No.1 Mass Communication Project Topics and Materials

SMARTPHONES AS TOOL FOR NEWS GATHERING AMONG JOURNALISTS

(Last Updated On: 26th November 2023)

Abstract: The main objective of this study was to investigate smartphones as tool for news gathering among journalists in … State. The research was anchored on Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Technological Determinism Theory (TDT). The study used a cross-sectional survey research method while questionnaire was used as data collection instrument of which 148 questionnaires were administered to 148 registered journalists in … State. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method. Findings of the study showed that substantial number of the respondents (82.4%) were of the views that they are using smartphone on their daily routine as journalists, as a result a significant number of the respondents (89.9%) admitted to be using smartphone for news gathering often. However, a sizable number of the respondents (40%) claimed to be making use of camera and video recording capabilities feature in their smartphones mostly in the course of news gathering. All the respondents (100%) agree that smartphones has enabled journalists to multitask activities effectively. Majority of the respondents (92.6%) strongly agree that the future of smartphones for news gathering is bright. The study recommended that media organizations should further encourage the use of technological gadget in the likes of smartphones, so as to be technologically abreast in this information and communication technology world, symposium and seminar should be organized to further intimate journalists on the optimum use of the smartphone to get the best of journalism off it.


NEWS GATHERING


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page ______________________________________________________________i 

Certification ____________________________________________________________ii

Dedication _____________________________________________________________iii

Acknowledgement ______________________________________________________ iv

Table of Contents _______________________________________________________ v

Abstract _______________________________________________________________vii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study___________________________________________1

1.2       Statement of the Problem___________________________________________3

1.3       Objectives of the Study ____________________________________________4

1.4       Research Questions _______________________________________________4

1.5       Scope of the Study_______________________________________________ 5

1.6       Methodology___________________________________________________  5

1.7       Significance of the Study__________________________________________ 6

1.8       Limitation to the Study ___________________________________________7

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms_____________________________________8

1.10     Conclusion _____________________________________________________

            References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0       Introduction_____________________________________________________10

2.1       Conceptual Framework____________________________________________ 10

2.2       Empirical Review________________________________________________  23

2.3       Theoretical Framework ___________________________________________  24

2.4       Conclusion _____________________________________________________  27

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.0       Introduction____________________________________________________ 30

3.1       Research Design/Method _________________________________________  30

3.2       Population of Study ______________________________________________30

3.3       Sample Size ____________________________________________________ 31

3.4       Sample Procedure _______________________________________________  31

3.5       Research Instrument______________________________________________ 31

3.6       Validity and Reliability of Instrument ____-___________________________ 31

2.7       Method of Data Collection ________________________________________ 32

3.8       Method of Data Analysis _________________________________________  32

3.9       Conclusion _____________________________________________________ 32

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS

4.0       Introduction ____________________________________________________ 34

4.1        Demographic Analysis ____________________________________________ 35

4.2       Non-Demographic Analysis_________________________________________36

4.3       Discussion of Findings ____________________________________________ 49

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS

AND LIMITATIONS

5.0      Introduction _____________________________________________________  52

5.1       Summary________________________________________________________  52

5.2       Conclusion_______________________________________________________ 53

5.3      Recommendations ________________________________________________  53

5.4      Limitations to the Study ____________________________________________ 55

            References

            Appendix


CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1     Background o the Study

New technological development in the society has always witnessed accompanying change in the various systems and institutions of the society including the mass media environment. The mass media which consists newspapers, radio, television even the recent online journalism. The field of journalism has witnessed significant advancements in technology, which have revolutionized news gathering processes. These new tools have enabled journalists to gather information more efficiently, reach wider audiences, and enhance their storytelling capabilities. Some of the new technologies that has enhanced news gathering among journalists are smartphones (mojo-journalism), drone Journalism, artificial intelligence (AI) in Newsrooms, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). However, for the purpose of this study, the follow is on smartphone in news gathering.

In the digital age, smartphones have become an indispensable tool for journalists, revolutionizing the way news is gathered and reported. These compact devices offer journalists a myriad of functionalities, allowing them to capture real-time events, conduct interviews, and instantly share information with the world. Smartphones provide journalists with a portable and convenient means to gather news. Their compact size and lightweight design allow journalists to carry them wherever they go, ensuring they are always equipped to capture newsworthy events. This portability enables journalists to react quickly to breaking news, capturing images, videos, and live updates on the spot (Anderson and Quinn, 2018).

