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The Impact of Internet on Journalism Practice in the Context of Newsgathering, Processing and Dissemination in Kano State, Nigeria

Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim*1, Ahmed Lawal Gusau2, Salisu Uba3, Ahmad Muhammad Nasir1

1Department of Mass Communication, Lecturer and Research Scholar at University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069 Borno State, Nigeria

2Department of Mass Communication, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara Zamfara State, Nigeria

3Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Polytechnic PMB 3401, Kano State, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim
Department of Mass Communication, Lecturer and Research Scholar at University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069 Borno State, Nigeria
Tel: 002348035166525
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 31, 2021; Accepted Date: September 15, 2021; Published Date:September 22, 2021

Citation: Ibrahim AM, Gusau AL, Uba S, Nasir AM (2021) The Impact of Internet on Journalism Practice in the Context of Newsgathering, Processing and Dissemination in Kano State, Nigeria. Global Media Journal, 19:43.

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Abstract

Advancements in the use of the internet have substantially permeated the practice of journalism, especially in the realms of newsgathering, news processing, and news dissemination. Despite the availability of research and vast number of literatures on the impacts of the internet on journalism, little or no research exists on the impacts of internet on the practice of journalism in Kano State, Nigeria, focusing on newsgathering, news processing, and news dissemination. Hence, the urge for this research gap to be closed, a situation to led to the carrying of this study. The study had one specific objective as follows: to examine how the internet has influenced the practice of journalism in the areas of (a) news gathering, (b) news processing, and (c) news dissemination in Kano State, Nigeria. Using quantitative research design, specifically survey, with sample of 123 practicing journalists drawn from the population of 800 journalists and staff at the Editorial Department of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) offices in Kano State, questionnaire was used to collect data and analyze using descriptive methods (tables of frequency and percentage). The study found that the internet has affected journalistic practices both positively and negatively in Kano State and has made sourcing news stories easier. However, as poor information can also be easily spread, which would reduce the credibility of journalists, this study recommends that media organizations must fashion out ways to replace and boost their resources which the internet has taken over.

Keywords

Impact of internet; Journalism practice; Mass media; Newsgathering; News processing; News dissemination; Kano state; Nigeria

Introduction

As the internet changes the face of communication journalists are beginning to have new ways of packaging processing and dissemination of information and news content to the public. The internet has made the world smaller for journalists to explore. This wonderful technology has also made research on various subject matters available via chatting and exchange of messages. This has created new markets and form of journalism where journalists specialize and work as online journalist, content managers or editors for particular websites. The internet is pushing journalists to learn new skills on how to add content to web site, blog and create hypertext links the coming of the internet is also leading journalists to basically new photographic skills such as how to take digital pictures and upload them to computer or add them to blog and website. Internet has made it easy for journalists to research on any information through the access of internet from their gadget or cyber cafes, libraries, and media resource centers and most of them use the internet to send E-mail. Beyond sending e-mail to headquarters and receiving instructions from the same internet has created few opportunities for journalists to sell stories not only to other media houses locally but across the globe.

The Internet has certainly opened a new chapter in the relationships between publishers and journalists as regards professional identity: a story of modest wages, of precarious jobs, and of extreme flexibility [1]. At the same time, the Internet has presented readers with an opportunity to re-describe their role. Readers use, or potentially can use, the Internet to redefine their relationships with information, news, and newspapers, overcoming the importance of their assigned role. However, contradictions arise in the historical dynamics of this relationship. On the one hand, readers could become producers of news, ideas, and original reflexivity, and so they potentially have become competitors for both editors and journalists (within the limits of their individual competence); but on the other hand, they potentially have become unpaid, external content producers [2].

As in many other sectors, including the press industry, workers (journalists) have reacted with ambivalence towards the Internet and what this tool represents in their professional identity. They have been the first actors in many countries to inform readerships about computers and the Internet, and to help form a kind of information literacy [2]. But they also have reacted with defensive attitudes and still refer to traditional professional role conceptions. Journalists, both print and online, continue to rate the interpretative/investigative role and the disseminator role as the most important.

