ICT AND EFFECTIVE NEWS GATHERING IN COMFORT FM AND SENSOR NEWSPAPER, UYO.
This study examined the role of ICTS ineffective newsgathering in Comfort FM and sensor newspaper Uyo. The general objective was to find out in what ways that the ICTs particularly contribute to the effective gathering of news stories in Comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo. Theories used to explain the relationship between variables in this study are the technological determination theory and the diffusion of innovation theory. The study adopted the survey design because of the small size of the population, the researcher did a census study of the 27 the staff of Comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo. The questionnaire was used as the instrument for collecting data from the respondents. It was found, among others that the majority of the staff of comfort FM and sensor Uyo consider the ICT very effective in newsgathering. In Comfort FM and sensor Newspaper, Uyo's use of the ICTs leads to a better quality of news gathering, it is also relevant in facilitating the speed of newsgathering. It was recommended that the government should give special grants to the acquisition of ICT and training of manpower in public-owned media houses; ICT maintenance culture should be improved, since ICT, like most technologies, is sensitive and should be regularly maintained.
1.1 Background To The Study
There is no doubt the fact that since the advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at the end of the 20th century, there have been multiple convergences of content, computing, telecommunications and broadcasting. They have brought changes in other areas, particularly in communication and other areas bothering on development. Meanwhile, the increasing capacity of ICT has further been empowered by the growth of a global network of computer networks known as the internet. It has squarely impacted the way business is conducted, facilitated learning and knowledge sharing, generated global information flow empowered citizens and communities in ways that have redefined governance, and have created significant wealth and economic growth resulting in a global information society (Baran, 2009, p. 204).
Right from the attempt of man to transmit information from one place to another, the development of communication technologies has indeed enhanced man’s quest for an easier and faster communication platform, thus, one of the greatest modern an invention that has actually transformed the face of the communication sphere in the 21st century is the use of information and communication technologies. Little wonder why Trostrikov (1999, p. 344) cited in Udo (2015, p. 1) support that the “Pace of the change brought by this new phenomenon has had a significant effect on the activities of the mass media worldwide”. Also supporting, Ifeanyi (2012, p. 42) avers that “ICT is perceived to be a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century because it caused and continues to cause major changes in the way we live.
Describing the ICT Nwabueze and Nwabueze (2007, p. 172) say that “Information and communication technologies are simply communication gadgets, hardware, equipment or facilities that have modernized, improved, and ease the exchange of ideas and information of various kinds between and among people within or across distant boundaries/frontiers. “Nwodu (2003), p.5) describes ICT as “a generic name used to refer to a number of communication hardware adopted in ensuring instantaneous dissemination of information and social values across the globe.
The World Bank, according to Rodriguez and Wilson (2000) cited in Udo (2015, p.1) defines ICT as the set of activities that facilitate by electronic means the processing, transmission, and display of information. Marcelle (2000, p.231) describes the ICT as a “Complex varied set of goods, applications, and services used for producing, distributing, processing, and transforming information including telecoms, TV and radio broadcasting, hardware and software, computer services and electronic media”. ICT, thus, represents a cluster of associated technologies and defined by their functional usage in information access and communication, of which one embodiment is the internet.
In the words of Fab-Ukozor (2003, p. 67), ICT “has been applied for some time, especially in voice communication technology; however, recent advancements such as the internet is breaking new ground and introducing new divisions in the achievements and the potentials they offer.
ICT reshapes, re-organizes, and fundamentally restructures working methods, and ultimately the sectors in which they are used. They offer advantages of efficiency, gains, information sharing, faster knowledge accumulation, dissemination and application. They also permit new, collaborative work methods through their potentials for networking (Udo, 2015, p.2).
Meanwhile, as far as the digital age is concerned, the benefit accrued from ICT is enormous and one sector that is benefiting greatly from the use of ICT is the media journalist is beginning to have a new way of packaging and disseminating news to the public.
Ogunsola and Aboyade (2005, p. 26) are of the opinion that “with the use of ICT, news gathering, processing and reporting is immediate, timely and helps reduce the space and time constraints”. The ICT has revolutionized newsgathering, processing, packaging, and reporting. There is no doubt that the application of ICT in both the broadcast and print industry is to enhance and improve news delivery as timely as possible. Adiqwe (2010, p. 15) notes that ICT in broadcasting and publication is on the increase by reporters and editors because of its benefits being recognized at every point of the entire supply chain of news. It has helped improve news reportage”.
