Ludenic Theory of the Press

Hypodermic Needle Theory
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Olusola Obilana
Analyst, Ireland

Ludenic Theory of the Press

The Ludenic Theory of the Press relates to some effects of mass communication. It indeed underlines the fact and the whole idea that people read newspapers for pain and for pleasure. Indeed, it is an established fact that when a person picks up a newspaper, he has by so doing, made himself open or vulnerable to the pragmatic or symptomatic effects of that newspaper, depending on the contents therein and the areas of interest, needs and expectation of the reader.

It does not matter whether the reader expresses his feeling or not; anyone who picks up a newspaper and reads its contents is bound to feel either the pain or the pleasure of that newspaper's contents. This theory links us to an aspect of communication theory which emphasizes that human beings cannot not communicate and that we cannot not respond to communication.

In psychology ,we talk about selective exposure, selective perception and selective retention . That is in a situation where we have the option or luxury of avoiding something by virtue of having the opportunity to select what we want to read or be exposed to. Here also, there are the opportunities to perceive and retain whatever we like and jettison or erase from our repertoire or sub-conscious whatever we loathe or detest.

But regarding the Ludenic Theory of the Press, the reader has no power to determine the contents of the newspaper and therefore, has to come to terms with either to be pleased with what he reads therein, if it satisfies his needs, desires and expectations or, on the other hand, resign himself to fate and be inflicted with pains wherein the contents run counter to or are at variant with his needs, yearnings, aspirations and expectations which could be in virtually any area of human endeavours.

The only option open to anyone who does not want to make himself open or susceptible to the reality of this theory is to avoid altogether the reading of newspapers, which to all intents and purposes, seems a tall order and indeed an attempt at shutting oneself out of happenings and events within one's environment and around the world as a whole.

 

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