Information requirements of Pakistani Media practitioners: a comparative study.

Author:Ansari, Munra Nasreen


Individuals play different roles in their lives i.e professionals, parents, citizens etc and their each role require information to fulfill his duties in a better way. Information requirement or Information need is an inner apprehension which appears in the mind of user when he feels that there are gaps in his knowledge and he has to solve any problem.

According to Wilson (1981) "Information need is a subjective experience which occurs only in the mind of the person in need and consequently is not directly accessible to an observer".

Information need depends on different factors; according to Choudhary (1999) Information needs vary from job to job and organization to organization. Crawford (1978) describes information need depends on Work activity and hierarchical position of individuals. Paisley (1968) identifies professional orientation effect on information need. Devadason and Lingam (1997) characterize nature of work as a factor of information need. All authors emphasized information need highly depends on work activity or kind of job. Some jobs are information dependent for example journalistic writing needs dependable information.

Media practitioners are the professionals who are different in the sense that they are users of information as communicators. Their requirement of information is very vast and diversified. They are very time conscious. For satisfaction of their needs they interact with many types of information system and personal sources.

Identification of information need is a base for designing of information system and services. Information providers can not provide information unless he knows the needs of the user.

Problem Statement

The study is compared the information requirements of media practitioners according to their nature of work. The nature of work of media practitioners is different from other professions. Some work is carried out in the office and some undertaken outdoors. All the participants were grouped according to nature of their work. Those participants who work in the offices were named as desk practitioners (DPs); those who work outside the office to fulfill their responsibilities were named as field practitioners (FPs) and those practitioners who work in both are named as desk/field (D/FPs) practitioners

Scope of the Study

This study covers three mass media organizations. These are radio, television, and newspapers. Participants are selected from these organizations. Geographically it covers only Karachi city, which is a large and cosmopolitan city of Pakistan. Media organizations which are selected reside in Karachi.

Literature Review

The research on information need has been conducted on various groups, but the subject with respect to media professionals has not been much studied. However few studies are being review.

Joseph (1993) investigated use of libraries among Indian journalists of Kerala, a Indian state. Results show that journalists in Kerala used library for background information on stories, while editors use it for verification or editing of these stories. 61% respondents use library more than once a week. Time constraint is discussed in details because journalists work on deadlines. It is an important factor in their work.

Edem (1993)...

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