will make conclusions and improvements of current facts more concrete and quality.

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L1l1ana. (2019, October 24). Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-free-news-on-print-media-and-readers-preferences-2/

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L1l1ana. "Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences." IvyPanda, 24 Oct. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-free-news-on-print-media-and-readers-preferences-2/.

1. L1l1ana. "Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences." IvyPanda (blog), October 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-free-news-on-print-media-and-readers-preferences-2/.


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L1l1ana. "Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences." IvyPanda (blog), October 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-free-news-on-print-media-and-readers-preferences-2/.

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L1l1ana. 2019. "Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences." IvyPanda (blog), October 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-free-news-on-print-media-and-readers-preferences-2/.

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L1l1ana. (2019) 'Impact of Free News on Print Media and Readers' Preferences'. IvyPanda, 24 October.

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