The study examines the impact of social media to the practice of journalism using DBS Asaba and Warri as study. Mass media play an important role in the sharing of ideas and information. Mass media technology is changing and new media of information sharing and processing is impacting positively on the profession of journalism. The study used eighty (80) respondents as the sample size. The method used was purposive technique. The researcher determines the respondents. The purposive sample is usually used when the researcher decide on the variables to be included in the research work. The data were analyzed using the simple percentage and table. The study shown that the exposure of the journalists to social media usage is relatively high and frequently used by journalists. Among the social media use by journalists are Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. These they use for reporting real time events. However, the findings highlighted some issues such as poor internet network and technicality of social media devices because they lack technical training. The findings highlighted that mobile applications has contributed to journalism, contents in social media serves as link for verification of stories that can go viral on the social media platform of the media house. The study recommended that journalists should be trained in the use of social media because that term social media is encompassing which include technological applications. The training will expose journalist to be more efficient in carrying out their duties.
1.1 Background to the Study
In every society, communication has been vital channel for relationships. Looking into the wider scope of the society, the mass media play an important role in the sharing of ideas and information. According to Asekun-Olarinmoye, Sanusi, Johnson and Oleyede (2014), for a society to exist and function, there must be a functioning mass media. This fact has already been established in Nigeria. Mass media technology is changing and new media of information sharing and processing is impacting positively on the profession of journalism.
Journalism is a noble profession that covers all media activities. These activities include news, information, ideas sourcing, processing and dissemination. These activities are targeted at the general public who are curious about knowing what is happening within their immediate and larger environments. The conception of journalism covers all media genres such as print, electronic and internet. Journalism is the systematic way media contents are processed for public consumption.
Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information from point of event to point of need. Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies.
The history of journalism started with the newspaper. According to Nwanne (2016), communicating with a mass audience is not totally strange in Nigeria. As far back as 1859, the first newspaper “Iwe Irohin” made a triumphant emergence. From that point, journalism started and became a solid foundation for the Nigeria media industry. It was after this era that radio and television came up and interestingly overtook the newspaper. One remarkable landmark of broadcast media is the intimacy between the audience and the station.
Journalism is an organization that works for the manufacturing of media news stories. Essentially news is both an individual and an organizational product. However, when considering the ways in which news is being constructed, it is imperative to examine the process whereby an excessive amount of information (events and issues) relating to a given day are filtered into a bulletin or newspaper, (Hodkinson, 2011).
According to Nwanne (2016), journalism has to do with bringing the news of the day quickly to the attention of an impatient audience. The newspaper readers are usually in a hurry as he/she has other issue to address. But the reader needs to know what is happening around him and other places to understand his world and probably make the best out of it. This perhaps explains why journalist must be professionals that must ensure that the news comes to the readers in a way that makes meaning.
Basically, journalism contributes to the satisfaction of curiosity of people getting updates of events and people who are influential in the society. These updates are presented in the form of breaking news or follow up news which is investigative reporting. Journalism covers all aspects of human relationship as well as interaction. In recent times, the functions of journalism in Nigeria and the world at large have been influenced by the revolution of the internet. The internet is the basis of social media.
There are numerous improvements in the practice of journalism since the advent of social media. The internet has not only improved journalism. It has created participatory journalism. The citizen almost moves in the same direction with journalists because the social media channels serve a two way functions in journalism: first providing journalist the platform to source for news. Second provide journalists the platform to interact with the people.
One major and interesting aspect of the internet is the social media. The importance of social media in journalism cannot be overemphasised. It is imperative to understand what social media is so that in relating same to journalism, one can appreciate the contributions as well as the dark side of social media to journalism.
Social media has come to stay. It is a recent technological development that has caught the attention of people, organizations, government and civil society. Social media is becoming more prominent in social interaction and activities.
According to Abdulahi, Samadi, &Gharlehi (2014), in the early 2000s, the web became much more personal as social networking websites were introduced and embraced by the masses. Online journalism through the social media platforms is now a professional activity that make journalistic job interesting and trusting. According to Bulunmaz (2011), social media journalism is the implementation of professional journalistic activities in an electronic environment that adheres to general principles and rules of journalism.
Talabi (2011), explained that as the internet changes the face of journalism; journalists are coming to have a new way of packaging and disseminating news to the public. Cata (2017) observed that internet-social media journalism is now supported by faster, more visual and auditory elements and is now an increasing preferred medium, as it facilitates the audience’s access to information and can instantly disseminate news without additional financial cost. According to Adegilero-Iwari and Ikenwe (2014), internet as a whole is the new media where as other has coined the term social media for containing group of tools or technologies available on the internet. Social media has been described copiously. Social media is a generic term for the many different forms of electronic communication that is made possible through the use of computer technology. It includes web site, streaming audio and video, chat rooms, email, online community, web advertising, DVD and CD-ROM, media virtual reality environment, integration of digital data with the telephone, such as internet telephony, digital camera, mobile computers, mobile apps, Memory cards, Bluetooth e.t.c.