Thus even if journalists’ tasks have changed, they continue to rate as crucial for their profession the investigation of governmental decisions, the analyses of complex issues, and the ability to get relevant and verified news to the public as quickly as possible. If a few years ago the debate concerned the distinction between traditional journalists and new ‘‘online’’ journalists, more recently the focus has shifted to the potential demise of the reporter who risks being replaced, in print as well as online, by new kinds of worker, with less protection and fewer rights, who can be more accurately labelled news producers rather than journalists [2].

This project is carried out to examine the influence of internet on journalism practice in kano state, Nigeria. It will be used to find out how much of the modern-day journalist makes use of the internet and to find out how much the internet has influenced the modern-day journalism in Kano State, Nigeria. Also, to determine how public’s consumption of digital news affects journalism practice.

Previous studies cantered on examining the Influence of Internet on Journalism Practice in Kano State and, most of the studies; consider the use of the internet in many or almost all ramifications that. Similarly, the methodological most of the previous studies examined conduct a secondary analysis on data, while some survey and content analysis. None of the literature reviewed adopted and online internet survey considering that the subject under study deals with the use of internet on Journalism Practice. Using an online internet survey will grant the researcher a valid data considering that only those involved in processing the internet and sourcing for data and other necessities that those not necessary requires the need of journalism and their sort of practices, this category will have the access to the questionnaire. Therefore, this study set to fill this research gap by investigating how the internet has influenced journalism practice. The internet as a medium of media communication is it for everyone or for just some set of people. Moreover, has the internet added positively or negatively to the dissemination of news to the public? These are the identified problems of the study I intends to find solution In specific terms, however, the aim of this study was to examine the influence of internet on journalism practice in Kano State, Nigeria. To achieve this, the researcher aimed to achieve the following specific objectives: to examine how the internet has influenced the practice of journalism in the areas of (a) news gathering, (b) news processing, and (c) news dissemination in Kano State, Nigeria.

Literature Review

The concept of internet and journalism practice

Technically, the Internet helps ensure that stories are free of factual errors. If I am doing a story about a certain personality in the entertainment industry, and I am not sure about the name of their first album or the year they released their first album I just log on to the internet, rather than wasting time going to the archives” (Tamuka, print media entertainment reporter). The downside of this is, however, that because of its anonymity, the internet creates opportunities for plagiarism. Plagiarism takes several forms, but the main ones are lifting text from parts of a story without acknowledgement or taking someone’s story ideas and adapt them to the local context. The following statements are illustrative: If I am under pressure I can just copy and paste without acknowledging my sources. Ricky, Print Media lxiv some people who visit some unfamiliar websites and copy whole stories without acknowledging their sources. Tinotenda, Print Media.

One far reaching issue related to plagiarism is that traditional journalism ethics is the perception that the internet was replacing the culture of rigor associated with traditional journalism ethics with what most respondents described as armchair journalism. There was a consensus that the internet promotes ‘lazy journalism’ because instead of venturing outside and interact with news sources, journalists were now relying on the internet. Some respondents pointed out the risk of producing what they described as a Google journalist’, i.e., one who relies on the internet for everything, resulting in them getting out of touch with real people. While the ethical implications of these practices are not easy to pin down with precision, some sentiments from respondents suggest that fact-checking, accuracy and most importantly rigors, which are the hallmarks of traditional journalism ethics, might be under threat. The following statements from some respondents are instructive: The internet promotes a culture of not digging deep, because everything is available, so scribes tend to information at hand, even if it is not factual. I am fast losing touch with my list of reliable sources that I used to have before the advent of the internet.

