APPLICATION OF NEW MEDIA IN JOURNALISM PRACTICE
CASE STUDY OF RADIO NIGER, MINNA
The aim of this study was to determine application of new media in Radio Niger, Minna. The study adopted survey research design using questionnaire as instrument of data collection and chi-square to test hypothesis. A sample of 162 subjects was drawn from a population of 278 journalists in Radio Niger, Minna using the simple random sampling technique. Four research questions and one hypothesis guided the study. Findings revealed that journalists in Radio Niger, Minna are aware of the new media technologies and they use them substantially. The research recommends that media organisation should create awareness and training to journalists in the use of new media technologies and they should provide new media technologies especially internet services in their organisation. For further studies the research also suggested that the present study be repeated in other media organisations to determine application of new media technologies among journalists in the country.
1.1 Background of the Study
The media have been undergoing transformations from one phase to another since its inception. As the generations have evolved over the years, people have been able to access the media in many different ways such as television, newspaper and internet due to technological advancement (Heather, 2011). These evolving technologies continue to drive the development of the mass media. The media have been in existence since humanity has been attempting to develop methods of communication and extending the reach of voices around the world (Amanda, 2000).
Ajanta (2012) categorized the evolution of the mass media into six different phases starting from the early years to the book era, newspapers, telegraph and telephone, radio and television and finally the internet and smart phones.Ajanta explained that the perfection of the Egyptian hieroglyphics in 3300 B.C. marked the early years of the mass media. Hieroglyphics was a writing system based on symbols which preceded the introduction of alphabets with consonants in 1500 B.C. and vowels in 800 B.C. The book era took off at the evolution of printing technology in Europe when Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, invented the moveable type printing press in 1400 A.D. with the first book printed in 1453 A.D. William Caxton produced a book with the first printed advertisement in 1468 A.D. and since then, many more books were printed in Europe.The newspaper came to lime light around 1600A.D. In the late 1690, Benjamin Harris printed the first colonial newspaper in Boston and by the end of 1900, and print media took the form of books, pamphlets, magazine, and newspaper which provide necessary information about theworld for people at remote locations. The newspaper era was immediately followed by the invention of telegraph in 1858 and telephones in 1876 by Samuel Morse and Graham Bell respectively. This revolutionized the field of communication as people were then able to sit in the comfort of their homes and communicate with others across the globe. In the twentieth century, the emergence of electronic media resulted in the print media losing popularity. The radio which became a prominent source of entertainment for the public was invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1894 and television was invented in 1925 by John Logie Baird. The mass media since then have progressed with development in technology until the internet surfaced in the late twentieth century. The internet and its related technologies such as e-mail technology developed in the 1970s, World Wide Web (www) coined by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, etc. has since its introduction been a useful tool in providing information and connectivity.
The media which refer to the many forms of communication that allow idea transmission among large numbers of people have described to have developed through history starting with Newspapers at the beginning of the 17th century through film in the late 1800 and radio in 1922, television in 1929 to the new media in the latter part of the 20th century (Hubpages, 2011).It is therefore obvious from historical record and documentations that the media have evolved over time and based on careful analysis of the evolution history from different records, the media can be said to have metamorphosed from the print media era (Newspaper, Magazine, Books etc.) to the conventional electronic media (Radio and Television etc.) and finally to the emerging new media era in which we are today, which depends on the internet and its related technologies.
New Media as a broad term in media studies came into being in the late part of 20th century. It could be described as a generic term for the many different forms of electronic communication that are made possible through the use of computer technology (Terry, 2002, cited in Nwammuo&Ekwugha2013).The growth rate and adoption of new media technologies around the globe is rapidly on the increase. Brain (2005) states that ten years back, 60 percent of American adults regularly watched one of the big tree evening news casts, now only a third do. Also, one in five Americans get their news from talk radio, two in five from cable TV, and 30 percent of Americans now get their news online which is a dramatically increase from it percent in 2000.
It is also important to state that while the internet and its related technologies have infiltrated the media, it is only supplementary. The conventional or old media was not totally phased out but was enhanced and is still being enhanced by the new media. For example, television and radio have not gone extinct but new ways of broadcasting such as the interactive TV, internet radio etc. have surfaced with technological advancement.
The introduction of new media technologies is changing the way in which the media operate. Global emphasis is gradually shifting to online and real-time reportage of events (Vineet, 2014). This of course will affect the traditional form of journalism because it is impossible for the mass media realm to be changing leaving journalism behind. Journalism must also adopt to the change. The digital age now seems to be re-writing the role of journalism.In the words of Vineet (2014, para 6);
Today the environment in which journalists work –across various media platforms of print, radio, television and online –have begun to rapidly change in response to innovation and technology, increasingly competitive and fragmenting markets for reader and audiences, government media policy and changing audience requirements for news and the ways in which it is presented and delivered. The high-tech revolution have significantly altered the way public obtains its news and information, and has deprived mass media of its traditional monopoly.
