1.1 Background to the Study
It is arguable that Marshal McLuhan had information communication technology (ICT) in mind several decades ago when he coined the phrase “global village” to prophesy that the electronic communicatiown would unite the world. But certainly, that prophecy is today, a reality as the internet in particular, and the ICT in general, have almost literally and spatially turned the world into one small village (Oketunmbi, 2005).
Marcelle (2000) views ICTs as applications and services used for the production, distribution, processing, and transformation of information with the aid of ICT tools. Ogunsola and Aboyade (2005) are of the opinion that ICT came into being as a result of related technologies clearly stated by their functional usage in information access and communication which is centralized through the Internet.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a form of technology that is used to transmit, store, create, share or exchange information. This includes technologies like radio, television, video, DVD, telephone (both fixed line and mobile phones), satellite systems, computer and network hardware and software; as well as the equipment and services associated with these technologies, such as videoconferencing and electronic mail (Wikispaces, 2014).
Joseph (2003) observed that “the internet has revolutionalized the computer and communication world like nothing before”. He further added that “the internet has a worldwide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regards for geographical location”.
The Internet is often called a network of networks (Plucauskas, 1994). Satellites and computers are changing news gathering, production and delivery processes. While the technical revolution deals with advances in production, the philosophical aspect deals with content and packaging (Whitney, 1985). Internet provides a vehicle or networks of all kinds and individual stand-alone computers to intertwine to form a global network, which connects people all over the world (Aina, 2008).
Shephard and Edelmann (2005) defined Internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks that share digital information through a common set of networking and software protocols. Zack (2009) stressed that the internet has it all. There is more available information on computers and other ICTs than one could ever possibly think of. He explains that by using the search engines, you can even learn about the internet itself or about a piece of ICTs equipment.
Mueller (2012) stressed that your website is your online property, your digital store front, and also helps you build a strong online presence as well as your primary avenue for providing information about your business. Your social media presence should all be pointed to your website. Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, Youtube and any other properties you have should be driving traffic to your website. Knox (2004) was of the view that if you do not have a website, you will be losing business to other organizations that do. He informs that it’s actually better not to have a website than have one that makes your business look bad.
ICT has ignited and provoked radical and drastic changes that has affected and revolutionized the broadcast industry, most especially in immediacy and timeliness of news. In the past few decades ICT has transformed the world in all spheres of life. It is an instrument for reducing manual operations and encouraging rapid growth in the media. To strengthen this assertion, Adigwe (2010) noted that, computer technology has enhanced news processing and news reporting. With the Internet, journalist can now click on relevant sites to source for foreign or even local news for subsequent broadcast news. ICT he observes also helps to reduce and/or eliminate the constraint of distance in the broadcast industry especially in television.
Journalists and broadcast professionals in Nigeria years ago were using manual and analogue technologies in their programming, news gathering, processing, dissemination and journalistic endeavors which in a way delayed delivery to the targeted audience. However, with the advent of ICT equipment which is now being used in the production, recording, programming, gathering, processing and transmission of news events by television broadcast stations in Nigeria, there has been an enhanced or improved delivery of broadcasting services. This will bring about a departure from the ancient ways of broadcasting and the skills required to master the various ICT components. To this end, this study investigates the influence of ICT on broadcast journalism.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is saddening that despite the startling developments in media technology, TV broadcasting in Nigeria is yet to assimilate the new innovation or imbibe the realities of modern broadcasting. The advancement in media technology can only be said to be achieving the desired ends when they readily and continuously influence positively the operations of the Nigerian broadcast media. What this translates to, is that the success or otherwise of all these technologies can only be measured in terms of the extent to which they bring improvement on the accuracy, speed and transfer of message and redefine the concept of broadcasting to an enviable height. The use of media technologies can only be said to be effective when the media professionals and audience benefit from the technologies through improved quality of programmes.
