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| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|


Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

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Title page

Approval page




Table of content



1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research question

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope of the study

1.7 Limitation of the study

1.8 Operational definition of terms




3.0        Research methodology

3.1        sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis



4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation





The advent of social media as news platforms and their patronage daily by people to know what is happening around them has elicited several comparative studies on the news credibility on social media, television and newspapers. This study is a comparative investigation of credibility of news on social media, on television and in the newspapers. The study in its research design used the survey method. The study employs source effects model as the theoretical framework for the study. Findings of the research reveal that the level of education and knowledge of internet has influence on the selection and believability of news by respondents. Likewise, most people rely on other media after their exposure to their preferred choice of media in other to authenticate a news story. The study also reveals that those who placed television and newspaper news as higher on the credibility scale than the social media did so because news in the newspapers and on television are produced by well trained personnel and there are institutionalized ways of filtering news stories to ensure their accuracy and objectivity


                                        CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background of the study

Every day people receive information that is far more than they can possibly use. Information from the mass media, from friends, from books and lately from the internet influences people in their decision making process and their perceptions of event and happenings around them. The mass media particularly have become important organs through which people make meaning out of their lives, social activities and issues within the society. People regularly stay glued to their television and radio set for information and flock the newspaper and magazine stands for the same purpose.

Even, in a situation where information is spread around in a society; it does not carry any iota of credibility until such information is confirmed by the media. For several decades, the mass media especially television, radio, newspaper and magazines have been a major source of information dissemination such that they assumed the pivotal role of the „fourth estate of the realm‟ and also, the societal watchdog. The news content of the media especially in developing countries like Nigeria where the government at both state and federal levels dominates ownership has been dogged by questions like whether the news content is accurate and true or a reflection of the government position. Similarly, the private media organizations do not fair better as market compulsions and profit making objectives raise such pertinent questions like whether the media should be accountable to private interests or the society. This has continued to generate controversies and arguments about the blurred distinctions between news and views, news and advertisements and propaganda and information. Also, profit motives and ownership often influence news managers to manipulate content (Bakshi and Mishra, 2010). This therefore makes the credibility of media content a concern especially with the mass of information that is available daily for consumption.

Presently, the new media may be described as the growing media that is widely used by all and sundry. It can also be referred to as an on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, and on any digital device such as, smart phones, computers among others. It ranges from the social media (Facebook, Twitter, We-chat, WhatsApp, BBM, Blogs, etc.) to other Internet-enabled devices such as Wikipedia, YouTube, to mention but a few. However, before the inception of the new media, only the traditional media that is, television, radio, and newspaper were available for use. In fact, advertisements were concentrated on that media since there were no other alternatives. However, with the advent and increase in the use of the new media across all fields, advertisers have also engaged the use of the new media platforms for advertising goods and services. This conveys the impression that the traditional media is gradually losing its popularity as observed by Bell and Garret (1998) in Oladimeji (2011): In the past years, buyers would rely on sales professionals for much of the information before making a purchase, but that had been reversed these days as any advertiser that desires its products to enjoy large sales must now figure out new and creative ways that can make the buyers find him and his products as well as understand why such a product or service should matter in a hyper-crowded marketplace. In essence, advertisers are discouraged from relying on the traditional media, especially if such advertiser is serious about selling his products or services. A related thought on this is Varian (2010) cited in Fadeyi (2013) thus: “While consumers may have spent 25 minutes reading the morning print newspaper, a form of traditional media, they may spend, on average, 90 seconds on a news website.” Therefore, it is pertinent that the traditional media must do all it could to develop new strategies to keep up with the new trend, which the new media has introduced. On the use of the new media for advertising products – goods and services, Wright et al. (2010) believe: In different societies, the surveillance function might be performed by different kinds of media. While in some countries it is primarily performed by television and print media, in others this might be the function of friends and family. Whether or not we trust the information, we get dependant on the source of information. If we read about unidentified flying objects approaching the Earth in the tabloid press, we would hardly pay any attention to this information. However, if we hear this news announced on the latest news program in television or in the radio, it would have a completely different meaning and effect. “The emergence of social networking media, such as Facebook and Twitter, has opened the door to a million possibilities for marketers. The ability for these social media to segment the market, automatically, is one reason why they are so effective.” Also in their study on new media‟s role in news and other information dissemination, Sayre et al. (2010) posit: “As such, YouTube videos may act as fire starters among the media, giving editors enough reason to investigate and report the given subject matter as news and draw public attention to it. This would suggest a shift away from typical agenda-setting dynamics,…” They go further to say that news sources and especially newspapers, while they remain important, are giving way to emerging platforms for conveying issues coverage and providing perspective on social controversies. Traditional media companies are also in an ongoing process of adapting to and adopting some of these new modes of communication that have given rise to social media.