The internet has given room to fictitious and malicious stories. For example, one person started a story that Gono was dead, and it travelled like veldt fire on the internet. Tonderai Print Media. Whatever influence on ethics is attributable to the internet one needs to be more nuanced because the adoption and use of technology is mediated by a host of factors, and commercial considerations are one of those. Therefore, it is instructive to note that most journalists who claim to have violated journalism ethics cite pressure of deadlines or lack of adequate time. This is because the prevailing logic of the media under the market system is dictated more by the profit making imperative than anything else. This is an issue which warrants a separate investigation. Respondents also cited both positive and negative impacts of cellular phones on journalism ethics but tended to accentuate the positives. However, it took a bit of probing for them to mention the negatives. Although most of the positives about the cellular phone relate more to general journalistic practices one key aspect relating that was recurrent was the fact that the cellular phone has enhanced the ability of journalists to check and verify information before publishing, thus ensuring accuracy, balance, fairness, impartiality, and completeness of stories. I am able to phone my sources to cross check facts, figures and names while I am doing the story. At the same time, I can also give people concerned the lxvi right of reply so that I cover both sides of the story.

There are no more excuses about people is not reachable ‘at the time of going to press’’. Patricia, Print Media. However, some people were quick to point out the negative impact of the cellular phone on journalism ethics. One respondent talked of ‘a bad habit’ by some journalists who, when they are under pressure of deadlines fake interviews, whereby all their sources are either “highly placed sources that refused to speak on the record for professional reasons” or simply “an anonymous source close to this newspaper”. Some respondents also spoke of increasing cases of colleagues who, because of pressure of work, or laziness publish a story without giving parties the right of reply on the false pretext that ‘their cellular phone was on voicemail.

The gradual weakening of interpersonal relations between the journalist his or her sources and the resultant weakening bond between the two appears to be cultivating a liberal and permissive ethical culture, whereby not being reachable via the mobile phone is equated with ‘not being available at all’. The other problematic issue concerning cellular phone is the issue of ‘news tips’ from anonymous members of the public. Respondents spoke of some of these ‘news tips’ have in the past turned out to be hoaxes or mere rumours. One respondent had this to say: Sometimes we receive news tips from members of the public via SMS.

According to Uzochukwu (2014) there is always a compelling urge to publish at the earliest possible time, but more often we discover that such stories are based on hearsay. If you are afraid of losing a ‘juicy’ story you may end up publishing it, only to discover that it was a rumour. An example is a story that has been doing the rounds that Gono (Gideon) has died. That story has travelled the whole world through the internet and yet it was just a rumour. That is how some newspapers end up publishing falsehoods and then retract them the next morning. Jeffrey, Print Journalism Reporter.

However, technology alone cannot be blamed for the erosion of traditional journalism ethics and practice. An assessment of the real motives for not following proper ethical procedures (at least from what most respondents say) is that the decision whether to publish now or later is tied to commercial considerations. That is, ‘if we do not publish today because we cannot get hold of the people concerned the story will be taken by another publication that does not care about ethics, so goes the logic. Hence, our understanding of how new technology is shaping, and reshaping journalism ethics requires that we look at the whole context in which journalism is practiced today, rather than focusing one aspect. In terms of positives email is praised for having improved the quality of stories. Email enables journalists to contact long distance news sources, particularly those outside the country. This enables them to publish balanced and objective stories, the hallmark of ethical journalism.

Empirical review

Influence of internet on media content: On the Web, radio and television sites deliver audio, video and text and online newspapers can be read, seen, or listened to, blurring the distinctions among the media Radio and TV content is limited to the amount of available airtime and print by the number of pages. These restrictions disappear on the web. No space constraints or title limits. Cyber-delivered news and entertainment are not confined to seconds of time or column inches of space but are free-flowing, with lengths determined by the writers or web-page designers.

The Web, however, is limited by bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be sent all at once through a communication path, such as a telephone line. It determines the amount of data that can electronically flow through the Net, but it affects the speed of information flow than the amount of content allowed. Bandwidth limitations are becoming less of a concern, especially with the growing trend of fibre optics.

The decentralized nature of information dissemination on the Web means that traditional methods of source checking, editing, and establishing accuracy and credibility may not be used. This brings up the question of source credibility. Generally, when using traditional media, people are aware of the information source. Audience relies on these sources and believe them to be trustworthy, accurate and objective. But how reliable and accurate is Web information especially when posted by an unknown source? So, there is a source credibility problem with some information available on the net.

