Sun Girl Makeover: Evidence of Social Responsibility or Commercial Necessity?

Emmanuel Ifeduba, Chinwe Edoga


Use of pin-up photographs in Nigerian newspapers has always attracted harsh comments from readers. And when the most popular and longest surviving Page-3-Girl, Sun Girl, came out looking more decent after a surprising makeover in 2013, some critics interpreted it as a straight victory for audience participants whereas many critics dismissed it as hyper-commercialism in the garb of social responsibility. But the debate was limited to social media conversation and opinion articles in the print media without an empirical proof to support any of these positions. This study was, thus, designed to empirically find out the motivation for the makeover in the hope that the findings would deepen the understanding of participatory communication in developing economies.

Three instruments were employed in data collection: after ascertaining the difference between the old and the new Sun Girl through document analysis, and interviewing the editors responsible for the page, the study was triangulated with a survey that provided data on audience perception of the motive for the makeover. The findings indicated that the motivation was a timely response to audience complaints on the one and a deft commercial strategy for sustaining the most popular page in the newspaper on the other.Peasron test of relationship conducted also indicated that there is a strong statistically significant relationship between perceived social responsibility, perceived commercial necessity and the makeover. And this result is consistent with the responses of the editors as well as the literature that shaped the study. Thus, it was concluded that the makeover was a historic victory for an audience accustomed to apathy and culpable silence. For Daily Sun, it was a strategic step revealing that social responsibility and commercial interests could find a common ground and may be profitable in the long run.

Keywords: Pin-up girl, social responsibility, female models in newspapers, gate keeping.

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©