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At present, the mass media is playing a vital role in fulfilling needs of the people by providing diverse range of contents. In current political and economic system purpose of media is to organize ever expanding civilizations and to fulfillexpected desires and interests of individuals in pursuit of their profit maximization (Severing & Tankard, 1992).
In Mass Media research the existing theories are considered significant for getting wisdom of theworld about empirical world communication and also how different processes exist and work. Theories help researchers to know how people use media contents while having awesome control and alternative options.People of present age have easier access to maximumcategories of conventional plus modern media content. Theories are also necessary to make possible precise predictions of the effects of mass media. Theories are used as guidelines for making main postulates for further studies and understanding essentialsof communication research. This study is planned to analyze exposure to private TV channels infotainment programs and viewers’ perceptions.With the purpose to dig out the influence of private TV channels infotainment programs on viewers, the framework of this research is based on one theory i.e. Uses and Gratification. The theory is disused below in relation with present study in brief.
Uses and Gratifications
Focus has been shifted from purpose of communicator to purpose of user in uses and gratification approach (Mahsud, 2006). Uses and gratification theory by Blumer and Katz’s suggested that user of media perform an active function in deciding and selecting the media contents. Users are active and they willfully select contents of media according to their objectives. The theorist states that a media user seeks out a media foundation that best attain to the desires of the users. Uses and gratifications presume that the user deals with the choices to gratify their needs (cited at http://www.uky.edu).Katz et al. (1973-74) pointed out that the studies are anxious with the communal and psychological starts of desires which produce anticipation of the mass media or other basis which guide to disparity in the prototypes of media contact derivative in need satisfactions and other consequences, possibly mostly not aimed at ones. They also observe the mass media as a way used by persons to join (connect) themselves with others (or disconnect). Katz also listed 35 gratifications taken from literature on the communal and psychological roles of the mass media and put them into five categories:
Cognitive needs (acquiring information, knowledge, and understanding).
Affective needs (emotional, pleasurable, or aesthetic experience).
Personal integrative needs (strengthening credibility, confidence, stability, and status).
Social integrative needs (strengthening contacts with family, friends, etc.).
Tension release needs (escape and diversion) (pp.166-167).
Blumler and Katz’s Uses and Gratification theory suggest that media users play an active role in selection of using media. Users take an active part in the communication process and are goal-oriented in their media usage. Theorists say that media users seek out source that best fulfills their needs. Uses and Gratifications theory assumes that users have alternate choices to satisfy their needs. Focus of this theory is that viewers attend, perceive and remember information that is aesthetic or that will in some way to help them satisfy their needs. Therefore, this research delves into which cable television channels and programs are preferred by the targeted audience and which of their needs are satisfied by viewing them. Uses and gratifications research has focused on audience motivation and consumption. It has been guided by revised research questions shifting our focus to what people do with the media, instead of what media do with people (Klapper, 1963). McQuail, Blumler, and Brown (1972) also categorized types of audience gratifications for using TV content. They linked social circumstances and viewer background with gratification delves for. They formulated a typology of media- person interactions, observing that people are motivated to use television for: Diversion (i-e escape, emotional release); Personal Relationships (companionship, social utility); Personal Identity (personal reference, reality exploration, value reinforcement); and Surveillance (e.g acquiring news and information). Further Uses and gratification with regards to television can be understood with the help of uses and gratification models.
Uses and Effects Models
Communication scholars have developed several different models that attempt to explain individual level media uses and effects, which is the principal focus of uses and gratification research. These include the Transaction Model (McLeod and Becker, 1974), the Gratification Seeking and Audience Activity Model (Rubin and Perse, 1987), the Expectancy Value Model (Palmgreen and Rayburn, 1982) and the Uses and Dependency Model (Rubin, and Windahl, 1986).
Uses and Dependency Model
Research has shown that dependency on a medium is the result of two major factors: viewer motives for obtaining gratifications and the availability of viewing alternatives. The Uses and Dependency Model (Rubin and Windahl, 1986) proposes that certain elements in media system (e.g. system itself, structure of society and individual differences that result in highly personal motives) cause people to use and depend upon media. Dependency upon media may lead to effect in itself. For example, attitude change might occur and thus affect other elements in the model.
This theory relates to the present study as it is planned to estimate the effects of exposure to infotainment programs and satisfaction of viewers with different aspects of programs. Information seeking is also one of the gratifications which included in present study. The idea of this study is to look for extent of viewers’ satisfaction; with coverage given by programs to different social issues; with performance of anchors, co anchors and comedian; and with different contents of the programs. Another dimension of the study which related with uses and gratification is viewers’ interest taking in infotainment programs. Considering West, R., and Turner, L. H, (2000) point of view that “media can have an unconscious influence on our lives and how we view the world. The idea that we simply use media to satisfy a given need does not seem to fully recognize the power of media in today’s society.” Keeping this argument in mind present study included the dimension of help provided by these programs in understanding different social issues of Pakistan. Focus of this theory is that viewers attend, perceive and remember information that is pleasurable or which will in some way help to satisfy their needs. Therefore, this research probed into which cable television channels and programs are preferred by the targeted audience and to which extent their needs are satisfied by viewing them. As Nicole Morell (2007) identified viewers association with anchors, due to their credibility and believability, also play a role in selection of programs for watching. The present study has including this dimension under a concept “viewers liking with anchors presentation styles to identify gratifications. Focus of this theory is that viewers attend, perceive and remember information that is pleasurable or that will in some way help satisfy their needs and present study which cable television channels and programs are preferred by the targeted audience and which of their needs are satisfied by viewing them.