Influence of internet on audience: Radio and Television are single-source media that reach large audiences simultaneously, while others, like telephones are intended to reach only one receiver at a time. The Internet has the capability of reaching people all over the world simultaneously e.g., thousands of web users access the same site at the same time.

Influence of internet on message delivery time: Media can be differentiated according to whether information is transmitted and received in an asynchronous or synchronous manner. For asynchronous media, there is a time delay between message transmission and reception e.g., Newspapers, books, magazines, videotapes, CDs and films are asynchronous media. For synchronous media, there is no perceptible delay between the time messages are sent and the time they are received. Media like radio, television, telephones, are synchronous. Internet combines both asynchronous and synchronous resources. E-mail, Usenet, News groups are asynchronous because messages are stored until accessed by receivers.

Internet chat rooms and virtual conferences where users type in messages simultaneously and directly to other users and Internet telephone are synchronous media. Interactivity also comes along with synchrony. However, not all synchronous media are interactive media e.g., radio and television broadcasts are synchronous but are not considered interactive. Phone-In programs on radio and television talk shows are more of feedback mechanism than true interactivity.

Influence of internet on Information display and distribution: Display refers to the technological means-video, audio, text, used to present information to audience/receivers. Distribution refers to the method used to carry information to end users -overthe- air-broadcasting, coaxial cable fibre optic cable or electrical power lines. Television audio and visual images are broadcast over the air, carried by coaxial or fibre optic cable or delivered via the airwaves. Newspapers and magazines are text-based printed media distributed by physically transporting them. The Web display audio, visual and textual information distributed from one computer to another via a complex network of telephone lines and cables. The web thus displays and distributes information using a combination of technological means and electronic methods.

The Internet as a Global New Media According to a recent report by the Pew Research Centre (2012), it was highlighted that in the digital era, news has become omnipresent. Americans access it in multiple formats on multiple platforms on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone.

The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get news on a typical day, including national TV, local TV, the internet, local newspapers, radio, and national newspapers. Some 46% of Americans say they get news from four to six media platforms on a typical day. Just 7% get their news from a single media platform on a typical day. The internet is at the centre of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. Six in ten Americans (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day, and the internet is now the third most popular news platform, behind local television news and national television news.

The process Americans use to get news is based on foraging and opportunism. They seem to access news when the spirit moves them, or they have a chance to check up on headlines. At the same time, gathering the news is not entirely an open-ended exploration for consumers, even online where there are limitless possibilities for exploring news. While online, most people say they use between two and five online news sources and 65% say they do not have a single favourite website for news. Some 21% say they routinely rely on just one site for their news and information (Pew Research Centre, 2012).

In this new multi-platform media environment, people’s relationship to news is becoming portable, where 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones; personalized, where 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them, and participatory, where 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

As a result of the advent of the Internet, people’s experience of news, especially on the internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads. For instance, more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails. The rise of the internet as a news platform has been an integral part of these changes. This report discusses two significant technological trends that have influences news consumption behaviour: First, the advent of social media like social networking sites and blogs has helped the news become a social experience in fresh ways for consumers. People use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news. Second, the ascent of mobile connectivity via smart phones has turned news gathering and news awareness into an anytime, anywhere affair for a segment of a video news watchers (Pew Research Centre, 2012).

However, Amaku (2012) elucidates that the practice of journalism in the modern-day Nigeria is no longer an all-comers affair. Tertiary education combined with adequate professional training, as well as continuous skills acquisition is the hallmark of a modern-day journalist. To succeed in the practice of journalism, a 21st century practitioner has no choice but to keep abreast of information technologies that have encroached and impacted on traditional journalism practice. This is not only advisable, but also imperative for the journalist’s continued survival and relevance in an industry where the world no longer waits for the newsprint or radio/TV to break the news.