Smartphones offer an array of multimedia capabilities that enhance news gathering. High-resolution cameras empower journalists to capture images and record videos instantly. Additionally, smartphones allow for live streaming, enabling journalists to broadcast events in real-time, reaching audiences across various platforms (Deuze & Witschge, 2018). The ability to capture and share multimedia content seamlessly enhances the overall quality and immediacy of news reporting.

Domingo, et. al, (2008) stressed that smartphones are equipped with internet connectivity, enabling journalists to access news sources, social media platforms, and online databases in real-time. Journalists can leverage this connectivity to fact-check information, gather background knowledge, and engage with their audience through social media channels. Internet access on smartphones facilitates quick information dissemination, enabling journalists to share breaking news rapidly.

Smartphones empower individuals to become citizen journalists, contributing firsthand accounts and evidence to news coverage. Through social media platforms and dedicated apps, eyewitnesses can capture and share photos, videos, and eyewitness testimonies, aiding journalists in reporting news from multiple perspectives (Domingo, 2008).

Smartphones equipped with live streaming capabilities allow journalists to report events as they unfold. Journalists can stream live video footage, conduct interviews, and provide real-time commentary, engaging audiences in an immersive news experience. Live reporting enhances transparency and immediacy in news coverage, creating a stronger connection between journalists and their audience (Hanusch and Hanitzsch, 2017).

According to Hanusch and Hanitzsch (2017), the rise of mobile journalism, or MoJo, has been made possible through smartphones. Journalists armed with smartphones can produce entire news stories independently, using built-in features or dedicated apps for recording, editing, and publishing content. This streamlined approach reduces the need for extensive equipment, enabling journalists to report stories efficiently and cost-effectively.

Smartphones have significantly reduced the time between news occurrence and reporting. Journalists can instantly capture, process, and share news updates from their smartphones, ensuring that information reaches audiences rapidly. This accelerated news cycle has altered traditional journalistic practices, emphasizing the need for immediacy and agility in news reporting (Hanusch and Hanitzsch, 2017).

Hermida, Fletcher, Korell and Logan (2012) stressed that the widespread availability of smartphones has democratized news gathering, making it more accessible to journalists in remote locations or resource-constrained environments. Journalists can rely on smartphones as a versatile tool, bypassing the need for complex equipment or dedicated newsrooms. This accessibility enables a broader range of voices and perspectives to contribute to the news landscape.

The use of smartphones for news gathering presents ethical challenges for journalists. Issues such as privacy, consent, and verification of user-generated content require careful consideration. Journalists must navigate these challenges by adhering to ethical guidelines, verifying information from multiple sources, and respecting the privacy rights of individuals involved (Hermida, Fletcher, Korell and Logan, 2012).

By and large, Smartphones have become an invaluable tool for journalists, transforming the way news is gathered and reported. The portability, multimedia capabilities, and connectivity of smartphones empower journalists to capture and share news rapidly and efficiently. As smartphones continue to advance technologically, their role in news gathering is likely to expand further, enabling journalists to deliver timely, engaging, and inclusive news coverage. It is against this background that the study investigates smartphones as a tool for news gathering among journalists in Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The need to keep their audience abreast of the happening around them might have necessitated these of the reporter and improve their efficiency from the slow pace and often times cumbersome process of gathering and disseminating news. ICT has brought a number of improvement to journalism as it is does not 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).

The accessibility of smartphones and the ease of content creation have led to a proliferation of news sources and information. However, this abundance of information raises concerns about the reliability and accuracy of news gathered through smartphones. With citizen journalists and user-generated content becoming more prominent, ensuring the credibility and fact-checking of news stories becomes crucial.

The use of smartphones for news gathering introduces ethical challenges for journalists. Privacy concerns arise when recording or capturing multimedia content in public or sensitive situations. Additionally, the temptation to prioritize speed and immediacy in reporting through smartphones may lead to a compromise in ethical practices, such as verifying information before dissemination.

Smartphones store and transmit vast amounts of data, including sensitive information and source materials. Journalists in Bayelsa State need to ensure the security and protection of data gathered through smartphones to safeguard the integrity of their sources and maintain professional standards. This includes securing devices against unauthorized access and employing encryption methods when transmitting sensitive information. It is against this background that the study investigates smartphones as tool for news gathering among journalists in Bayelsa State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

One objective of this evaluate smartphones as tool for news gathering among journalists in …. state.it aims at

  1. To investigate the extent to which smartphones are used by journalists in … State for news gathering.
  2. To identify the challenges that journalists in … State face in using smartphones for news gathering.
  3. To assess the impact of smartphones on the quality of news reporting in … State.
  4. To explore the ethical considerations that journalists in … State need to be aware of when using smartphones for news gathering.
  5. To project the future prospects for the use of smartphones for news gathering in … State.

