INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN NEWS GATHERING
1.1 Background to the Study
Communication has occurred in different forms since man’s existence from communicating with signs and symbols using sand, back of trees, walls etc. to using papyrus rolls. With the invention of printing technology, humans started communicating with books through reading and writing. Over the years, humans kept on accumulate knowledge which led to the invention of radio, television and other media technologies for the transmission of information. Then the computer was invented; an electronic machine that can be manipulated to store, organize, do calculations and final information computers took communication to another level. It enhanced speedy, accurate and reliable information. Today, the computer enables people to interact and share other resources through two or more networked computer.
This practically led to the concept of computer mediated communication (CMC). Computer-Mediated communication (CMC) being any communicative transaction that takes place by way of a computer whether online of offline but especially the former’ (mcquail,2005,p.551). Straubhear and large (2004, p54) described computer mediated communication (CMC) as mediated personal communication that take space in organizations where computer networks are used for all forms of electronic communication.
Media need to be recognized as an important vehicle responsible for acquainting the audience with well-defined national goals by informing them of their roles, expectations, and obligations. Media practice is public interest oriented. It is the means through which government, institutions, organization and all others in authority are held accountable to and by the public. This means that the contents of the media influence, people’s thoughts and feelings and the world at large.
Journalism has continued to experience much changes accessioned by advances in information and communication technology in the area of copy writing, reporting, editing, page making, filming and indeed the entire production process. The industry has witnessed a revolution thanks to technology advances.
About 20 years ago, reporters in Nigeria knew nothing about electronic database and archives in addition to ever-growing digital option are playful time on the field of digital convergence. Today, the newsroom is replaced with technological devices not available to practitioners a few decades ago. In essence, the media and emerging ideas, feelings, opinions, thought and information, new ways of hearing about the world. It’s identities and the future advance in the technology and their services, have facilitated global information, flour which have fulfilled Marshal Miluhan’s global Village concept, where ones neighbor is no longer the fellow who lives heat next door. It could be someone who lives in the northern hemisphere separated from one not only by time and distance but also by differences in culture, language, norms and values, yet what happens to one is known by overs within a split second.
According to Okunna (2004; 20) whenever we think of information and communication technology, our minds fly to the world of computer satellite, fax machine, fiber optics, digital networks and ultimately the internet network. She farther explained that they are variously called new communication technology (NCT) which makes possible. Computer mediated communication (CMC) have given rise to the information high or information super high wall.
All these have to do with the online world when Hibson in Okunna called cyber- space.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is noticed that new journalism is no longer just the collection, writing and publishing newspaper or article. The modern technological has increasingly paved the way and creates impact in the communication world with their self-interest.
The problem therefore is that new technologies cannot address the problems of news content and staleness in the media, particularly the print medium. New media today has tend to forget about the ethic of the profession which has to do with honesty; which simply means that a journalist should not make up news or share news that give off wrong impression, independence, fairness, productiveness, price etc.
There is a professionalism when it comes to journalism practices but today, because of new technologies, many people have become journalist even when the lack the skills of the profession, becoming the reporters, and even the gate-keepers of the news. As a professional in the field, there are things that are not meant for the public but today, new media because of the free-to-publish no restriction in turned make it a public consumption. Many Nigerians today are becoming citizen journalist with a mind set to eradicate the traditional media forgetting the layed down roles of the profession.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this research work were to:
- find out the extent to which ICT is deployed or used at AKBC TV and pioneer newspaper Uyo,
- fnvestigate the extent to which ICT is used in news gathering by AKBC and pioneer reporters Uyo,
- probe the influence of ICT on news gathering at ABKC TV and pioneer newspaper, Uyo,
- find out the level of versatility of AKBC and pioneer reporters with ICT used for news gathering.
1.4 Research Question:
The research questions of this work were to;
- To what extent AKBC TV and pioneer newspaper Uyo deployed or use ICT?
- To what extent AKBC and pioneer reporters used ICT in news gathering?
- Does ICT influence AKBC TV and pioneer newspaper uyo on news gathering?
- To what level of versatility of AKBC and pioneer reporters with ICT for news gathering?
AKBC and pioneer reporters significantly deploy ICT in news gathering.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The important of this research is to help journalists or broadcasters of AKBC TV and pioneer newspaper to be aware of the use of ICT on new gathering. The study will provide the media owners, planners and practitioner’s good reasons on why ICT should be employed in their media operations. Since the new media is seen as the free flow of information to every journalist.
It is therefore pertinent to have based for understanding information and communication technology potentials, dangers and how to utilize the benefits offered by the ICTs and encourages people on how to manage the risks associated with ICT users. It is also serve as a reference point for current and future information and communication technology users, Researchers, Scholars and students.
Finally, the research findings will add to the existing literature in the area of information and communication technologies.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study is limited to the influence of information and communication technology (ICT) on news gathering: a case study of AKBC TV and pioneer newspaper, Uyo Akwa Ibom State.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, the researcher met with certain constraints, but efforts were, however, made so that those constrains would not affect the quality of the study. One of the constraints encountered by the researcher was lack of co-operation of some reporters of AKBC Uyo who refused to release some vital information needed by the researcher to carry out the research work properly. Another one was the delayed to filled the questionnaire and return it on time.
However, the researcher was able to overcome the constraints by explaining to the respondents the reasons for this research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
A following term was defined operationally to enhance clarity of the matter.
- Influences: This simply means the power to persons or events especially power based on prestige of ICT.
- Information: this means the facts, and details about someone or something on the use of information and communication technology.
- Communication: communication is the sharing of ideas, feelings, thoughts, and values from person to another through the ICT.
- Technology: it can be seen as the knowledge or the use of information and communication technology.
- Information Technology: this ending artificial manipulated by man to aid him communicate personally, massively and above all through the use of ICT.
- News: News is the product of journalism develop by the journalist on the ICT.