NEWS GATHERING AND REPORTING IN DIGITAL AGE: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR NTA, KSTV AND DITV REPORTERS

NEWS GATHERING AND REPORTING IN DIGITAL AGE: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR NTA, KSTV AND DITV REPORTERS

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ABSTRACT

The study, x-rayed the digital facilities available to NTA, KSTV and DITV News crew.

The digital age along with changing technology, from the analogue system which had a

slow pace and often times cumbersome process of gathering and disseminating news and

has limited audience reach, has to large extent open up communication opportunities for

media organisations (Broadcast) to provide seamless media services to their audience and

enhance the productivity of their work force (reporting in particular).However, in as

much as the digital age presents great prospects to the broadcast media, in Nigeria it has

also thrown a number of challenges which border on technophobia amongst reporters,

preparedness of broadcast organisations to meet the deadline for complete transition

from analogue to digital, and ability to deploy the technology appropriately.It also

examined the extent to which television reporters utilize/employ digital facilities in news

gathering and factors that facilitate seamless news gathering as well as the effect of

digital equipment on news gathering and reporting.The descriptive survey, purposive

sampling technique and questionnaire format were employed to help provide insight into

the study. About 70 copies of the questionnaire were administered in the 3 stations in

Kaduna and 64 copies were retrieved representing 98 percent response rate. The research

reveals that lack of adequate digital facilities, trained manpower, power failure and

unwillingness of staff especially the older ones are some challenges in effective news

gathering and reporting in digital age. It is recommended that the provision of digital

facilities by media owners to their staff, provision of regular training to staff to ensure

they are equip to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently amongst other

recommendations.

xi


CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

1.1       Introduction

Information rules today‘s world as information is power. Even before this contemporary

age of information communication technology people relied so much on the media

(Journalists) for information in their daily activities.From the written tablets of Acta

Diurna; the one paged Corantos, to the Diurnals put together by English men (Nathaniel

Butter, Thomas Archer and Nicholas Bourne) as well as the 1665 Oxford Gazette to the

inception of radio, and the 1920s television stations. The television started to report

events borrowing most of their information from newspaper (Baran 2002: 143), to what

we have today, all providing news for those interested in it. Man‘s need for information

was met.

In recent times, there seem to be an increasing number of people who turn to television as

a source of news and programming, and this has changed the way people conduct their

activities either from within or outside their immediate environment, especially with the

decreasing number of people who devote their time to reading newspapers. (Baran, 2004:

235)―News consists of gathering facts, deciding how to assemble it, as well as talking to

people, translate difficult ideas, interpret to people and analyze stories in credible and

objective manner‖. (Herbert, 2000: 5).

In news gathering and reporting, a number of factors determine its effectiveness. For

instance, the language and skills of a reporter go a long way in ensuring effective news

gathering and reporting. So also is the operating environment amongst many others.

1


Over the years technological advancements have revolutionized the media, so much so

that today digitization has become central to broadcasting. Today, broadcasting is seen as

a critical instrument of modern social and political organizations. For instance, television

at its peak in the mid-20th century up to what it is today is being employed by various

segments of society to address national issues due largely to its capacity to reach and

influence wide and heterogeneous people without regards to their socio-cultural or

economic background.

This is most manifest with the advancement of digitization ( a shift from the current

analogue transmission to digital) which enables full scale network distribution of video

and audio content, and the sharing of terminals amongst others ( ITU, 2006).

Many countries across the globe have commenced the process of broadcast digitization,

especially with terrestrial television, to improve the image quality of media content, an

effort that started around 2003 when Kanto Chukyo and Kinki launched digital

broadcasting. It increased by 2006, with more countries joining. The International

Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set June 17, 2015(UHF) and 2020 (VHF) for

complete shift to digital broadcast


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