The interesting part of social media is the numerous facilities and features it offer the people in their daily lives. People these days depend on life in the social media for them to manage their life. Every moment, people visit the social media for different activities. These activities include but not limited to the following; socialization, group updating, watching movies, dramas, viewing picture, e.t.c. According to Shabir, Yousef & Safdar (2014), social media is the most recent form of media having many features and characteristics. It has facilities on same channels like communication text image sharing, audio and video sharing, text publishing, linking with all over world, direct connecting. It is also the cheapest, fast access to the world so it is very important for all age of people.
Social media are very common with people especially journalists. This is because of the massive and undeniable contributions which have been received. The contributions have influenced the that people understand and give meaning to social media. Moreover, Logan (2010) sees social media as a term that refers in general term as digital media having interactions, incorporative two-way communication and involves some form of computing as opposed to old media which in their original incarnation did not require computer technologies; now in their present configuration do make use of computer technology. According to Croteau and Hoynes (2003), Social media radically break the connection between physical place and social place making physical location much less significant for our social relationship.
Michael (2010) avers that social media is a group of internet based applications that builds on the ideological and technological foundation of web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated contents. Social media are becoming ever- more viable platforms for communication and media service. Olusesan, Sanusi, Jide and Oloyede (2014), opinion that social media can give opportunity for users to add value to the application as they use it through the edit box interface, to exercise control on the data, to interact on a more advanced software level and by creating a web of friends and interaction by socializing and gradually moving members from the physical world to the online world.
The base of the above opinion is on social interaction. Social media are used by individual member, even professionals are using same for professional activities. Olusesan, Sanusi, Jide and Oloyede (2014), assert that in the first instance, social media suggest that there is a process of interaction between two or more person. The basic idea behind social media is to create mutual relationship among users. On the other hand, the term media suggest a channel through which information is passed to a large diverse audience that may not be within the same geographical area.
According to Pew research Center (2012), it was highlighted in recent reports that in the digital era, social media has become omnipresence. People access it in multiple platforms and formats on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to particular news from are gone. In the same report, (59%) of Americans get news from a combination of online sources on a typical day and the internet is now the third world most popular news platform, behind local television and national television news.
The social media sites such as twitter, facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Skype, Linkedin e.t.c are the most common used social media among young people in the world. According to Kamaku and Mberia (2014) the social networking sites such as twitter and facebook have become a raging craze for everyone nowadays. Media use is an integral part of the daily life of adolescents; there are a number of risks associated with social media use.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The arrival of social media has positively affected the profession of journalism. There seems to be a meeting of both the old and social media; such a synergy that has improved the way journalists communicates across the world, (Nwanne, 2016).
The introduction and application of social media in journalism is changing the way media houses and the audiences are connecting and relating. According to Barthelemy (2011), that the mass media which was a one way mass communication has given way for social media to flourish and allow the people to act as both the transmitters as well as the producers. The social media seem to be giving solutions for every need possible.
Despite these contributions of social media to journalism, there are several issues that have been in the air concerning the use of social media by journalist. Among these issues are the incessant fake news, character assassination, invasion of privacy, impersonation and other media ethical issues. It is important for research to look close to these issues in such a way to accord performance level of the social media to journalism.
Notwithstanding to the different issues against the social media, there are pivotal contributions of social media in the practice of journalism. It is practically, to examine the importance of social media in the practice of journalism in Nigeria in areas such as nature and extent of news sourcing and dissemination and feedback.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1. To find out the frequency of social media usage by journalists.
2. To ascertain the extent journalists make use of social media in their daily job.
3. To find out the importance of social media in the practice of journalism.
4. To understand the challenges journalists face when using social media.
1. 4 Research Questions
1. How often do journalists use the social media?
2. To what extent journalist make use of social media in their daily job?
3. What are the importances of social media in the practice of journalism?
4. What are the challenges journalists faced by using social media?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study tries to x-ray the importance of social media to journalism as well as properly investigate knowledge level of Nigeria journalists, discover the frequency of social media usage by journalists; ascertain the extent journalist make use of social media in their daily job; find out the importance of social media in the practice of journalism; understand the challenges journalist face by using social media and provide possible solutions to the challenges journalists face by using social media.
This study is coming at a time social media is taking over the activities of journalists. It will enable journalists to increase professionalism of work. It will also be a research material to future researchers, since the topic under research is recent and demanding.
The research work will enhance that the existing knowledge on the perception the audience development concerning social media use by journalists. It will also help journalist to understand some ethical issues that are related with social media usage.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study is concentrated on the importance of social media to journalism. It seeks to examine how journalists of Delta State Broadcasting Service Warri and Asaba use social media in their job functions. The choice for these two media stations is to have large number of people.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Social Media: This is an array of new information communication technologies in enabling information distribution or other related activities in mass communication.
Journalism: Journalism is the art of gathering, processing and disseminating news for public consumption.
Importance: This is the value and need place on a particular thing against the other.
Internet: Internet is the connectivity of various computers and smartphones in other to share information. The internet has become interestingly important to journalist.