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INFLUENCE OF NEW MEDIA ON PUBLIC OPINION AND CYBER ACTIVISM AMONG YOUTH ONLINE

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This research investigates the influence of new media on public opinion and cyber activism. However, 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 online respondents. One hundred (100) copies of questionnaire were sent via email of which 90 copies of the questionnaires were returned for data analysis. Findings shown that new media particularly social media have 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. In addition, new media/social media has great benefit to cyber activism. Some of the challenges hindering new media/social media in achieving effective cyber activism in Nigeria is lack of trust among the users, cyber activists efforts are not recognized, poor credibility of sources, and because youth lack interest in 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. Also, special new media or social media might be designed solely for cyber activism right from it name and with that, only individual who love activism or who are activists will join.

Keywords: NEW MEDIA, PUBLIC OPINION, CYBER ACTIVISM,  YOUTH ONLINE

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