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SMARTPHONES AS TOOL FOR NEWS GATHERING AMONG JOURNALISTS

(Last Updated On: 8th January 2023)

ABSTRACT: The study investigated the impact of smartphones as a tool for news gathering and reporting by Journalists in Lagos State. There is no gainsaying that smartphone aids news reporting especially that smartphone has become a tool in the hand of journalists in 21 the century. Apart from the fact that it helped in news gathering, it equally aids news editing, sharing the information, lesser noise and more meaningful interaction. The research was anchored on Technological Acceptance Model (TAM) and Technological Determinism Theory (TDT). The study used a survey research method while questionnaire was used as data collection instrument to elicit responses from the respondents who are registered journalists in Lagos. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method using SPSS version 23 while data were presented with the aid of tables. The findings of the study showed that respondents significantly make use of smartphones. Also, respondents significant level of usage of smartphones for news gathering and reporting is high especially in accessing the internet to get information and check facts. The study recommended that media organizations should further encourage the use of technological gadgets in the likes of smartphones, so as to be technologically abreast in this information and communication technology world, symposium and seminars should be organized to further intimate journalists on the optimum use of the smartphone to get the best of journalism off it, and also encourage the appropriate use of the relevant functions of smartphones as storage for an important document is found to be the least usage of smartphone amidst journalists in Lagos state.


Keywords: SMARTPHONES AS TOOL FOR NEWS GATHERING


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                                                    

Certification                                                                                                                

Dedication                                                                                                                   

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      

Table of Contents                                                                                                       

Abstract                                                                                                                       

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

1.2       Statement of the Problem

1.3       Objectives of the Study

1.4       Research Questions

1.5       Significance of the Study

1.6       Scope of the Study

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

            References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1       Introduction

2.2       Conceptual Framework

2.3       Empirical Review

2.4       Theoretical Framework

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1       Introduction

3.2       Research Design

3.3       Research Method

3.4       Population of Study

3.5       Sample Size

3.6       Sample Procedure

3.7       Instrument for Data Collection

3.8       Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument       

3.9       Data Collection Process

3.10     Data Analysis

 CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS

4.0     Introduction

4.1     Demographic Analysis

4.3    Answer to Research Questions

4.4    Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0     Introduction

5.1     Summary

5.2     Summary of Research Findings

5.3     Conclusion

5.4     Limitations

5.5      Recommendations

           References

            Appendix


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Electronic News Gathering (ENG) in journalism refers to the use of electronic Video and audio technology by reporters and editors to gather and display news. The scope of ENG can range from a lone reporter using a single professional video camera to a whole television crew driving a truck on location. However, the most recent ENG is the smartphone (Allan, 2006). Meanwhile, effort will be dwelled extensively on smartphone.

Edeh (2014) pointed out that the role of the ICT, especially smartphones and internet cannot be overemphasized, as they serve pivotal function in changing and altering the practice of journalism in the world. It has of course given a level of professional touch to journalism, but also given room to amateur and citizen journalism. Journalism in this clime now requires little or no certification even in some media organizations.

Similarly, the revelation of the great academic prophet, Marshal McLuhan on ICT taking over and revolutionizing the world was subsumed in the coined phrase ‘global village’. This phrase as explicated reveals the certainty of the electronic communication uniting the world and turning it into one small village (Oketunmbi, 2005). Sequel to this, the advent of smartphones has done a better job of fulfilling McLuhan’s prophesy, as it is no more just a globalized village but having the world in the palm of a hand per time i.e. control of the communication medium in our hands (Kobackova, 2015).

In line with the fast growth of technology, smartphone came as one of the electronic telecommunication device which allows for long distance communication (Alfred & Atkin, 2020). Smartphone can be referred to as a minicomputer, with features and functions as computer in the handy form (Rambitan, 2015). Smartphone as having the ability of a computer coupled with the conventional functions of the mobile phone, adding that Smartphone is a mobile phone that has the ability of a computer, and provides users with advance communication and computing ability than the traditional mobile phone equipped with internet access, camera with high quality, and management tools. Latest smartphones are viewed as handheld computers rather than a normal phone because of its powerful computing ability and large memory (Singh & Samah, 2018).

The capacity of running feature-rich application (apps) on smartphones made smartphone a more powerful device replacing many devices such as alarms clocks, calculators, laptops, GPS navigators and digital cameras. The mobile handset has rapidly moved beyond voice telephony or even simple text-based communication which it started on into more complex multi-platform delivery systems; some of the latest models are portable digital media production and data transfer systems with configurations of features such as still and video camera capabilities, multimedia file swapping, global positioning satellite receivers, music players, access to radio and television content, email and Web browsers, databases, address books, calendars, clocks, games and many other downloadable and upgradeable software applications (Cameron, 2006).

