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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 133 respondents was drawn from a population of 200 persons. We found out that Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna have substantially utilized New Media technologies for journalism practice and Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna apply new media for journalism practice. 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
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 & Ekwugha 2013).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 New Media, as described by Wikipedia, refers to on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation and community formation around the media content, while new media is referred to as means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment content among themselves in virtual communities and network.
McQuail (2005:39-40), states that in respect of the emergence of any new medium, we can at least recognize the claim of the internet(and World Wide Web) to be considered as a medium in its own right on the ground of its now extensive diffusion?. The expression new media has been in use since the 1960s and has had to encompass an expanding and diversifying set of applied communication technologies. Lievrouw and livingstaone in McQuail (2005:38) point out the difficulty of saying what the new media comprises. They choose to define them in a composite way, linking information communication technologies (ICT) with their associated new contexts, bringing together the three elements: technology artifacts? and devices, activities, practices and uses, and new arrangements and organizations that form around devices and practices. They define new media based on the essential features which are concerned with; the main ones which seem to be: their interconnectedness, their accessibility to individual users as sender and/or receivers, their interactivity, their multiplicity of use and open-ended character, and their ubiquity and delicateness?
In recent times, following the advent of new media of communication, people, and organizations had tended to add to their means of reaching the general public and foster efficient and effective communication using the new media. The new media, therefore, serve, in most cases, as avenues through which pastoral communication activities are realized.
This act of pastoral communication using the new media has raised questions in some quarters. However, there are scholars who think that the new media should be used for pastoral communication. One of these scholars is Nigli (2011, para. 1-2), who noted that ?communication using new media- internet, blogging, new networks is integral to pastoral mission. Digital communication and new networking dominate youth activities today, making it imperative that future pastors be tech-savvy and use multi-media for effective communication.
Nueman, cited in Dominick (2009:67) defines the new media as communication technologies that enable or facilitate user-to-user interactivity and interactivity between user and information, such as Internet replaces the “one-to-many” model of traditional mass communication with the possibility of a “many-to-many” web of communication. Any individual with the appropriate technology can now produce his or her online media and include images, text, and sound about whatever he or she chooses. So, the new media with technology convergence, shifts the model of mass communication, and radically shapes the ways people interact and communicate with one another.
Crosbie (2002) in Dominick (2009:68) describes three different kinds of communication media. He sees interpersonal media as; one to one; mass media as; one too many, and finally New Media as individual media or many to many.
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.
OBJECTIVE 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 if there are factors that promote or militate against the use of new media technologies by journalists in Radio Niger, Minna.
Hi: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna have not substantially utilized New Media technologies for journalism practice.
Ho: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna have substantially utilized New Media technologies for journalism practice.
Hi: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna apply new media for journalism practice.
Ho: Journalists in Radio Niger, Minna apply new media for journalism practice.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF 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.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION 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
The study is also limited by time and financial resources and as result the research will have to source for more financial resources and use alternative means. Since few similar studies have been done especially in institutions of higher learning, there is limited empirical literature on the new media as a tool for enhancing effective and efficient communication especially in the context of Nigerian students.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of the study, the following term/concept are used:
NEW MEDIA: means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet. It is used to describe content made available using different forms of electronic communication made possible through the use of computer technology. Generally, the phrase new media describes content available on-demand through the Internet such as world wide web (www), E-mail, Usenet, IRC, Telnet, Multimedia, etc.
MEDIA: This means the way through large number of people receive information and entertainment that is television, radio, newspaper, magazine and internet.
COMMUNICATION: this is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium
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.
RADIO NIGER MINNA: This is a state owned Radio station in Minna, Niger state.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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