The world realizes more, these days, on the “new media” to provide on-the-go, real-time information on the latest happenings around the world. New media have been described as interactive forms of communication that use the Internet, including podcasts, simple syndication (RSS) feeds, social networks, text messaging, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds and more! Analysts say new media make it possible for anyone to create, modify, and share content with others, using relatively simple tools that are often free or inexpensive. New media require a computer or mobile device with Internet access (Amaku, 2012).

The news agency of Nigeria and online journalism: The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established in 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian media and public. No newspaper, magazine, radio, or television organization has the resources to enable it to cover a country the size of Nigeria effectively. Only a news agency such as NAN, with its network of offices, correspondents and communication facilities can do so. It has the capacity to report all major events of national or regional significance everywhere in the country and make news on them available to its clients within the shortest time possible (Uzochukwu 2014). Nigerian media organizations have already established a strong presence in cyberspace. These media houses have continued to be veritable sources of news and information to both Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, though they lack the resources of their foreign counterparts in terms of access to technology.

According to Nworah (2005) cited in Uzochukwu (2014) the internet has led to a decrease in the revenue of some of the media organizations in Nigeria, while at the same time increasing their costs, as money would have to be invested into setting up such web sites and paying the staff that would constantly maintain them. Nigerian advertisers have not yet started taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the internet. Journalists have benefited from the internet, it has made newsgathering easier, and journalists can now file in their reports easily from any part of Nigeria where there is internet access. The internet has also provided Nigerian journalists with international exposure, though lack of adequate training and upgrading of the skills of Nigerian and other African journalists may continue to hinder their progress and recognition in the world stage. Likewise, Nigerian journalists can read the writings of their counterparts around the world (Uzochukwu 2014).

Another major trend that has emerged in journalism practice in Nigeria as regards the Internet is the rise of independent media, these Internet sites are now competing with the established newspapers’ websites in the provision of news and information to Nigerians at home and abroad. The author concludes that since the internet is still evolving in Nigeria and is yet to reach the adoption levels already achieved in the western countries, there will still be other unfolding consequences on the practice of journalism in Nigeria, but for sure there will be no going back. Thus, journalists and newspaper organizations should embrace its use fully while at the same time taking full advantages of the opportunities it presents, as can be seen and is already the case in the developed countries (Uzochukwu, 2014).

Editorial Operations: NAN began editorial operations on October 2, 1978, and has since then extended its coverage to all the geopolitical zones, states and local government areas of Nigeria and countries like Britain, US, South Africa, China etc. (Uzochukwu, 2014).

NAN Subscribers: NAN provides news and information to a wide variety of subscribers. Its principal clients are media organizations such as newspapers, radio, television stations which depend on it for a significant proportion of their news output each day. Others are embassies, government agencies, political organizations, and private corporate establishments.

NAN Editorial Products: The editorial products of the agency include news, features, specialized reports, photographs, short message services, audio and video news materials. NAN, with its online portal has made it possible for subscribers to gather news stories. Subscribers just by a click on NAN portal following the required instructions would get the desired stories for publication in their various media outfits. The Internet as well as online journalism has made this possible, making easier for media organizations to gather news without much stress. This has its own disadvantages because most NAN subscribers do not recruit or fail to employ reporters, and this increases the unemployed in the labour market. xliv consequently, although existing studies looked at how the new media which gave rise to online journalism has affected the general operations of media organizations both positively and negatively, they did not consider the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and ways to improve the organization (Uzochukwu, 2014).

Theoretical Review

Technological Determinism Theory: Technological Determination is one of the bases (theory) upon which this work is anchored. The theory states that media technologies shape how we as individuals in a society think, feel act and how a society operates as we move from one technology age to another. Griffin (2000) elaborate McLuhan’s theory of 1963 that we learn, feel, and think the way we do because of the message we receive through the current technology that is available. It is a reductionist theory that aims to provide a causative link between technology and a society’s nature. It tries to explain as to whom or what could have a controlling power in human affairs. The theory questions the degree to which human thought or action is influenced by technological factors

Technological determinism manifests itself at various levels initially it starts with the introduction of newer technologies which introduces various changes and at times these changes can also lead to a loss of existing knowledge as well. For example, the introduction of new media technology which is the internet, has seen the gradual loss of use and purchase of traditional media most especially newspaper and magazines. Therefore, technology is also influencing the level of communication and information sourcing in a society.

