ABSTRACT: The research examined influence of new media in achieving communication efficiency in broadcast media: A study of TVC, Lagos. The proliferation of information communication technology such as the internet has made it possible to find out about events without actually being there. Journalists can report news across the world over the internet. A cross-sectional survey method was adopted while the data collection instrument was questionnaire. Technological Determinism Theory was in this study to explain the study problem. Respondents were drawn using purposive sampling technique. The data collected were analyzed in Frequency and Percentage method. Findings showed that social media have enhanced the productivity of journalists in TVC, Lagos as a great number of journalists use social media to source for news among other things. It was recommended that journalists should be careful in using stories generated via social media because the platforms lack gatekeepers.
Keywords: Communication Efficiency
1.1 Background to the study
Every aspect of communication has undergone a change in recent decades thanks to advancements in current communication technology. Information may now be shared more quickly, more easily, and more affordably than ever before because to easy access to people and information throughout the world. The magic is actually performed through the employment of contemporary communication tools (new media).
The dynamic nature of the twenty-first century and the centuries to come, according to Kur (2004), cited in Awake (2002), is based on technological change. It is understandable why Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian English professor, proposed the idea of the “Global Village” in 1964. He believed that the entire world had the potential to transform into a “global community” where information and news about anything and everywhere in the world would be easily accessible for anyone’s consumption in any part of the world. Without a doubt, the role played by contemporary communication technologies in realizing this goal cannot be understated.
Without a doubt, new media (modern communication technology) had a significant role in accomplishing this feat. According to Olayinka (2013), who holds that the globe has been reduced to a single electronic space where people can communicate knowledge, concepts, etc. at any time or place with just a mouse click or touch of a screen or pad.
The new media (social media) revolution, however, is causing a significant upheaval in the media sector. If Karl Marx is right that the tool (symbolizing the means and mode of production) determines the type of society (the production relations we find ourselves in), then information society theorists have a point when they say that the current stage of modern society is one that is determined by new media technology (Jacobs, 2008). However, for the sake of this study, our attention is mostly on social media, with a focus on how it improves journalism methods (news gathering, editing, feedback and so on).
According to Danny (2010), social media, one of the components of new media, now have the highest level of activity online. The terms “social media” and “social network” are used in a broad sense to describe websites that let users create a network of connections with other users with whom they want to share access to profile information, news, status updates, comments, photos, video, or other types of content. Above all, these websites improve feedback and the gathering and sharing of news.
The technologies’ ubiquity, immediate communication, and ability to support user-generated content creation and sharing are crucial aspects. Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangout, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms are just a few examples. According to the Brian (2021), 4.48 billion people throughout the world use social media today, up from 2.07 billion in 2015. Asia is the region with the most social media growth in 2019–2020 (+16.98%), followed by Africa (+13.92%), South America (+8.00%), North America (+6.96%), Europe (+4.32%), and Australasia (+4.9%).
Additionally, with 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social network, followed by YouTube (2.3 billion), WhatsApp (2 billion), FB Messenger (1.3 billion), and WeChat (1.2 billion). But because of this reality, journalists and media organizations are using social media more and more frequently.
Everyone agrees that communication is incomplete without feedback, and social media helps to facilitate this crucial stage of communication. In terms of feedback, social media has essentially eliminated the gap between broadcasters or publishers and their audience, and it is very simple to get feedback anywhere in the world. For instance, social media platforms allow a large audience of viewers to participate in an on-air broadcast by sharing their ideas,, grievances, and commendations.
The following advantages of social media are available to journalists and media organizations in general. Twitter and other social media are employed by journalists as a route for the collection and sharing of news. Additionally, social media, particularly Twitter, has made it simple to follow public figures who frequently make news, such as Lai Mohammed, Boss Mustapher, Ayodele Fayose, Fai Fani-Kayode, Babatunde Fashola, etc. To find news, photographs, and other information, journalists use Twitter and other social media.
Similar to this, Twitter is used to track discussions and provide news from them. Media organizations can communicate their news via social media, especially with their followers and friends. In light of this, the study focused on TVC, Lagos State, and examined how new media had an impact on improving communication efficiency in Nigerian broadcast media.
1.2 Problem Statement
It is impossible to ignore the influence of social media on today’s communication landscape, particularly in journalism. Social media has undoubtedly altered how journalists work and how stories are generated and shared since its inception.
Internet-based news delivery methods are already establishing themselves in Nigerian and global media outlets. The audience is informed of news via a wide range of social media techniques. The fundamental transformation of journalism is being attributed to a number of factors, one of which is the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The news has already gone global.
The social actors participating in the fabrication of news have expanded and extended outside of the newsroom resulting in the extension of the locus of news production. The functions of the country’s local media, which were never previously identified with press theories, include social feedback, social monitoring, and gatekeeping.
There are several issues and opportunities that need to be looked into with regard to media convergence and the incorporation of social media platforms into news reporting and distribution. Social media platforms have encouraged new media consumption habits and adjustments to the hostile business environment of media companies. The introduction of social networking sites has changed the media landscape because the traditional media lacks interactivity and participatory news collection and delivery.
In order to understand how social media has impacted TVC, Lagos and its journalists, the study evaluates the effectiveness of social media in news collection and distribution with a focus on the TVC, Lagos.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objectives:
- To ascertain the extent at which TVC, Lagos journalists are using social media in gathering and disseminating information.
- To ascertain the type of social media tool that is often used by TVC, Lagos journalists in gathering and disseminating information.
1.4 Research Questions
The study has the following research questions:
- To what extent has TVC, Lagos journalists used social media in gathering and disseminating information?
- What type of social media is often used by TVC, Lagos journalists in gathering and disseminating information?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study of the this nature will be helpful to ass media houses in Nigeria and beyond by seeking effective ways of integrating social media platforms into the practice of journalism. The study will identify the opportunities and challenges the social media provide in news gathering and delivery and attempt to suggest the best practices for the effective utilization of the social media to advance growth of business in the media house .
Through the study, the media house will recognize the best approaches to use in the integration of the social media in originating and reporting news content to the targeted consumers.
The study will help journalists to know how to effectively utilise social media for news gathering and dissemination as well as provide them with a guide on how to write online stories. Findings will also arm journalists on how to effectively interact and integrate their audience online and identify their information needs while journalists who are yet to employ the platform will see reasons to embrace social media as veritable tools to increase productivity.
The study will fill a new gap as it will add to the body of literature and empirical studies that is available for the students, researchers and institutions that may want to study social media in relations to the practice of journalism.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which investigates the effectiveness of social media in news gathering and dissemination shall be narrowed in scope to Freedom Television in Ilesha, Osun State. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall within Osun state. The choice of journalists in Freedom Television in Ilesha, Osun state was due to the proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all mass media houses in Nigeria among other logistics.
Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c.
Other factor for selecting Freedom Television is inadequate time to study all mass media organisation in Nigeria, lack of fund to travel around and other considerable logistics make TVC, Lagos a reference point.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Internet: This can be defined as a collection of millions of computer network of varying the size of millions users who share an interactive means for interacting with one another to exchange digital data.
Computer: This an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) and performing a sequence of logical operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions (program) to produce a result in the form of information or signals.
Journalist: A journalist is a person whose professional is to practices journalism. Also is a person involved in the operation of gathering and dissemination of information through an appropriate medium.
News Gathering: This is the process of collecting and searching for information.