1.4       Scope of the Study

This study which investigates smartphones usage as tool for news gathering among journalists in … State is restricted to registered journalists. Specifically, the registered journalists as held in the record of National Union of Journalists, … State chapter shall be covered in the scope of the study. In terms of membership and active registration with the NUJ … State chapter. The unregistered journalists are excluded as since they have no record of them.

1.5       Methodology

For the purpose of this study, a quantitative research design will be adopted. Bhandari (2020) write that quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. However, a cross-sectional survey research method shall be adopted to enable researcher draw inference on variables under study. Lauren (2022) writes that a cross-sectional study is a type of research method in which the researcher collect data from respondents at a single point in time.

1.6       Significance of the Study

The study on smartphones as a tool for news gathering among journalists in … State holds several significant implications for the field of journalism and the media landscape in the region. Here are some key points highlighting its significance:

Technological Advancement: The study recognizes the growing prominence of smartphones as a technological tool for news gathering. It acknowledges the increasing capabilities of smartphones, such as high-quality cameras, internet access, and various apps, which empower journalists to gather news and share it instantly. This significance lies in the fact that journalists can adapt to technological advancements and harness their potential to enhance their reporting and storytelling.

Efficiency and Speed: Smartphones enable journalists to capture and report news events quickly and efficiently. With the ability to record videos, take photos, and conduct interviews using a single device, journalists can streamline their workflow, eliminating the need for multiple tools. This leads to faster news production and dissemination, enabling journalists in … State to report in real-time, thereby keeping the public informed promptly.

Accessibility and Mobility: The study recognizes smartphones’ portability and accessibility, as they can be carried anywhere, allowing journalists to cover news stories regardless of their physical location. This aspect is particularly significant for journalists in … State, as it enables them to report from remote or challenging locations, bringing attention to issues that might have been previously overlooked.

Cost-effectiveness: Compared to traditional reporting equipment, smartphones offer a cost-effective alternative for journalists. Professional cameras, audio recorders, and other specialized tools can be expensive and require regular maintenance. However, smartphones provide similar functionalities at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to a wider range of journalists, including those working in smaller news organizations or with limited resources.

Multimedia Storytelling: Smartphones empower journalists to engage in multimedia storytelling by combining text, images, videos, and audio recordings. This enables them to present news stories in a more compelling and immersive manner, capturing the attention of audiences. By leveraging smartphones’ capabilities, journalists in … State can create multimedia content that resonates with their audience and enhances the overall news consumption experience.

Citizen Journalism and Audience Engagement: The study recognizes that smartphones also facilitate citizen journalism, as individuals can use their smartphones to capture and share news events as they unfold. This encourages audience engagement and participation in the news process, transforming consumers into contributors. By embracing smartphones as a news gathering tool, journalists in … State can tap into citizen-generated content, fostering a more inclusive and diverse media landscape.

1.7       Limitation to the Study

It is not an overstatement that a research of this nature cannot be carried out without some hard experiences particularly a beginner like me. However, below are some of the constraints to this study identify at the outset of this research, more limitations can be identify in the course of writing this study. There are many limitations ranging from not knowing where to start, not knowing who to consult or approach for materials not knowing what next to write in various segment of this study and not actually knowing who to put me through in achieving goal of this study among  others are:

  1. Stress from other academic activities is one of the limitations to the research study
  2. Financial constraint to travel to different media houses and that is why choose NUJ chapter … State where I can see many journalists in one place usually on weekends..
  3. Duration for the research study is relatively short compare to the task involved.

1.8       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 … State and are equally registered and certified by the NUJ … State chapter.

1.9       Conclusion

Compared to conventional reporting devices, smartphones offer a cost-effective alternative for journalists. Professional cameras, audio recorders, and other special tools can be expensive and require regular maintenance. However, smartphones offer similar features at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to a wider range of journalists, including those working in smaller news organizations or with limited resources. However, this chapter focused on the general introduction to this study, the core problem this study is investigating, the objectives, scope of the study including their beneficiaries of the study findings.

1.10       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 Bayelsa State and are equally registered and certified by the NUJ Bayelsa 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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