Lawrence (2012) presents an excerpt of a MultiChoice Media Workshop held on 23rd March 2014 at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo-odofinFestac,Lagos, Nigeria. The workshop’s objective was to equip journalists in Nigeria, with necessary skills to excel in an age of technological advancement. Experts in the workshop advocated the need for journalists to tap into the resources of the new media in order to enhance their trade. They further established that a 21st century journalist has no choice but to keep abreast of information technologies that have encroached and impacted on the practice of journalism.
The digital technologies which are classified as New Media include textual blogs, photoblogs, videoblogs, wikis, products, mablogs, email, facebook, twitter, youtube and even digital cellular phones or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) (Fredman, 2005 &Rymer, 2009 cited in Nwammuo&Ekwugha, 2013). Integrating these media technologies in journalism practice enhances the profession among other benefits. How has Radio Niger, Minna integrated these new media technologies in the practice of journalism? This question is the focus of this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
New media, as the name implies are emerging media technologies. Because of their newness, the question of whether the Nigerian media have fully embraced and harnessed this emerging technologies remains a concern. According to Vineet (2014), the media and the practice of journalism, however, have been slow to adjust to the internet and the global ramifications produced by the new information technology. Uche(n.d), quoted Dr. JideoforAdibe , a media analyst and publisher of London based journal, African Renaissance, that some African media organizations are yet to fully embrace information technology in their operations, even when such technologies can now be easily and cheaply sourced and accessed.
Similarly, Nwammu&Ekwugha (2013) state that many journalists around the world have adopted new media forms in their daily operations in the area of research, information gathering, and dissemination, but as for the Nigerian journalist, no one knows whether these new media forms have been embraced in practice. Although they state that these technologies have been embraced and utilized substantially in developed countries, the case with developing countries like Nigeria is not certain. This study will therefore determine the utilization of these new media technologies in the Nigerian media industry, with particular reference to Radio Niger, Minna, Niger State.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
This study is aimed at emphasizing the use and importance of emerging new media in journalism practice by assessing their application in Radio Niger Minna. This will help in creating more awareness of new media, and encourage its utilization in journalism practice in Nigeria. The objectives of the study are as follows:
I. To find out if journalists in Radio Niger, Minna are aware of the new media technologies used in journalism.
II. To find out if journalists in Radio Niger,Minna apply new media for journalism practice.
III. To find out the new media technologies mostly used by Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna.
IV. To find out the factors that promote or militate against the use of new media technologies by journalists in Radio Niger, Minna.
1.4 Research Questions
I. Are journalists in Radio Niger, Minna aware of the new media technologies used in journalism?
II. Do journalists in Radio Niger, Minna apply new media for journalism practice?
III. What are the new media technologies mostly used by Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna.
IV. What are the factors that promote or militate against the use of new media technologies by journalists in Radio Niger, Minna.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna have not substantially utilized New Media technologies for journalism practice.
H1: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna have substantially utilized New Media technologies for journalism practice.
1.6 Justification for the Study
This study will capture the mindset of journalists to the existence, importance, and applications of new media in their profession. It will help the station to understand the new media tread and how it operate in other to foster productivity. Itwill also encourage the station to make adjustment of their shortcomings in the area and also maintain and improve the good aspects.
The outcome of the study will guide curriculum planning in institutions where media related course especially mass communications are offered. It would serve as a reference material for both the students and other researchers, who will want to embark on the same study.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study covers the activities of journalist in Radio Niger Minna, Niger state. This study is limited only to journalism activities. It does not consider the activities of other professionals aside journalists in the media establishment. This is because new media technologies may also be used by other professionals such as engineers, non-linear editors, etc. in the overall operation of the media.It is also important to state that radio (Radio Niger, Minna) was the only media that was considered.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Application: This has to do the utilization of new media technologies by journalists in their profession.
Journalism practice: This involves all professional activities of journalists pertaining to news gathering, processing, and dissemination.
New media: This includes the different forms of electronic communication that are made possible through the use of the internet and its related technologies, such as world wide web (www), E-mail, Usenet, IRC, Telnet, Multimedia, etc.
Radio Niger Minna: This is a state owned Radio station in Minna, Niger stateAPPLICATION OF NEW MEDIA IN JOURNALISM PRACTICE