Technological Determinism and Media: New media are not only an addition to existing media, but they are also new technologies and therefore do have a deterministic factor as well. Marshall McLuhan made a famous statement that “the medium is the message.” This means that the medium used to communicate influences the mind of the receiver. The introduction of newsprint, television and the internet has all shown how technological advances have an impact on the society in which we live in.

Criticism of Technological Determinism: A critique of technological determinism is that technology never forces itself on members of the society. Man creates technology and chooses to use them. He invents television and chooses to view it. There is no imposition on the part of the technology to be used rather technology requires people to participate or involve themselves at some point. The choice of using technology and experiencing its effects therefore lies in the hands of persons.

Methods

Research design, research location

This research employs a quantitative approach. Research design is seen as a blueprint for conducting a study with maximum control over factors that may interfere with the validity of the finding (Burns & Grove 2003). This study aims at collecting information from residents of Kano State and other possible available necessities to firm the purpose of my research. The researcher used a quantitative method. Qualitative method enables the researcher to get an in-depth data on the Influence of Internet on Media Practice in Kano State, Nigeria. Quantitative method will enable the researcher to measure effectiveness of the communication strategy by administering questionnaires to selected Media practitioners’ vivid information [3]. The research location for this study was Kano State. The data for the study was collected from selected media practitioners in Kano. In the same vein, media personals were selected because at the state level, they are entailed with the ideology and necessary experience to provide.

Sample size, sampling technique

Gujbawu et al. (2012) justified the need to select manageable sample. Gujbawu noted that, it is not generally feasible to interview the entire population due to resource availability and time constraint. Using the simplified formula for proportion (Taro Yamane), the sample size was determined.

image

n = the sample size

N = the population size

e = acceptable sampling error

Therefore:

image

image

n = 123

Therefore, the sample size for this study was 123 respondents to be administered the questionnaire [4].

Sampling is a technique which involves taking a representative portion of the population and using the data collected from this portion as research information, which result can be generalized on the entire population at the end of the study. In other words, the sample represents the entire population of the study [5]. The researcher used probability sampling technique using the Taro Yamane formula of proportion to select respondents. These respondents are residents of Kano State.

Research instrument, method of data collection, and method of data analysis

Questionnaires were used as instrument for data collection in this study. The reason for using questionnaire is because the respondents can read and write. Also, another reason is based on the opinion of Reinharz (2015) that questionnaire is a good instrument to seek the necessary information the researcher needs to firm the purpose of his research. Okoro cited in Felicia (2012) acknowledge that the questionnaire has substantial merits for gathering information from people about their opinions, attitudes, behaviors, and perception on a given phenomenon [6].

The researcher administered questionnaires to selected residents of Kano. The data collected through the questionnaires were carefully analyzed to interpret and draw a conclusion. In analyzing the data collected, the researcher used quantitative method of data analysis. According to Babbie (2004), quantitative analysis is the numerical representation and manipulation of observations for the purpose of describing and explaining the situation those observations reflect. The feedbacks collected from the respondents through questionnaire were quantitatively coded using simple, frequency table [7-9]. Results and Discussion

Results and Discussion

Respondents’ demographic information

Table 1 shows the age distribution of respondents. In the table, 5 respondents representing 4.1 % of the total population out of the entire respondents are within the age of 16-20 years, 32 respondents representing 26.0% of the total population are within the age bracket of 21-25 years, 47 respondents representing 38.2% of the total population are within the age bracket 26-30 years. 24 respondents representing 19.5% of the total population are within the age bracket 31-35 years. 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population are within the age bracket 36 years or older [10].