To date, much of the professional practice of Mobile Journalism (MoJo) appears to have originated within print-based newsrooms that are experimenting with adding multimedia elements to their Web-based publications (Cameron, 2007). MoJo are generally seen as being able to respond quickly to breaking news events, often operating away from the newsroom environment for extended periods of time.

Talabi (2011) posited that the smartphone with internet on its leverage, has its own revolutionised effect on journalism, which do not only implicate the practice of journalists but also that of the information/news consumption practice of the audience as well.

Garyantes and Berkey-Gerard (2015) as well posited that mobile devices such as smartphones and media tablets brings significant technical innovations to the news industry, as users are offered the ability to produce as much as they consume. Hence, the use of new digital tools to garner better access and connection to the audience, is the main focus and attention of the new technologically upgraded media, making sure that communication is more meaningful interaction.

Social media particularly Twitter which made possible by smartphone has made it easy to follow celebrities and politicians that break into news very often like Lai Muhammed, Boss Mustapher, Ayodele Fayose, Fai Fani-Kayode, Babatunde Fashola, Fami Adeshina, Garba Sheu and so on. Journalists equally use Twitter and other social media to source news, images and so on. It is against this backdrop that the research investigates the increasing the use of smartphones as tool for news gathering tool among journalists in Osun State.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

It is no small responsibility saddled on the media to keep people abreast of the happening around them. This has necessitated the need for help of technological tools like smartphones to ease the work of reporter and improve their efficiency from the slow pace and often times cumbersome process of gathering and disseminating news with limited audience reach. ICT has brought a number of improvement to journalism as it is doesn’t have to endure the analogue system, where it takes longer time and duration for reporters to gather information and package reports, and often not making deadlines (Kwanya, 2014).

Studies on smartphone and its influence have mostly been focused on the society  (Osazee-odia, 2016), or students in higher institutions of learning (Singh & Samah, 2018;  Adelabu, Sanusi & Esiri, 2015), little has been done to consider how journalists feel about the usage of smartphone at work, how efficient/distracting it is, as well as the overall perceive impact it has on their working activities, which this study give serious consideration and attention to. It is against this backdrop that the research investigates the increasing the use of smartphones as tool for news gathering tool among journalists in Osun State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to look at the increasing use of smartphones as tool for news gathering among journalists while the specific objectives are:

i.       To find out the level of smartphone usage among journalists in Osun State for news gathering.

ii.      To determine the attitude of journalists in Osun State towards the use of smartphone as tool for news gathering.

1.4       Research Questions

In order to explicate the aforementioned objectives, the listed questions provide answers to the research problem:

i.       To what extent are journalists in Osun State use smartphone for news gathering?

ii.       What is the attitude of journalists in Osun State to the use of smartphone as tool for news gathering?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study is intended at finding out the level of adoption and usage of the various function and beneficiary accessories on the smartphones by the journalists in Osun state, in the course of performing their duties as journalists, hence draws inference on the impact of smartphones on journalists. Therefore, it is important to journalists to rate and measure the level of their usage and adoption of smartphone in the course of their work.

This study is also essential to serve stakeholders in the media with the needed insight and encouragement as to the vast opportunities and efficiency that can be achieve in the course of adopting the usage of smartphones by journalists, taking a focus to motivation as well as education on the optimal use of it.

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study which investigates the increasing use of smartphones as tool for news gathering among journalists will be streamlined to journalists in Osun State. Specifically, the registered journalists as held in the record of National Union of Journalists, Osun State chapter shall be covered in the scope of the study. In terms of membership and active registration with the NUJ Osun State chapter. The unregistered journalists will be excluded as no record of them. The geographical scope of this study is within Osun State.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Smartphone: This is a handheld device, capable of providing wireless voice communication along with support for other applications, which is made use of by the journalists in smartphones in the processes involving in activities of news gathering and reporting.

News gathering: This is the totality of the processes and activities involved in news gathering and reporting as carried out by journalist in smartphones.

Journalists: these are the trained and certified personnel who gather and report news/information for an acclaimed media establishment in Osun State and are equally registered and certified by the NUJ Osun State chapter.


“SMARTPHONES AS TOOL FOR NEWS GATHERING AMONG JOURNALISTS”


WHAT TO EXPECT: (Format: MS WORD, Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)


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