Ajaleht Setomaa Mikitamäe elanike üldises meediatarbimise kontekstis
The Newspaper Setomaa in the Context of General Media Use of the Inhabitants of Mikitamäe In this Bachelor’s thesis, I combined quantitative and qualitative research methods to create a complete picture. My study focused on media consumption preferences among the inhabitants of one of the poorest rural municipalities in Estonia, who still uphold the traditional Seto culture. Another aim of the research, in addition to identification of general media consumption patterns, was to analyse the role of the local newspaper Setomaa, an important carrier of Seto culture, and to analyse somewhat the content of the newspaper. A reader survey indicated that the respondents used, on average, less media than Estonian residents in general. However, they preferred similar channels: the preferred media channels both in Estonia in general and in Setomaa include, above all, television, followed by radio and the Internet, with printed media being the last. Young people are overall the largest media consumers, with eight hours and 10 minutes on average. Middle-aged people spend seven hours and 21 minutes and older people seven hours and 40 minutes on media. Private commercial channels are preferred to public TV and radio channels; Estonian news is the main topic of interest, but many people also read adverts. The respondents were regular readers of local newspapers and considered reports on local life and news as very important, but did not overemphasise it. Nationwide newspaper Postimees came fourth in the ranking of popularity after Setomaa and the rural municipality and county newspapers. The readers are mainly interested in Estonian news and, in case of local newspapers, reports on familiar issues and people. Newspaper Setomaa is the preferred publication for local inhabitants. They have been reading this newspaper for a long time and are generally satisfied with it. It is seen as an important channel for reporting local news and preserving the language. Repetitiveness and lack of reports on local people and local events were mentioned as weaknesses of the newspaper. The readers would like to see more articles about local businesses and social problems, as well as more information for children and young people. The newspaper is constantly changing and developing. The arrival of the new editor-in-chief in the summer of 2006 was followed by relatively major changes for the newspaper. Instead of a monthly newsletter it is now published twice a month and resembles more a traditional newspaper. The circle of authors was expanded and there is greater professionalism in the level of reporting. However, the changes were not radical and the newspaper still emphasises Seto culture and publishes texts on culture and history. The main problem for the newspaper is reduced funding, which leads to a drop in the quality of writers and content. Efforts are underway to find solutions to the problems, e.g., identify additional sources of financing, which would serve as motivation for making a greater contribution to the newspaper. I hope that this thesis provides an overview of the status of the Setomaa newspaper for the inhabitants of a rural municipality and thereby contributes to the development of the newspaper.
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