Effectiveness Of Social Media In News Gathering And Dissemination

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Effectiveness Of Social Media In News Gathering And Dissemination


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination using TVC, Lagos state as a case study. The study is was specifically set to ascertain the type of social media tool that is often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information, find out if social media have enhanced the news gathering of TVC, and find out if social media have enhanced the news dissemination of TVC. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of civil servants in Oshogbo LGA, Osun State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 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, and mean score tables. The hypotheses was tested using Chi-square Statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the type of social media that are often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information include; twitter, facebook, youtube, and instagram. Furthermore, the result of the findings reveals that social media has enhanced the news gathering of TVC. Therefore, it is recommended that a far better way to utilize social networking sites would be to play to its strengths. Since the audience is interested in using social media to create a dialogue, the media house should provide the dialogue. This is about managing and amplifying the conversations in the public arena to foster civic participation. The social media should be explored as a way to research new stories and determine stories the audience are interested in. By examining which stories are garnering the greatest response in the social networking sites, the news media house can determine exactly what the audience wants to know. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

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 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

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
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

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

Advancement in modern technology has revolutionized all facets of communication during the past decades. Access to the people and information practically anywhere and anytime in the world has been quicker, cheaper and easier.
Kur (2004) in Awake (2002) posits that the dynamic nature of the 21st century and more centuries to come rest on technological revolution. No wonder, Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian English Professor in 1964 propounded the concept of “Global Village” regarding the entire globe as having the potentials of becoming a “global community” where information and news about anything and anywhere in the world would be readily available for anyone’s consumption in any part of the world and without mincing word, the impact of modern communication technology in achieving this feat cannot be underestimated.

Internet is a short form of international network or inter-network which is a means of communication which is behind all other modern technology that is capable of reaching the entire people in the globe at a very fast, effective and efficient manner. The Internet is a global network connecting millions of computers. More than 190 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. (Wikipedia, 2016).

To access the internet, you not only need an internet connection, but you also need a device to access the internet. The range of devices to connect to the internet is increasing by the day. We access the internet on desktop, laptop computers and now on Smartphone or tablet, and the internet is now on a smart TV among other devices.

However, the emergence of the Internet in this century has brought a new means of gathering and disseminating information which is the integration of social media application to the practice of journalism. It is observed that there is high growth in the number of online news and citizen journalism in Nigeria and beyond which has not only been facilitated by the internet but also by the other information and communication technology such as digital camera, smartphones, laptop etc. The contribution of the internet to every facet of human endeavour does not leave any stone unturned but cut across every little thing that we suggest among which include the use of social media in the media.

The growing number of internet users is one of the factors responsible for media convergence i.e reading, viewing and watching news online practicable. For instance, the number of internet users in Nigeria has further increased to 93.4 million, according to a new report on Internet status in the country. The report obtained by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, indicated the country has recorded about 14 percent growth in mobile internet subscriptions between January and end of July 2015. According to the data, which shows that Nigeria’s mobile Internet ecosystem is gaining momentum, telecoms networks collectively boosted mobile Internet subscriptions on their networks from 81.8 million in January to 93.4 million in July (NCC, 2016).

The media industry is undergoing a major transformation due to the social media revolution. If Karl Marx is correct that the tool (symbolizing the means and mode of production) determines the type of society (the relations of production) we find ourselves in, then information society theorists have a point in defining the present moment of modern society as one determined by new media technology (Jacobs 2008).

Social media is related with new technology and is used for social interaction by use of highly assessable and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Tito (2013) cited in Kaplan and Heinlein (2009) define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”

Tito (2013) further states that social networking sites are applications that enable users to connect by creating personal information profiles, inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles, and sending e-mails and instant messages between each other. Businesses may also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). Is the term most commonly used to describe media content generated by viewers and other terms that are often used include consumer generated media and user-generated content (USG).

A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value (Muema & Mwaura 2012). Some of these platforms are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and many others which provide online forums and interactive feedback. It is imperative to note the profound effect the new technologies (and its utilization) are having on global culture and cultural industries such as the media in all its manifestations. Social media technology is rapidly evolving the media industry and the practices of mass communications.

Simply making information available is not enough for today’s public. Today’s audiences expect to be able to choose what they read, and most believe they should be able to contribute content and opinions, too. This shift, sometimes called the social media revolution, is not the death of journalism; it’s the birth o f a democratic movement that emphasizes some of journalism’s key factors: transparency, honesty, and giving a voice to the person who doesn’t have one (Harper 2010). Many media houses in Nigeria report and comment on how the Internet and social media, especially social networks, have begun to seriously affect news organizations and how they operate.