Gapsiso and Wilson (2014, p. 1121) note that the “Computerization of editorial duties has caused a real upheaval in the working habits but has also marked a genuine development in press work. Computers fascinated some people, and frighten other and has fastened the operations of the mass media, with particular reference to the broadcast and print media of communication”. The possibility for journalist everywhere to type their own articles, type copy and enter it directly into a the computer system has completely transformed the profession, keyboard operators previously responsible for inputting copy and who themselves had replaced traditional typesetters have already gone in some countries and will disappear in the main time, elsewhere. Little wonder why Silverstone (2000) notes that “Media are changing have changed with the advent of ICT.
Underscoring the relevance of ICT in newsrooms Muilia Zambian WWE developer said that “once fully adopted and adapted the ICT will transform the newsroom into cabled and networked centers with all journalists discharging stores, into a network, editors picking them before sending them to the page, designers, or casters in the case of electronic media. Basically, the newsroom will be able to efficiently co-ordinate material communicate easily will all members of the staff and easily send materials for publication or broadcasting. For instance, instead of individuals getting copies from one desk to another the ICT will enable copy and articles to flow on a local area network (LAN) drastically reducing the time-lag in passing materials.
Meanwhile, the broadcast media, which concern the transmission of sounds and pictures on the electronic screen as in television; or sound as in radio, particularly yield themselves naturally to the need for ITC because of their great reach. Television, for one, is a technology that enables the transmission of full-motion broadcast to remote receivers. All broadcast media beat time and conquer distance and thus require a lot of scientific and technological assistance to drive their programs; on the other hand, they require the ICT in many ways. (Udo, 2015, p. 4)
The the print audience is growing sophisticated and the threats of online newspapers have kept traditional newspapers on their toes. Deadlines are becoming shorter. The interactive mobile technologies are on the neck of traditional newspapers reaching out to the mobile and computer network sources of consuming information. Thus, to stay relevant, the newspaper industry requires a lot of scientific and technological assistance to drive their publications, particularly in the area of newsgathering. This makes the use of the ICT expedient in comfort FM and the sensor newspaper - the broadcast and print media establishments owned and operated by private individuals. On this note, this study examines the role of ICTS ineffective newsgathering in comfort FM and sensor newspapers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
How much the ICTs have impacted the various “Bustop” of mass communication, particularly, news, gathering, news editing, news processing, news dissemination, news transmission, and news reception are still up for scrutiny. Take a newspaper, for instance, being the oldest conventional medium of mass communication, newspapers have faced numerous challenges ranging from change in audience preference, the growing sophistication of the audience to the invention of more convenient media, all of which have added more, impetus to how newspapers should gather news stories to meet these challenges. The broadcast media is however inclusive of this trend.
Broadcasting has the capacity of reaching and influencing a large number of people, and hence should have had massive transformation and development since the surge in ICT. Comfort FM a private provider of broadcasting service and the sensor newspaper are regularly mentioned in terms of how much they have aligned themselves to the information explosion occasioned by the ICTS.
Some have accused private media such as them to underutilize the ICTS as opposed to the private media establishments. Therefore, while these talks of ICTS having positive impacts in various activities of newspaper and broadcast industries have gained momentum, in what ways do the ICTS particularly contribute to the effective gathering of news stories in comfort FM and sensor newspapers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study were to:
i. Establish the extent of the use of ICTS in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper Uyo.
ii. Examine the various ICTS applied in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
iii. Determine the effectiveness of ICT use in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
iv. Finding out the challenges faced in application of ICT in newsgathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions guided this study.
i. To what extent are ICT used in news gathering in comfort FM.
ii. What are the various ICTS applied in news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper?
iii. How effective are ICTs used in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo?
iv. What are the challenges faced in the application of ICT in newsgathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis which guided this study was stated in this alternate as follows:
Hi: Application of ICTS is associated with effective news gathering in comfort FM and sensor newspaper, Uyo.
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This the study holds immense significance to the following, first, findings of the study will bring to the limelight what undermines the underutilization of the new communication technology in Nigeria journalism profession, if there is any.
Second the study will bring to the consciousness of media managers the power of ICT and how it changes the traditional way of journalism. Third, newspaper and radio station owners and managers will use the findings in making their ICT a better assets to their operations..