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IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERN JOURNALISM

IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERN JOURNALISM

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Undeniably, social media platforms have become integral to the practice of journalism, offering new opportunities and challenges for journalists and news organizations. This impact can be observed in various aspects of journalism, including news gathering, storytelling, audience engagement, and the business model of news organizations (Naomi Mutoka, 2023).

According to Manuel, Scheffauer & Homero(2023), news organizations require sustainable business models with reliable revenue streams to perform their intended function in liberal democracies. Since the digital transition, however, many citizens have considerably shown high reluctance to pay for digital content, consequently jeopardizing journalists’ watchdog role and substantially eroding media independence.

Social media is a web-based service that allows users to build either public or semipublic profiles within a controlled environment (Ashfaq and Zeenat, 2023). It has captivated the public’s attention and opened a new channel of communication for them since its inception.

 

As the years have passed, the use of social media has spread to a wider range of audiences. In the current context, literally every person in every corner of the globe uses social media. The number of users of some of the popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram, is increasing at an extraordinary rate every day.

One significant impact of social media on modern journalism is its role in news gathering. Journalists now use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to monitor breaking news, gather eyewitness accounts, and access real-time updates from sources on the ground. These platforms have also facilitated the discovery of new story ideas and sources, enabling journalists to uncover stories that may have gone unnoticed in traditional newsrooms. Additionally, social media has provided journalists with a direct line to their audiences, allowing them to crowdsource information and engage with the public in new ways.

 

IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERN JOURNALISM

Furthermore, social media has transformed storytelling in journalism by offering multimedia tools for reporting. Journalists can now incorporate user-generated content, such as photos and videos shared on social media, into their reporting. This has enriched the storytelling process by providing a more immersive and authentic experience for audiences. Additionally, social media has enabled journalists to reach wider audiences through the viral nature of content sharing, amplifying the impact of their reporting.

Audience engagement has also been significantly impacted by social media in modern journalism. News organizations use social media platforms to distribute their content and interact with their audience in real time. This direct engagement allows for immediate feedback and conversation around news stories, creating a more interactive relationship between journalists and their readers or viewers. Furthermore, social media analytics provide valuable insights into audience preferences and behaviors, informing editorial decisions and content strategies.

Moreover, the business model of news organizations has been influenced by social media, as it has shifted advertising revenues and reader subscriptions online.

 

Social media platforms serve as distribution channels for news content, but they also compete with traditional news outlets for advertising dollars. This has led to a reevaluation of revenue streams and business strategies within the journalism industry.

Social media have being boosting electronic communication. It is therefore worthy of emphasis that it is the interactive and collaborative nature of these internet based tools that attracted the word “social”. This truism underscores Nwodu (2017:7) position revolutions taking place in communication technologies have further reduced Mcluhan’s global village level to ‘’ a tiny global family’’ which is the lowest level of social groupings.

Nwabueze (2010) notes that social media platforms lay emphasis and dialogue or two way active contribution by both sender and receiver in message development. This underscore why for the social media we have user unlike the mainstream where we characteristically have access to new media technologies with internet connectivity, you can only qualify as a user. Because of its interactive nature whereby you can post comments online and interact with others who are as well connected irrespective of geographical locations. This underscore the populating of user generated contents as users generate contents for online interaction (Obar and Build man 2015).

 

Social media is therefore what it is because of advent of the internet. Without internet therefore,  perhaps there would have been be anything like social media since all social media platforms function via internet access. This underscores Kaplan and Hamenlin (2010) definition of social media as a media that use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologue into social media dialogue. The impact of social media in modern journalism. 

On his part,  Keitzman and Kristopher (2011) explain social media as “computer mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and showing of information, ideas carrier interest and other forms of expression, via vital communities and network.

 

Social media via therefore differ from the traditional mass media like newspapers magazines, radio, television and film in view of its web- bases. One outstanding difference is that social media platforms like facebook, twitter, 2go, Instagram and others make maximal interaction between people irrespective of geographical barriers.

Journalism on the other hand is the deliberate and conscious efforts to gather information, collating and analyzing data for the purpose of informing, entertaining and educating the people with a view of making an appropriate decision (Casimn Akimrefi, 2002).

Journalism is also an investigation and reporting events, issues and trends to a large audience. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience about topic’s ranging from government and business organization to cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainer. The field of journalism include, editing, photo journalism and documentary.

 

1.2  Statement of the problem

The impact of social media in today’s world of communication cannot be over looked. Since it’s arrival social media have positively changed the way journalists work, how stories are developed and disseminated. Without reservation, social media have had positive impact without doubt. However, there are also concerns about their impact: productivity and the disruption it could have on journalists working patterns. Social media have created a dependency among those working in the media and many are unable to do without them.

Social media have become journalist’s lexicon and it seems sourcing information has overtaken self- promotion as a primary social activity.

While journalists are growing more sophisticated in their use of social media and are for instance, using a great variety to sources for news, some journalistic activities, their engagement with their audience, their products and the quality of their works. Based on these contrasting views, the question. This research seen to unearth how social media affected the journalists with regards to their journalistic duties

 

1.3  Objectives of the study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of social media in modern journalism. Specifically, the objectives of the study are:

  1. To ascertain the type of social media tools which journalists prefer.
  2. To know if journalists are exposed to social media networking tools.
  3. To determine whether social media have enhanced the productivity of journalists.

 

1.4  Research Question

The following research questions guided the study

  1. What type of social media tool do Journalists prefer?.
  2. To what extend are Journalists exposed to social media networking tools?
  3. What are social media productivity of Journalists?

 

Significance of the study

This study will be of incalculable to Journalists, media organizations, news agencies, editors, lectures and students in the field of Journalism and mass communication of well as other researchers who will want to embark on same study as this. The impact of social media in modern journalism. 

This study will help Journalists to source useful information using social media networking tools as well as provide them with a guilds an write online stories.

It will also help journalists to interact with audience and identify their information needs.

It also help journalists who have rarely social media to do so in order to increase their productivity.

 

Conclusion

The use of social media networking tools have made Journalists activities Faster satisfactory for Journalists. Although some Journalists still require  the basic computer training to become conversant with social media networking tools, majority of journalists are very much at home using the social media networking.

 

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Peter Hezekiah

I am Peter Hezekiah, a Nigerian. A graduate of Economics/Education. I'm the Editor in projectboss.com.ng (A online company that deals with writing of final year project and provision of project materials of any topic to final year project students). My personal email is lawsonpeter10@gmail.com. My personal number; +2347068634102

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