The main purpose of this study is to establish how the social media revolution has changed and will continue to change news organization and delivery in media institutions with a specific reference to the TVC as a case study. The online social-interactive media, more specifically social network sites, blogs, micro-blogs like Twitter, video-sharing sites like You Tube and online discussion forums like Facebook have quickly made themselves essential modern journalism tools for news journalists. The adoption of social media tools to conduct business activities is on the rise and the use of these tools and technologies poses significant challenges and opportunities in the media industry in Nigeria. Social media is truly a global phenomenon.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The impact of social media in today’s world of communication, especially journalism cannot be over-looked. Since its arrival social media have certainly changed the way journalists work, how stories are developed and disseminated.

Internet-based news delivery vehicles are already making their presence felt in the media houses in Nigeria and world in general. A wide array of social media tools are used to transmit news to the audience. Journalism is undergoing a fundamental transformation and one of the key reasons cited for this transformation is the changing nature of technology. We have seen the globalization of news. The social actors involved in the construction of news have expanded and extended outside of the newsroom resulting in the expansion of the locus of news production. Social feedback, social surveillance, and gate-keeping are things never associated with the press theories long time ago have become widely recognized functions of the local media in the country.

Media convergence and the integration of social media sites in news gathering and delivery present many challenges and prospects which need to be investigated. Social media sites have and continue to foster new patterns of media consumption and changes in the competitive environment of media organizations. The traditional media lacks interactivity and participatory in news gathering and delivery and the adoption of social networking sites has transformed the media landscape.

It is against this background that the study examines the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination with a focus on the Television Continental (TVC, Lagos) in order to know how social media have impacted on TVC journalists in Lagos with regards to their journalistic duties.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain the type of social media tool that is often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information.
  2. Find out if social media have enhanced the news gathering of TVC.
  3. Find out if social media have enhanced the news dissemination of TVC.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. What are the type of social media that are often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information?
  2. Has social media enhanced the news gathering of TVC?
  3. Has social media enhanced the news dissemination of TVC?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  • Ho: Social media is not effective for news gathering and dissemination of TVC.
  • Ha: Social media is effective for news gathering and dissemination of TVC.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study seeks to establish effective ways of integrating social media platforms into the practice of journalism particularly in TVC Lagos. It aims to investigate the impact of social media application on news gathering and dissemination at the Television Continental (TVC, Lagos).

The study will identify the opportunities and challenges the social media networks provide in news gathering and delivery and attempt to suggest the best practices for the effective utilization of the social networking sites to advance growth of business in the media house studied.

Through the study, the media house will recognize the best approaches to use in the integration of the social media networking sites in originating and reporting news content to the targeted consumers.

The study will help journalists to know how to effectively utilise social media tools for news gathering and dissemination as well as provide them with a guide on how to write online stories. Findings will also arm journalists on how to effectively interact and integrate their audience online and identify their information needs while journalists who are yet to employ the platform will see reasons to embrace social media as veritable tools to increase productivity.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study which investigated the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination was confined to the Television Continental (TVC, Lagos). TVC Lagos was selected because is one of the few media outfits in Nigeria that uses social media often for news gathering and dissemination. Another factor for selecting TVC is its proximity to the researcher while inadequate time to study all mass media organizations in Nigeria, lack of funds to travel around and other considerable logistics make TVC a reference point.

The study will fill a new gap as it will add to the body of literature and empirical studies that is available for the students, researchers and institutions that may want to study social media in relations to the practice of journalism.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Social Media:

Social networking sites are ‘web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system; articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection; and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Effectiveness:

This refers to the best way to utilise social media for news gathering and dissemination by the TVC.
News gathering and dissemination: It is a process by which the TVC collect, edit and disseminate information via social media platforms.

TVC:

TVC otherwise known as TV Continental News was launched in Nigeria on February 28, 2013, this is one of the news major private television stations in Nigeria.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination using TVC, Lagos state 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 effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination using TVC, Lagos state as a case study. The study was specifically carried out to ascertain the type of social media tool that is often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information, find out if social media have enhanced the news gathering of TVC, and find out if social media have enhanced the news dissemination of TVC.

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 respondent were journalist in TVC Lagos state.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The type of social media that are often used by TVC Lagos in gathering and disseminating information include; twitter, facebook, youtube, and instagram.
  2. Social media has enhanced the news gathering of TVC.
  3. Social media has enhanced the news dissemination of TVC.

5.4 Recommendation

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

  1. A far better way to utilize social networking sites would be to play to its strengths. Since the audience is interested in using social media to create a dialogue, the media house should provide the dialogue. This is about managing and amplifying the conversations in the public arena to foster civic participation. The social media should be explored as a way to research new stories and determine stories the audience are interested in. By examining which stories are garnering the greatest response in the social networking sites, the news media house can determine exactly what the audience wants to know.
  2. It is recommended that journalists should sustain the use of social media for news sourcing and dissemination.
  3. The challenge of dissemination of fake news should be looked into by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) body is in charge of information dissemination in the country.
  4. Various network providers should also look into that poor internet connectivity and high rate of data plans.
  5. Poor knowledge should be addressed by media organisations by allowing journalists to be going through some social media courses to improve understanding for effective utilisation of the platforms.

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