New Media and Public Opinion Management: A study of Madona University

Abstract

This study was on the thrust to investigate the role of new media and public opinion. However, online opinion formation, internet opinion, cyber activism or online activism or better called internet activism has been a grown concept on the internet for a long time in western world but a new innovation in developing or Africa continent as the continent just embraced ICT in less than two decades. Survey research method was adopted to elicit data from respondents within Madona University students among the users of internet particularly the social media users. One hundred (100) copies of questionnaire were printed and distributed to the sample size of 100 of which 90 copies of the research instrument were returned for the data analysis. Findings show that new media (social media) has reshaped human communication system. This notion is attested to as all (90) respondents are using one new media/social media for one reason or the other. Also, majority of the respondents logged in regularly on facebook, followed by twitter and Whatsapp usually on a daily basis. Many users have never contribute to any online poll while browsing the web. In addition, new media/social media has great benefit to public opinion and cyber activism. Some of the challenges hindering new media/social media in achieving effective online opinion formation in Nigeria is lack of trust among the users, cyber activists efforts are not recognized, poor credibility of sources of information, and because youth lack interest in public decision or activism. It is recommended that facebook, twitter, whatshap and other social media users should ensured they understand why they are using and joining the new media or social media sites in the first place so as to maximum its benefit.

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