Impact Of Social Media On Modern Journalism (a Study Of Journalists In Makurdi Metropolis)

Impact Of Social Media On Modern Journalism (a Study Of Journalists In Makurdi Metropolis)

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The aim of this study was to determine the impact of social media on modern journalism in Makurdi metropolis. To achieve this aim, the survey research method and chi-square were used. Subjects were drawn from journalists in Makurdi metropolis in Benue State, using the purpose sampling technique. Three research questions and one alternative hypothesis guided the study. Research findings showed that social media have enhanced the productivity of journalists in Makurdi metropolis and a great number of journalists use them to source for news among other things. To this end, the researcher recommended that journalists should carry out a research on the available social media tools in order to identify reliable and trustworthy social networking sites and use them to discharge their journalistic duties. The researcher suggested that further studies should be carried out on the role of social media in sustaining democracy, advertising, public relations and public opinion polls.

Table of Contents 
Title Page i
Declaration ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgement v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables viii
Abstract ix

1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 4
1.3 Objectives of the Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Research Hypothesis 5
1.6 Scope of the Study 5
1.7 Significance of the Study 5
1.8 Operational Definition of Significant Terms 6

2.1 Introduction 7
2.2 Review of Concepts 7
2.2.1 Concept of Social Media 7
2.2.2 Concept of Media 12
2.2.3 Concept of Journalism 15
2.2.4 Concept of Modern Journalism 16
2.3 Review of Related Studies 20
2.4 Theoretical Framework 23
2.5 Summary 25
3.1 Introduction 26
3.2 Research Design 26
3.3 Population of the Study 26
3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Technique 27
3.5 Description of the Research Instrument 27
3.6 Validity of Data Gathering Instrument 28
3.7 Method of Data Collection 28
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 28

4.1 Introduction 30
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis 30
4.3 Hypothesis Testing 41
4.4 Discussion of Findings 42

5.1 Introduction 47
5.2 Summary of Findings 47
5.3 Conclusion 47
5.4 Recommendations 48
5.5 Suggestions for Further Studies 49
References 50
Appendix A 52
Appendix B 53

List of Tables 
Demographic Data Table 
Table 1: Demographic Data on Sex 31
Table 2: Age Distribution 31
Table 3: Educational Status 32
Table 4: Marital Status 33
Table 5: Area of Specialization 33
Table 6: Computer Literacy 34
Table 7: Access to Computer 34
Table 8: Internet Access 35
Table 9: Awareness of Social Media Tools 35
Table 10: Ownership of Social Media Account 35
Table 11: Types of Social Networking Sites 36
Table 12: Frequency of Respondents‟ visit to their Online Account 36
Table 13: Choice of the Best Social Networking Site 37
Table 14: Reason for Choice 37
Table 15: Reason for not making a choice of the available Social Networking Sites 38
Table 16: Distribution showing how well journalists embrace Social Media as Part of journalism 39
Table 17: Distribution showing how respondents agree that Social Media have Changed Journalism 39
Table 18: Reason for Acceptance 40
Table 19: Distribution showing Believe ability of Social Media to enhance Productivity of Journalists 41
Table 20: Distribution showing how social media enhance journalists‟ skills 41

A century and half ago, communication between countries involved physical presence. Once, a reporter had to run as fast as possible back to the newsroom after interviewing and tried to beat the competition to print. With the advent of the digital age the role of the journalist changed. The inception of information communication technology such as the internet has made it possible to find out about events without actually being there. Journalists can report news across the world over the internet.

Throughout history, developments in technology and communication have gone hand-in-hand, and the latest technological developments such as the internet have resulted in the advancement of the science of communication to a new level. The process of human communication has evolved over the years, with many path- breaking inventions and discoveries heralding revolutions. The invention of pictographs or the first written communication in the ancient world brought about written communication. These writings were on stone, and remained immobile.

The invention of paper, papyrus and wax, culminating in the invention of the printing press in the 15th century made possible transfer of documents from one place to another, allowing for uniformity of languages over long distances. The latest revolution is the widespread application of electronic technology such as electronic waves and signals to communication, manifesting in the electronic creation and transfer of documents over the World Wide Web.

Social media which are a form of electronic communication have become the highest activity on the internet. They refer to social networking websites developed to specifically help people share their views and stay in touch with their friends, relatives and well-wishers.According to Wikipedia, social media represents a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information content which brought about the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.Social media are also internet sites where people interact freely, sharing and discussing information about each other and their lives, using a multi-media mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audio (Bruce and Douglas; 2008, p.27). In order to broaden our knowledge on the topic of study, a brief history of social media will be discussed below.

In the early 1990s, chat rooms and bulletin boards were forms of social media; in that they helped people connect with others and share interests.A little later,dating sites hooked together those looking for partners, and people connect with people they had known in high school and college.In the early 2000s, a site called Friend star was set up where people invited their friends to join and in turn, those friends invited other friends.The site was popular for a while but it suffered from technical difficulties and fake profiles and began losing members.Some of those members went to MySpace,which had actually started in 1999 but became better known in 2003.Its roots are a little muddy because it received financial and logistical support from another company called Universe, and most of the early users were Universe employees but Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe are given credit for much of the innovations and success of the site which built up to 115 million users worldwide. Members post bios, photos, blogs, videos, and other things that strike their fancy, and some TV programs to air on MySpace. In 2005, Rupert Murdoch‟s News Corporation (parent of Fox Broadcasting) bought MySpace for 580 million dollars.

A competitor to MySpace, Facebook was started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard University; it grew up rapidly about 2007. At first Facebook was solely for college and high school students, but Zuckerberg opened it to everyone and like MySpace, it encourages all types of member postings (Lynn Gross, 2010). Apart from the above mentioned social media tools,there are also others. These include; Twitter, YouTube, BlackBerry Messenger, Flickr, Word Press, Blogger, Badoo, Live Journal, Wikipedia, Type Pad, Second Life, Lulu, and many others. All these social media appear in many forms including blogs and micro blogs, forums, and message boards, social networks, wikis, virtual worlds, social bookmarking, tagging and news, writing communities, digital storytelling and scrap booking, data, content, image, video sharing, podcast portals and collective intelligence.

Journalism on the other hand is the deliberate and conscious efforts to gather information, collating and analyzing data for the purpose of informing, educating, and entertaining the people with a view of making an appropriate decision (Qasim Akinreti; 2007). Journalism is also an investigation and reporting events, issues and trends to a large audience. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience about topics ranging from government and business organizations to cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field of journalism include; editing, photojournalism and documentary.

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