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Readership and Readers' Perception of Omani Newspapers

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Abstract

Readership of print newspapers has been the focus of many studies and analyses because of the advancement of online journalism, information technologies and socio-economic changes in recent years. This study focuses on the perception and readership of Omani newspapers in the age of globalization. It investigates people's reading habits and their attitudes towards the content and layout of 9 dailies and several free weekly tabloids. This survey study was conducted on 747 subjects selected on the basis of the non-probability convenience sample from Muscat, the capital of Oman. The results indicated that only 5.5% of the respondents said they don't read newspapers. The salient reasons for not reading newspapers were the availability of other media sources and lack of time to read newspapers. Most readers of Omani newspapers are males with diploma and university degrees who work in the public sector. Hard copies are still popular in Oman, since only 3% read the online version of newspapers. Reading frequency was found to correlate with the type of content and professionalism aspects more than the appearance and presentation (layout & design) of Omani newspapers. The images of private newspapers are more favorable than those of the public ones. However, readers' views about certain newspapers were found to be subjective and judgmental. News was the most frequently read type of content and Omani newspapers were found to cover local news better than other topics.

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