RISING TREND IN THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS BY STUDENTS IN SEEKING INFORMATION

Abstract

In this era of Information and communication technology, social media especially facebook, whatsApp, twitter, BBM and 2go and many others have revolutionalised and redefined monopoly of news and information by mass media (radio, television, newspaper and magazine industries) as it enhanced citizen participation in news gathering and dissemination. The study looked into the rising trend in the use of social media networks by students in seeking information using Kaduna State University Students as a reference point. Social media has in the recent time turn the citizen not only as information consumers but also as information distributor which is now known as “Citizen Journalism”. Most citizen own their own blog, group and room on social media sites where they publish news stories. Others do submit their stories to websites designed for the purpose of citizen journalists or to well known media houses that do accept stories from citizen reporters. Survey research method was adopted while questionnaire were developed as a research tool used to elicit data from the selected respondents. From the responses gathered, it was observed that majority of the students are having access to social media and are on one or two social media. Students logged in regularly to WhatsApp, BBM and Facebook than on other social media. And as a result of this the degree of social media usage among students of Kaduna State University is high. Most of the users of social media spend 6-10 hour on social media. Citizen journalism practice should be encouraged by the government and private establishments as a way of encouraging ICT development in the country. Government should make sure that owners of website and blogs within the country abide to the laws of defamation, obscenity, and invasion of privacy. This can be done by setting up a body whose sole responsibility is squarely on monitoring the manifest content of internet materials.

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