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The Agenda and Nature of Stirling Observer

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Introduction

The Agenda and Nature of Stirling Observer Student ID: 1310387 Media Research Methods, Msc Media Management University of Stirling Email: sf064@students.stir.ac.uk Date of Report: Dec 3, 2004 1. Introduction With a title of 'The Scottish Local Newspaper of the Year Award' on its cover page, the price of 60 pence for each issue, it is surprise that the local newspaper Stirling Observer is the most popular newspaper in Stirling city and around area, like Bridge of Allan, Alloa and Falkirk, etc. With 168 years history, the newspaper has good respect and runs well. It is published every Wednesday and Friday and has a circulation of about 20,000 and a readership of more than 3 times its circulation. Now the Scottish and Universal Newspaper Ltd., a part of Trinity Mirror group- one of the UK's largest newspaper publisher, own the Stirling Observer. It is significative to unfold the reasons of this continued success, understand its nature and how it fulfils its real agenda. We, Shitong Fang, Leyi Zhang, Yi Fang, Meng Gong and Abhinav, a group of 5 international students of Media Management from the University of Stirling, decided to do some research to analyse the environment and survival strategies of this local newspaper from the aspects of its contents and media economics and management. Through this research, we can analyse how those other local newspaper survive and develop in the UK. For this purpose, we need to ask and answer following questions in our research: * What is the aim of this newspaper? How the newspaper pursues its goal? ...read more.

Middle

Donald Morton, the Deputy Editor of Stirling Observer, introduced that the target audience is the people who would like to read the local news around them, the people who try to buy or sell something through the newspaper, and the people who look for a job and the people who enjoy the sports news. Actually, he added that this newspaper is catering for those people who are willing to pay 60 pence to buy. It is a typical "consumer sovereign". The newspaper is trying to make profit from the local inhabitants, both in paper selling and advertising selling. 3.2 Nature of Stirling Observer In 1999, the Stirling Observer changed into tabloid with its hundred years' look of broadsheet. As our questionnaire reveals that the tabloid format is supported by the editors. With success of circulation increase, the new format strategy is also success in market. According to Joint Industry Committee for Regional Press Research, the circulation of Stirling Observer in Stirling area in August of this year was: on Wednesday: 10,512 copies, Friday: 2,041 copies. The Readership Per Copy is varied, Friday is 3.5 but Wednesday is 3. Mr Morton pointed out one factor that Friday paper was considered smaller than Wednesday paper was that the Friday paper catering those people who live in the countryside and small villages. As the Table 1 above shows, that the newspaper is well done in the concept of local public sphere comprising the "totality of communication and information processes in the local setting"(Hollander, 1988: 25). ...read more.

Conclusion

They would pay more attention to the festivals, like Christmas and the New Year, giving people good suggestions on how to plan their holidays and leisure time as well as introducing different life styles. He agreed that the newspaper would grow up together with Stirling people. Appendix: 2 The Questionnaire and Analyse We sent out 15 questionnaires and got 12 back. 1. 60% staffs have been working with Stirling Observer for more than 8 years. 40% staffs worked for it 1-2 years. There are more experienced employees. Stirling Observer is successful in maintaining the loyalty of staffs. 2. 40% staffs are interested in political news. Most employees pay more attention on non-political issues, such as community news, sports, environment, health etc. 3. All employees support the tabloid format of Stirling Observer 4. 40% staffs consider there is no need to improve the quality of Stirling Observer. Except for one staff giving up answering this question, 60% employees hold the opinion that it is necessary to improve the quality of it by involving more local issues, better photographs and imaginative editorials. 5. 80% staffs come from Scotland. Among them, 50% staffs are local. There are only 20% employees coming from England. 6. All staffs are full-time employees. 7. Stirling Observer is managed by a close group of journalists, marketing and management staff. And 80% staffs utilize personal contacts as their main news or advertisements sources, such as phone call, e-mail and word of mouth etc. 1 Cited from website: http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/qualmethsyl.html 2 Cited from website: http://www.censydiam.com/methods_quantitative_research.shtml 3 Cited from website: http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/308/308lect09.htm ...read more.

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