The Impact Of Internet On Newspaper Production

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Impact Of Internet On Newspaper Production


The main objective of this study is to investigate the impact of the internet on newspaper production. The study is based on a case study of some selected print media houses in Nigeria. It was found out that information communication technologies have great impacts in newspaper production in Nigeria; irrespective of the fact that the internet has come to aid and compete with the print media there are some certain constraint that still makes newspaper production attractive and necessary; which are the problem of cost, there are other impediments to widespread use of the Internet in the rural areas of Africa. It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of newspaper houses or print media as the study seeks to elaborate on the impact and competition the Internet has brought on the traditional news media outlet.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

With the invention of the telegraph, radio and television, print newspapers have faced challenges over the decades, yet publishers have always adapted and persevered. However, the Internet is proving to be a far more dangerous foe to the traditional newspaper model. Faced with such an adversary, small and large newspapers alike may have no choice but to abandon their traditional methods for a more innovative approach. Newspaper companies around the globe are changing their mode of producing and distributing news (Clemons & Lang 2003). The changes are due to a continuous decline in newspaper circulation, readership, and advertisers. The decline is as a result of changing reader’s consumption, which according to Sternvik et al, (2008) &Fortunati&Sarrica (2010) is caused by the Internet. Internet has resulted in newspaper consumers developing the habit of wanting interne news, free news, quick news and interactivity i.e news blog and user-generated content (Freer, 2007 &Sternvik et al, 2008). The inability of traditional newspapers to provide all these emerging perks has prompted a prediction that many newspaper companies will be forced to change in order to survive; adapting the style, the content, and the design of the newspaper as well as adopting new technology, which empower consumer’s involvement. New product development is viewed as a key for responding to declining product consumption caused by consumer changing needs (Nystrom, 1985). It is defined as a modification of existing product and an introduction of a new product that meets contemporary needs (Foxall, 1998 & Leonard, 1998). It could be the creation of products with additional or different characteristics that offer new or additional benefits to consumers. However, it should be pointed out that the relative inability of some African countries to establish a strong presence on the web means the journalists are still compelled to source African news from established western news agencies and cable channels. The new technologies may have facilitated faster access to news about Africa and other foreign countries but disparity remains in the level of Internet accessibility in some African countries (Obijiofor et al, 2000). Thus, the more African countries establish their presence on the web, the easier it is for journalists to access news about those countries. In this regard, the paucity of the new technologies in many African countries has reduced the capacity for information sharing among African journalists. In a comparative study of Singaporean and Nigerianjournalists’ perceptions of the new technologies, Obijiofor (2001) found that journalists in the two countries hold different views in regard to the impact of the Internet on journalism practice. Singaporean journalists believe the Internet has enabled them to focus more on regional news, particularly the positive news genre in developing Southeast Asian countries that do not receive prominence from western news agencies. As the deputy foreign editor of the Straits Times (Singapore) explained in an interview: “The [western] agencies tend to focus, for example, on human rights angle or prostitution in Thailand and other negative news… There must be more in Thailand than prostitution. The new technologies allow us to go into each country to see what else is out there, to determine the news ourselves rather than have the news determined for us by the western news agencies” [Personal interview](Obijiofor, 2001). It must be noted that Singapore is not a developing country. However, the level of technological development in Singapore may have informed the way Singaporean journalists perceived the new technologies. Nigerian journalists on the other hand believe the new technologies have enabled them to diversify their sources of news and also to rely less on the major western news agencies (Obijiofor, 2001).

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have changed the entire system of newspaper production in Nigeria. Both the print and broadcast media are affected in one way or the other by the information revolution. Information is the primary input as well as the final output of Newspaper industry. It collects raw information and converts it into categorized, defined and useful pieces of information. Therefore it will not be an exaggeration to say that the radical changes brought in the realm of information through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) revolution are bound to affect Newspaper more than any other industry. The adoption and absorption of Information and Communication Technologies are being carried out in newspaper industry by bringing efficiencies in all the functional wings including newsgathering, production, editorial and marketing so as to gain competitive advantage (Indo American Print summit 2008:153). Information and Communication technologies are now used not just by press but increasingly by reporters and editors also in Nigeria. Its benefits are being recognized at every point of the entire supply chain of newspaper production. The impact of Information and Communication technologies on every aspect of Newspaper, on the product, the production process, marketing and distribution in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. According to Chris (2001:7), technology development and absorption in Newspaper industry improved the printing process and reduced the operating time of editorial desks. The profuse use of online content and facilities has led to dominance of many-to-many model over one-to-many model of information collection. The individual or the department entrusted for the collection of information and news (Journalist) could gather information as per own and others convenience.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

