A Critical Appraisal Of The Influence Of Social Media On News Reportage And Authenticity

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A Critical Appraisal Of The Influence Of Social Media On News Reportage And Authenticity


Abstract


This study was carried out on the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity using Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja as a case study. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of staff of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 53 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. The result of the findings reveals that social media has an influence on news reporting in Nigeria. The study also revealed that social media has an influence on the authenticity of news reported. Therefore, social media users should go extra miles to verify from other credible sources on some o the information they get from the sites since anybody can post anything on social media. And media practitioners and academics should devote time to education the people to avoid negative uses of the social media as they form major credible channels of public communication in Nigeria. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

For the last few years media executives and consultants seem to be concerned with only one issue: How traditional news outlets can prepare themselves for what ought to be one of the biggest changes in recent history of distribution and potential market growth – the online business (Ganiyu, & Akinreti, 2011). Not only has digitalization brought new possibilities of reaching audiences as well as clients all around the world, but actually changed the way people communicate and interact with each other. This also means that news distribution itself has to face a new environment: Readers, listeners and viewers are not passive consumers any more but actually engage with news sources and play a growing role in the shaping of what the news business of the future will look like. One key to this new game are social media platforms (Dominick, 2002). It seems crucial that media firms engage with these new forms of communication in order to stay competitive and follow an old rule: to be where your consumers are. But while this looks like a tough task for media outlets like newspapers or broadcasting companies, for news agencies it could prove even more difficult, especially if they mainly rely on a business to business model. How can news agencies use social media and at the same time maintain their core business of selling news on a subscription basis? Nobody will deny that social networks play a very important part in the development of future communication markets, as the figures speak for themselves: At the end of 2012 close to 1.9 billion people were using social networks in one or the other way (Dominick, 2002). These users are able to interact with one another, as well as with countless news companies who have entered the social media world. Thus journalism not only has to cope with what shaped the last decades in regards to changing work flows – from the first computers and content management systems to new means of gathering and distributing news via online channels – but it is also confronted with a new type of audience. People are able to gather more news from many different channels than ever before, using traditional sources like newspapers, television or radio alongside online sources or apps on their smart phones. This means nothing less than the need for news companies to rethink the way they handle information, deal with commentary and engage with both their audiences and their customers (Ganiyu, & Akinreti, 2011). According to Dwyer, (2010), many traditional players have developed strategies to deal with these challenges. Whether it is a more focused approach to their core potential whilst distinguishing the key benefits of old media or an attempt to serve both worlds, the analogue as well as the digital. But still there are big differences if a media outlet tries to distribute its news via a website – regardless of whether it is behind a pay wall or not – or via social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. Whereas the website can almost be categorized as a safe environment as all the power over its content lies in the hands of editors, journalists and IT people, social media is something completely different. Here, the power lies with the user – at least to a certain extent. As soon as a posting has been made, the linking and sharing can start, being probably the most powerful tool for the audience. This can be identified as the biggest potential for reaching new recipients. At the same time there is the danger of losing control over the usage of certain amounts of information with the link to the original posting always being present (Dwyer, 2010). “Social media is a term used to describe the type of media that is based on conversation and interaction between people online. Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” – Wikipedia For almost two decades, the web has changed the world and revolutionized how information is stored, published, searched and consumed. The ripple effect has spread so wide that it impacts not just businesses and industries but crosses over into politics, medicine, media and breaches geographical locations, cultural boundaries and ultimately, affects people’s day to day lives. The great wave of web innovation since Google in 1998 has been in social media. Social media is about networking and communicating through text, video, blogs, pictures, status updates on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or microblogs such as Twitter (Dwyer, 2010). What makes social media of particular interest to journalism is how it has become influential as a communication and news-breaking tool. In June 2009, the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance on the service because it was being used by protestors angered by the results of Iran’s disputed presidential election. In July 2009, a Twitter user in Jakarta beat most major news companies by tweeting about the Bali bombings. More recently, Google and Microsoft began integrating Twitter messages into their respective search engines, a new feature described as real-time search of the problem.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nobody will deny that social networks play a very important part in the development of future communication markets, as the figures speak for themselves: At the end of 2012 close to 1.9 billion people were using social networks in one or the other way (Dwyer, 2010). These users are able to interact with one another, as well as with countless news companies who have entered the social media world (Ganiyu, & Akinreti, 2011). Thus journalism not only has to cope with what shaped the last decades in regards to changing work flows – from the first computers and content management systems to new means of gathering and distributing news via online channels – but it is also confronted with a new type of audience. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to critically appraise the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity. Specifically, other objectives of this study are:

  1. To ascertain whether social media has an influence on news porting in Nigeria.
  2. To ascertain whether social media has an influence on the authenticity of news reported.
  3. To ascertain whether social media has an influence on real time reporting.
  4. To ascertain if there is any relationship between the new media and the old media.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. Does social media have an influence on news reporting in Nigeria?
  2. Does social media have an influence on the authenticity of news reported?
  3. Does social media has an influence on real time news reporting?
  4. Is there any relationship between the new media and the old media?

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the print media as the study will help them evaluate their professionalism in comparism with news reported on the social media like the twitter handle Facebook Instagram etc. the study will also be of important to the ministry of information and communication, as the study seek to bring to the limelight the benefit of true journalism and reporting that is not doctored. The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on research in similar topic, Finally the findings of this study will also be immense benefit to government, academia, scholars, researchers and the general public.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is focused on a critical appraisal of the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity. Specifically, this study is focused on ascertaining whether social media has an influence on news porting in Nigeria, investigating the impact of social media on the authenticity of news reported, evaluating the roles of social media in enhancing real time reporting and ascertaining if there is any relationship between the new media and the old media. This study will be carried out at Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Social Media:

Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features

News:

News is information about current events. Journalists provide news through many different media, based on word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, and also on their own testimony, as witnesses of relevant events.

New Media:

New media most commonly refers to content available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation. Common examples of new media include websites such as online newspapers, blogs, wikis, video games and social media. A defining characteristic of new media is dialogue. New Media transmit content through connection and conversation. It enables people around the world to share, comment on, and discuss a wide variety of topics.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings into the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity using Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the influence of social media on news reportage and authenticity using Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja as a case study. The study specifically was set to ascertain whether social media has an influence on news porting in Nigeria; ascertain whether social media has an influence on the authenticity of news reported; ascertain whether social media has an influence on real time reporting; and ascertain if there is any relationship between the new media and the old media.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are staff of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abuja.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. Social media has an influence on news reporting in Nigeria.
  2. Social media has an influence on the authenticity of news reported.
  3. Social media has an influence on real time news reporting.
  4. There is any relationship between the new media and the old media.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Nigerians users of social media should be wary of some of the contents they consume as unscrupulous users have been found to display misleading information that could be harmful to the public.
  2. Members of the public are encouraged to desist from the various abuses of the use of social media for the interest of greater number of Nigerians found to be users of the sites in search of various relevant pieces of information.
  3. Media practitioners and academics should devote time to education the people to avoid negative uses of the social media as they form major credible channels of public communication in Nigeria.
  4. Social media users should go extra miles to verify from other credible sources on some o the information they get from the sites since anybody can post anything on social media.

A Critical Appraisal Of The Influence Of Social Media On News Reportage And Authenticity


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