ICT AND EFFECTIVE NEWS GATHERING IN COMFORT FM AND SENSOR NEWSPAPER,UYO
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- Background To The Study
There is no doubt the fact that since the advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the end of the 20th century, there have been multiple convergences of content, computing, telecommunications and broadcasting. They have brought changes in other areas, particularly in communication and other areas bothering on development. Meanwhile, the increasing capacity of ICT has further been empowered by the growth of a global network of computer networks known as the internet. It has squarely impacted the way business is conducted, facilitated learning and knowledge sharing, generated global information flow, empowered citizens and communities in ways that have redefined governance, and have created significant wealth and economic growth resulting in a global information society (Baran, 2009, p. 204).
Right from the attempt of man to transmit information from one place to another, the development of communication technologies has indeed enhanced man’s quest for an easier and faster communication platform, thus, one of the greatest modern invention which have actually transformed the face of the communication sphere in the 21st century is the use of information and communication technologies. Linle wonder why Trostrikov (1999, p. 344) cited in Udo (2015, p. 1) support that the “Pace of change brought by this new phenomenon has had a significant effect on the activities of the mass media word wide”. Also supporting, Ifeanyi (2012, p. 42) avers that “ICT is perceived to be a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century because it caused and continues to cause major changes in the way we live.
Describing the ICT Nwabueze and Nwabueze (2007, p. 172) say that “Information and communication technologies are simply communication gadgets, hardware, equipment or facilities that have modernized, improved and ease exchange of ideas and information of various kinds between and among people within or across distant boundaries/frontiers. “Nwodu (2003), p.5) describes ICT as “a generic name used to refer to a number of communication hardware adopted in ensuring instantaneous dissemination of information and social values across the globe.
The World Bank, according to Rodriguez and Wilson (2000) cited in Udo (2015, p.1) defines ICT as the set of activities which facilitate by electronic means the processing, transmission and display of information. Marcelle (2000, p.231) describes the ICT as a “Complex varied set of goods, applications and services used for producing, distributing, processing and transforming information including telecoms, TV and radio broadcasting, hardware and software, computer services and electronic media”. ICT, thus, represents a cluster of associated technologies and defined by their functional usage in information access and communication, of which one embodiment is the internet.
In the words of Fab-Ukozor (2003, p. 67), ICT “has been applied for some time, especially in voice communication technology; however, recent advance such as the internet is breaking new ground and introducing new divisions in the achievements and the potentials they offer:.
ICT reshapes, re-organizes and fundamentally restructures working methods, and ultimately the sectors in which they are used. They offer advantages of efficiency, gains, information sharing, faster knowledge accumulation, dissemination and application. They also permit new, collaborative work methods through their potentials for networking (Udo, 2015, p.2).
Meanwhile, as far as the digital age is concerned, the benefit accrued from ICT is enormous and one sector that is benefiting greatly from the use of ICT is the media journalist are beginning to have a new way of packaging and disseminating news to the public.
Ogunsola and Aboyade (2005, p. 26) are of the opinion that “with the use of ICT, news gathering, processing and reporting is immediate, timely and helps reduce the space and time constraints”. The ICT has revolutionalized news gathering, processing, packaging and reporting. There is no doubt that the application of ICT in both the broadcast and print industry is to enhance and improve news delivery as timely as possible. Adiqwe (2010, p. 15) notes that ICT in broadcasting and publication is on the increase by reporters and editors because of its benefits being recognized at every point of the entire supply chain of news. It has helped improve news reportage”.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
How much the ICTs have impacted the various “Bustop” of mass communication, particularly, news, gathering, news editing, news processing, news dissemination, news transmission and news reception is still up for scruting. Take newspaper, for instance, being the oldest conventional medium of mass communication, newspapers have faced numerous challenges ranging from change in audience preference, growing sophistication of the audience to invention of more convenient media, all of which have added more, impetus to how newspapers should gather news stories to meet this challenges. The broadcast media is however inclusive of this trend.
Broadcasting has the capacity of reaching and influencing large number of people, and hence should have had massive transformation and development since the surge in ICT. Comfort FM a private provider of broadcasting service and the sensor newspaper are regularly mentioned in terms of how much they have aligned themselves to the information explosion occasioned by the ICTS.
Some have accused private media such as them to underutilize the ICTS as opposed to the private media establishments. Therefore, while these talks of ICTS having positive impacts in various activities of newspaper and broadcast industries have gained momentum, in what ways do the ICTS particularly contribute to the effective gathering of news stories in comfort FM and sensor newspapers.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study were to:
- Establish the extent of the use of ICTS in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper Uyo.
- Examine the various ICTS applied in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
- Determine the effectiveness of ICT use in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
- Finding out the challenges faced in application of ICT in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
- RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions guided this study.
- To what extent are ICT used in news gathering in comfort FM.
- What are the various ICTS applied in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper?
- How effective are ICTs used in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo?
- What are the challenges faced in the application of ICT in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis which guided this study was stated in this alternate as follows:
Hi: Application of ICTS is associated with effective news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
- JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This study holds immense significance to the following, first, findings of the study will bring to limelight what undermines the underutilization of the new communication technology in Nigeria journalism profession, if there is any.
Second the study will bring to the consciousness of media managers the power of ICT and how it changes the traditional way of journalism. Third, newspaper and radio station owners and managers will use the findings in making their ICT a better assets to their operations.
Future researchers can evaluate how the ICT changes the face of mass communication as well as this study as a source of reference material for further researchers. Also, the study will add subsequently to the existing body of academic/media materials.
- DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study particularly examined the use of ICTS in effective news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo. There are various areas that ICT could be applied in broadcasting and the print industries, but this study is only concerned with news gathering. This is to enable the researcher to take a very close look at that area. This study is also delimited to comfort FM and sensor newspaper Uyo. No attempt was made to investigate any other media establishment in Akwa Ibom State, particularly in Uyo.
However, the researcher hopes that such delimitations will enhance accuracy and objectivity of the research exercise.
- LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study had some levels of constraints, each of which was however properly handled by the researcher in order not to affect the quality of the study and the veracity, of the findings. Another glitch was the bottle neck bureaucracy usually associated with studying journalists because of their busy schedules. However to contain that challenge the researcher gave them sufficient time to complete the questionnaire.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
The researcher defines the following terms operationally:
Comfort FM: This is a private radio station in uyo. The station has a frequency modulation of 105.9.
Effectiveness: Quality of the impact of ICT in news gathering in comfort FM and the sensor newspaper.
ICT: The modern technological tools used in facilitating information gathering, management and production in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
News Gathering: The broadcast or print activities in comfort FM and the sensor newspaper involving assignment of beats, reporting at the beats, coverage of stories, creating a story, finding sources and facts (including research and interviews), coming up with a story angle and submitting stories to the newsroom for further treatment. It means those editorial activities that take place prior to news processing in comfort FM and sensor newspaper Uyo.
Sensor Newspaper: This is a private newspaper establishment in Uyo that publishes thrice a week.
Uyo: This is the capital of Akwa of Akwa Ibom State. It is the universe of the Study.
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