One obvious impact of the new technologies is the empowerment of news consumers on a global scale. The Internet has enabled news consumers to make decisions regarding what they want to read or hear, when to read that information and to choose which medium to patronise. Anyone who can access the Internet is guaranteed almost as much information and data as professional journalists have. In essence, media consumers who feel dissatisfied with the quality of service provided by a particular news medium could readily look for alternatives elsewhere. The notion of loyalty to a particular news medium has become untenable it is in lieu of this that the researcher decides to investigate the impact of the internet on newspaper production.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate the impact of the internet on newspaper production. But to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following objective;

  1. To ascertain the impact of internet on newspaper production
  2. To investigate the role of ICT on news reportage
  3. To investigate if there is any relationship between digital journalism and traditional journalism on news reportage
  4. To ascertain the financial implication of online reporting and the print media

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: the internet has no impact on newspaper production
    H1: the internet has a significant impact on newspaper production
  2. H0: ICT does not play any significant role on news reportage
    H2: ICT do play a significant role on news reportage.

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 management of newspaper houses or print media as the study seeks to elaborate on the impact and competition the internet has brought on the traditional news media outlet.

The study will also be of great importance to journalist and news editors as the advent of internet has come to broaden and change the scope and way of journalism. The study will also be of importance to researcher who intends to carry out study in similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point. Finally the study will be of significance to academia, student, teachers, lecturers and the general public as the findings will also contribute to the pool of knowledge.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the impact of internet on newspaper production. but in the course of the study there were some factors which militated against the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Finance:

The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web(WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing


A newspaper is a serial publication containing news about current events, other informative articles about politics, sports, arts, and so on, and advertising. A newspaper is usually, but not exclusively, printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint.


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.

News Production

Journalistic Production Theoretical Framework. Defining news is the first step to decoding the process of news production. According to Nossek (2008), “news is a genre of mass media content resulting from journalists’ information gathering and editors’ decisions and following professional practices and norms.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to investigate the impact of internet on newspaper production.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the impact of internet on newspaper production.

5.2 Summary

The main thrust of this study was to find out the impacts of internet on newspaper production. In doing this, some selected print media houses were used as case study. Using three research questions that bordered on the impacts of Information Communication Technologies. It was found out that Information communication technologies have great impacts in newspaper production in Nigeria. Following in view of this, it can be said that the internet have impacts on newspapers production. It should be on record based on the study that ICTs are very important in newspaper production.

5.3 Conclusion

The study conclude that irrespective of the fact that the internet has come to aid and compete with the print media there are some certain constraint that still makes newspaper production attractive and necessary; which are the problem of cost, there are other impediments to widespread use of the Internet in the rural areas of Africa. One of these is irregular supply of electricity (Obijiofor, 1995). Although it may be argued that laptop computers could be operated on batteries, the batteries still need to be recharged regularly. There is also the lack of telephone access in many African countries. Using Nigeria as an example, the Central Bank reported a total of 353,027 telephone sets in 1992. This figure pales in the face of Nigeria’s estimated population of over 110 million people (see Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Report, 1992: 110). The picture is almost the same in many other African countries.

5.4 Recommendations

Haven successfully completed the study, the researcher therefor makes the following recommendations; Newspaper firms should devote more time training their worker on the uses of ICTs

Newspaper industry should continually follow ICTs trend. Government should encourage the adoption of ICTs in every sector in the country, by financially empowering those sectors that cannot afford it. Total dependency on ICTs in production process should be discouraged. Because it will make the workers lazy as well as leads to unemployment. Broadcast media should not be left out in following ICTs trend in the world today.

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