Credibility research has been a major facet of mass communication and journalism scholarship since the field’s earliest days. Whereas the seminal work on credibility concentrated on dimensions of source credibility (e.g., Hovland & Weiss, 1951), more contemporary literature highlighted variations in the perceived credibility attributed to different media channels. The internet provides an alternative space for expression by citizens against the limited access provided by the mainstream media of television, radio and newspaper where length of freedom and space are determined by the government and/or ownership interest. The news media have transformed people from being passive and at the receiving end of one way mass communication to becoming producers and transmitters of information (Creeber and Martin, 2009; Bennett, 2003). With this phenomenon, the social media and the news media have assumed great importance and popularity in the society as people are free to create their own news comment on issues and get the other side of a story (Rosenstiel, 2005). It is in view of the above that the study is embarked on by the researcher to examine information credibility on social media (new media) and the traditional media.


The main objective of this study is to critically analyze information credibility on social and traditional media; but to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intend to examine the following specific objective;

  1. i) To examine the extent of reliability of information from the social media in relation to the traditional media
  2. ii) To ascertain if there is any significant relationship between social and traditional media news source and credibility

iii) To examine the role of regulatory agencies in ensuring professionalism and credibility in information dissemination among the media (social and traditional) outlet

  1. iv) To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem of the study


The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;

  1. i) Is information from the social media reliable in relation to the traditional media?
  2. ii) Is there any significant relationship between social and traditional media news source and credibility?

iii) Does regulatory agencies play any role in ensuring professionalism and credibility in information dissemination among the media (social and traditional) outlet?


It is believed that at the completion of the study will be of importance to student of mass communication as the study seek to explore the pros and con of information source and credibility between the social and traditional media, the study will also be of great importance to practicing journalist and the journalism profession as the study stressed on the need to adhere to the integrity of the journalism profession irrespective of the media type. The study will also be of importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the findings of the study will serve as a reference point for further research. Finally, the study will be useful to students, teachers, academia’s lecturers and the general public as the study will contribute to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge.


The scope of the study covers comparative analysis of information credibility on social and traditional media. An in-depth analysis of related literature was carried out by the researcher on the credibility of information disseminated by both traditional and social media, relevant data collected were dully interpreted and analyzed.


In the cause of the study, there are some factors that impaired the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. 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.
  3. c) Finance: Limited Access to the required financed was a major constrain to the scope of the study.



Media are the communication outlets or tools used to store and deliver information or data. The term refers to components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, the news media

Social media

Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

New media

New media are forms of media that are native to computers, computational and relying on computers for redistribution. Some examples of new media are telephones, computers, virtual worlds, single media, website games, human-computer interface, computer animation and interactive computer installations.

Traditional media

Traditional media refers to mediums that are part of our culture for over half a century. These forms include television, radio, print advertisements, and billboards


Information is the resolution of uncertainty; it is that which answers the question of “what an entity is” and thus defines both its essence and nature of its characteristics


Credibility comprises the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message. Credibility has two key components: trustworthiness and expertise, which both have objective and subjective components







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