Arguably the employment of ICTs in the newsroom and in news processing activities will increase cost, as money would have to be invested into acquiring both hardware and software. However, discussing information and communication technology usually puts people out of jobs. This technology takes over mechanical assignment and frees individuals for more intellectual productive work. For this technology to be able to achieve its overall objectives there is a need for faster and more accurate means of solving manual operations of data processing and better storage devices for information and data as provided by ICTs, the complexities of modern technology have produced great mathematical, scientific, and engineering problem and hence, enhanced news processing and reporting. The Nigerian broadcast media like other facet of life and human endeavour in the country have now embraced Information and Communication Technology to some extent. Therefore, this study shall investigate the influence of ICT on broadcast journalism.
1.3 Research Objectives
The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of ICT on broadcast journalism. The specific objectives are:
i) To investigate if the Nigerian broadcasting sector understands the media technologies as a support to their operations
ii) To examine how broadcast practitioners in Nigeria perceive use of ICT and their compliance to their usage
iii) To understand the challenges of technologies in the Nigerian broadcast industry
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) To what extent the Nigerian broadcasting sector understands the media technologies as a support to their operations?
ii) How do broadcast practitioners in Nigeria perceive use of ICT and their compliance to their usage?
iii) What are the challenges of technologies in the Nigerian broadcast industry?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
i) There is a significant relationship between Information and Communication Technologies and the performance of broadcast journalism in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is significant in the following ways:
It would enable the researcher to expand the frontiers of research in digital broadcasting especially with the use of ICT. It would enable the researcher to understand how media practitioners view the ICT as they affect their practices and operations in the broadcasting industry in Nigeria. It would enable the researcher and other scholars to understand the level of acceptability, application and operation of the ICT in Nigeria. It would enable media practitioners to know the full benefits which the ICT possess and how to utilize them for optimum services. It would assist in the formulation of home-grown and functional ICT policy that will place the Nigerian broadcasting industry to world standards. It would avail the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) with full information in its quest for the phasing out of analogue broadcasting equipment. It would give direction on how to gradually transform from the present analogue state of broadcasting in Nigeria and embrace a broadcasting environment that is driven by modern Information and Communication Facilities as obtainable in western countries. It would stimulate further research on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on how they affect the broadcasting or media industry in Nigeria. It would add to the body of academic literatures on Information and Communication Technologies in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study revolves around Lagos; suffice it to state that in evaluating an assessment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on the performance of broadcast media in Nigeria, the dynamic scope has a national outlook and it will thus be universal to embark on the study. However, it becomes very necessary to narrow it down in relation to the assessment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on the performance of Channels Television, Lagos.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher encounters some constraints which limited the scope of the study;
Finance: Due to the nature of office and business within the scope, the researcher spends a lot of money on visiting, traveling from one location to another, from one office to the other and even had to repeat a visit more than three times to seek for information, all these involves money considering the financial constraint of the researcher and limited resources available to her.
Sources of Information: Many registered Channels Television of Lagos state were reluctant to give out or provide information about the research, since they believe that sources of information technology is something very confidential and therefore could not open up to the researcher.
Inadequate Record Keeping: Some of the respondents visited were unable to present complete and comprehensive records of their business .while some were not keeping proper records of their business activities and as such could not give adequate and correct information on the effect of vat on their businesses rippling on the economy of Nigeria.
Time: Time constraint has been another vital limitation and obstacle towards effective realization of the main objectives of this study. Time was really not on my side since I have to combine the little time left with my academic work and preparation.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For a proper understanding of this work, key terms used are defined based on their conceptual relevance to this study.
Influence: According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th ed.). Influence is the effect that somebody or something has on the way a person thinks or behaves or on the way that something works or develops. It could be further said as the power that somebody or something has to make somebody or something behave in a particular way.
Broadcast: This is the business of sending out radio and television signals over a distance, to a large heterogeneous audience by means of airwaves.
Broadcast Media: This is that electronic media or channel that uses the airwaves which enables signals and information to be transmitted to a large and diverse audience.