Major concepts of the study
A concept is a term that expresses an abstract idea formed by generalization from particulars and summarizing related observations (Wimmer& Dominick, 2003).
The process of formulating and defining a problem in communication research is called conceptualization (Smith, 2000).The study’s concepts are developed and defined in the following manner:
Conceptually it refers to how old (in term of number of years i.e. 20 years, 25 years etc).
It is defined as biological construction of human being as male or female.
It is conceptualized as the academic qualification of selected population i.e. BA, MA etc.
Conceptually it refers to profession of the selected population i.e. teaching etc.
Location mean the area (city) from where someone belongs i.e. Sargodha.
Conceptually it accretes to the regularity of watching TV channels or programs i-e Geo News, Express News, and Dunya News.
Conceptually it refers to how much point in time (i.e. minutes) viewers spend in watching TV shows.
It is conceptualized as the extent of deliberation, concentration or attention by viewers while watching TV shows.
It refers to the extent of fulfillment in the viewers from TV shows.
Purpose of Watching
It can be explained as the rational or grounds of watching TV shows by viewers.
Liking Presentation Style
Conceptually it refers to the affection,affinity or love for presentation style of the anchors/Comedians of TV shows by viewers.
Satisfaction with Coverage
It can be defined as publics’ fulfillment level from the` information provided by TV shows regarding different public issues i.e. Education, Political Issues, Political leaders, Showbiz, Economics, Sports, Energy Crisis, Price Hike, Poverty, Unemployment,Defense and Scandals.
Satisfaction with Programs Formats
Conceptually it acknowledges to public fulfillment or contentment levels from different attribute of programs i.e. role of anchor, dialoguesetc of TV shows.
Conceptually it refers to the extent of information received by the targeted population from TV infotainment shows.
Help in Understanding
It is explained as extent of assistance provided to viewers by infotainment TV shows in understanding social issues i.e. Corruption, Terrorism, Energy Crisis, Poverty, Unemployment, Price Hike, Economic Crisis, Moral Values, Health, Justices / Law & Order, Political Compromises.
According to Neumann (2007) operationalization is the process to move from the conceptual definition of construct to a set of specific measures which will allow researcher to measure and observe empirically.According to Smith (2000) “When a researcher operationalizes constructs, he/she specifies the activities or operations that are necessary to measure them (Smith, 2000).” The key concepts are operationalizes as under:
Operationally it refers to how old are the respondents—- 20-30 years or 31 or above
Operationally it refers to biological construction of respondent as male or female.
It has been operationalized as academic qualification of the respondents as graduate or below– Master or above
Operationally it refers to profession of the respondents as teaching or non teaching
It has been operationalizes asthe city as Sargodha, Gujrat, Islamabad from where the respondents belong to.
Operationally it refers to how frequently respondents watch the selected private News Channels?
Exposure to Infotainment Programs
Operationally it refers to how frequently respondents watch the selected infotainment programs?
It has been operationalized ashow much time respondents usually spend on watching selected infotainment programs——- 1 hour, 45 min, 30min or Upto 15Mins.
Operationally it refers to how much interest respondents usually take in watching the selected infotainment programs of private channels?
Purpose of Watching
Operationally it refers to for what purpose usually respondents prefer to watch the following infotainment programs. —- Entertainment, Information or Both.
Liking Presentation style of Hosts
Operationally it refers to how much respondents like the overall presentation style of the anchors of selected infotainment programs.
Liking Presentation style Comedian
Operationally it refers to how much respondents like the overall presentation style of the Actors/comedian of selected infotainment programs.
Satisfaction from Issue Coverage
Operationalized as to what extent respondents satisfied with the coverage given to selected issues by the private television channels’ infotainment programs?
Satisfaction from Program Segments
Operationally it refers to what extent respondents are satisfied with the program formats of selected infotainment programs.
Satisfaction from Program Segments
Operationally it refers to what extent respondents are satisfied from the selected segments of the infotainment programs?
It has been operationalized as how much information respondents get from infotainment programs of the selected channels?
Help in Understanding
It has been operationalized asto what extent infotainment programs of private channels provide help to the respondents in understanding the selected social issues.
- It is more likely that viewers prefer to watch Geo News more frequently than Dunya News and Express News.
- It is more likely that male viewers watch selected channels more frequently than females.
- It is more likely that viewers watch Hasbehall more frequently than Khabarnak and Darling.
- It is more likely that viewers take more interest in Hasbehall than Khabarnak followed by Darling.
- It is more likely that viewers like the presentation style of Dr. Junaid more than the AftabIqbal and Khalid Abbas Dar.
- It is more likely that viewers significantly like presentation style of Sohail Ahmed more frequently than other comedians of infotainment programs.
- It is more likely that viewers are more satisfied from coverage to political issues than other issues.
- It is more likely Geo News program Khabarnak provide more information than Hasbehall and Darling.