The study investigated the influence of computer in the practice of journalism with specific focus on Lagos State Correspondents Chapel. Information and Communication Technology especially computer has changed mass media production and distribution in Nigeria. The study was anchored on Mediamorphosis theory and Technological Determination Theory emphasising that we move from old technology to the new one while new technology influences the way we do things. A survey research method was used coupled with questionnaire as data collection instrument. The data were analysed in frequency and percentage method. Findings showed that news gathering and dissemination, sound and audio editing, jingles and other related commercials are some of the areas in which the impact of computer have been felt. Also, epileptic power supply, inadequate knowledge of computer and other ICTs; poor training of staff and cost of ICT devices are all possible challenges facing journalists in the effective use of computer and ICT in general. It was recommended that for media organizations particularly journalists to fully appreciate the impact of computer and ICTs in performing its duties, there is need to ensure adequate training of members of staff, finding a solution to epileptic power supply, and also avoid the transmission of false and unverified stories culled from online media are some of ways to address the challenges.
1.1 Background to the study
Broadcasting has been at the fore front of many technological changes, mostly in digitalization and enhancement of existing technologies. For example, digital technologies now permit listeners to obtain traffic information and news per se, while listening to a cassette, compact disc and radio station, etc.
We are all living in a changing world, and over the past many years, we have been conditioned to accept changes in the way we think and relate. Thus, communication between the peoples of the world which sounded impossible before is now becoming a reality in our very eyes, giving practical meaning to Marshall McLuhans view of the world as a global village interlinked by communication technologies. McLuhan, (1964:47) in Olayinka, (2015:2)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are electronic machines and devices. Their application have both computing and communication capabilities. They range from physical devices like digital cameras, tape recorders, computers, sensing devices, scanners, mobile phones, etc to the internet, teleconferencing, satellites, etc. Their application is broad and cuts across all interpersonal and mass communication media, giving more power, robustness and veracity to their operations and performances. The broadcast media particularly the radio has remained the most persuasive, accessible, affordable and flexible mass medium available in cities, urban towns and rural areas. It is often the only mass medium available to majority of the people.
The application of Information and Communication Technologies into broadcasting is therefore designed to boost and enhance qualities of broadcast programmes. It is also believed that the business of broadcasting has been elevated with the application of Information and Communication Technologies.
At whatever level communication in the society is examined, whether intra personal or inter personal, group, or mass communication, a paradox is evident: contemporary human communication is becoming more complex by the day, but simultaneously, it is being simplified by the use of internet and ICT devices.
ICT and other Internet enabled devices have enhanced broadcast media performance in the area of feedback, endless task of information storage, retrieval and updating in the process of mass communication has been made easy by Internet/ ICT, Internet/ICT has significantly enhanced production processes in mass communication by easing communications problems among reportorial, desk, and production crews, Reporters can be anywhere over the world and report live during the live broadcast and Online radio and TV become possible as people all over the world can enjoy radio at anywhere by just logging into the website of news body or download their mobile application on Smartphone (Olayinka, 2015).
It is against this background that the study examines the influence of computer in the operation and practice of journalism with a focus on TVC as a case study with the view to know the extent at which ICTs is influencing their news gathering, programming, programmes processing and distribution in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Going by global trends, which foretell an increase in the employment and the deployment of ICTs in news processing, in order to achieve better efficiency, accuracy, and speed up operations of news processing. Arguably the employment of ICTs in the newsroom and in news processing activities will increase cost, as money would have to be invested into acquiring both hardware and software.
However, when Information and Communication Technology is discussed, it puts people out of jobs. The reverse is often the case. This technology takes over mechanical assignment and frees individuals for more intellectual productive work.
Similarly, if this technology will achieve its overall objective, there is need for faster and more accurate means of solving manual operations of information gathering, processing and information dissemination as provided by ICTs, the complexities of modern technology have produced great mathematical, scientific, and engineering problem and hence, enhanced news processing and reporting.
It is against this background that the research examines how much contributions have Information Communication Technology brought to journalism especially in changing the ways production and distribution of mass media contents.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study is to attempt a pure objective assessment aimed at improving our understanding of the effect of internet on broadcast media performance.
Thus, the purposes of this study are:
i. To examine the extent in which journalists in Lagos State are exposed to the Internet/ICT devices in news gathering and dissemination.
ii. To know whether ICTs have enhanced the performance of Lagos State journalists or not in the recent time.
1.4 Research Questions
The research shall provide answers to the following questions:
i. To what extent are journalists in Lagos State exposed to Information and Communication Technologies for information gathering, processing and dissemination?
ii. How have Information and Communication Technologies enhanced the performance of journalists in Lagos State?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings as a result of this study are expected to provide information that would help media organizations particularly broadcast stations improve with the use of ICTs as well as provide insight to Lagos State journalists.
It will also help the station make necessary amends in the positive direction where they are found to be lacking behind and equally provide model for researchers and institutions of higher learning by serving as a reference point.
It would also help broadcasting stations tackle possible problems associated with the use of Information and Communication Technologies because of its technicality.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study has been limited in scope to the journalists (correspondents) in Lagos State due to time, finance and other logistics. Other factor responsible for the selection of Lagos State correspondents is due to the familiarity of the state to the researcher. The demography of journalists based in Lagos State will be considered before the structuring and distribution of research instrument to respondent, such factors include but not limited to the sex, age, marital status, educational level, knowledge of Internet/ICTs etc.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Assessment: This refers to the proper examination of how the Internet has influenced the practice of journalism particularly in Lagos State correspondents chapter.
Lagos: This entails all equipment and devices employed by Lagos State Correspondents, who are using the internet facilities for their daily operations, such as smartphones and computer that are use in the day to day reportorial and programmes
ICT: This refers to the Information and communication technologies that are used in broadcast media for various purposes to advance their performance and used in accomplishing communication efficiency and effectiveness.
Journalism: This is represented by Lagos State correspondents, it gathers, process and disseminate information to the target audience, especially large and heterogeneous audience particularly those residing in Lagos etc.