Table 1 also shows the gender distribution of respondents. In the table, 70 respondents representing 56.9% of the total population out of the entire respondents are Male, 53 respondents representing 43.1% of the total population are females.

Table 1 also shows the marital status of respondents. In the table, 40 respondents representing 32.5% of the total population out of the entire respondents are Married, 69 respondents representing 56.1% of the total population are Single, 5 respondents representing 4.1% of the total population are Divorced. 6 respondents representing 4.9% of the total population are separated. 3 respondents representing 2.4% of the total population are widowed. Table 1

Furthermore, Table 1 shows the “Educational Background of respondents”. In the table, 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population stated They have SSCE/WAEC/GCE, 20 respondents representing 16.3% of the total population stated They have OND/Certificate, 58 respondents representing 47.2% of the total population stated they own HND/Bachelor’s degree, 23 respondents representing 18.7% of the total population of the population stated they owned a PGD/Master’s degree, while 7 respondents representing 5.7% of the total population Stated they owned a PHD.

Table 1 also shows the responses of respondents on occupational status. In the table, 13 respondents representing 10.6% of the total population stated they were Student, 70 respondents representing 56.9% of the total population stated they were civil servants, 25 respondents representing 20.3% of the total population stated they were self-employed. 25 respondents representing 20.3% of the total population stated they were educationist, 25 respondents representing 20.3% of the total population stated they were businessperson.

Variable Frequency Percentage
Age
16-20 5 4.1
21-25 32 26.0
26-30 47 38.2
31-35 24 19.5
36 and above 15 12.2
Gender
Male 70 56.9
Female 53 43.1
Marital Status
Married 40 32.5
single 69 56.1
Divorce 5 4.1
Separated 6 4.9
Widowed 3 2.4
Educational Background
SSCE/WAEC/GCE 15 12.2
OND/Certificate 20 16.3
HND/Bachelor’s degree  58 47.2
PGD/Master’s degree 23 18.7
PhD   7 5.7
Occupation
Student 13 10.6
Civil servant 70 56.9
Self-employed 25 20.3
Educationist 9 7.3
Businessperson 6 4.9

Table 1: Respondents’ demographics.

Table 2 shows the responses of respondents on “How many years have you been practicing journalism?”. In the table, 26 respondents representing 21.1% of the total population stated they have been practicing journalism for 1 to 3 years, 58 respondents representing 47.2% of the total population stated they have been practicing journalism for 4 to 7 years, 21 respondents representing 17.1% of the total population stated they have been practicing journalism for 8 to 11 years, 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population stated they have been practicing journalism for 8 to 11 years and more, 7 respondents representing 5.7% of the total population stated they have been practicing journalism for 16 years or above. Table 2

Options Response Percentage
1-3 years 26 21.1
4-7 years 58 47.2
8-11 years 21 17.1
12-15 15 12.2
16 years or above 7 5.7

Table 2: Number of years practicing journalism.

Table 3 shows the responses of respondents on “Which category of media do you work for/work with?”. In the table, 93 respondents representing 75.6% of the total population stated they work in Broadcast, 27 respondents representing 22.0% of the total population stated they work in print, 2 respondents representing 1.6% of the total population stated they work in online media, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they work in All of the above. 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they work in other organization. Table 3

Options Response Percentage
Broadcast 93 75.6
Print 27 22.0
Online media 2 1.6
All of the above 0 0
Others 0 0

Table 3: The category of media the respondents worked.

Table 4 shows the responses of respondents on “How long have you been using the internet?”. In the table, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have been using the Internet for 1-2 years, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have been using the Internet for 3-4 years, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have been using the Internet for 5-6 years, 123 respondents representing 100% stated they have been using the Internet for 7 years or more. Table 4

Options Response Percentage
1-2 years  0 0
3-4 years 0 0
5-6 years 0 0
7 years and above 123 100

Table 4: The length of time the respondents were using the internet.

Table 5 shows the responses of respondents on “Did you ever receive any training on internet use for journalism practice?”. In the table, 18 respondents representing 49.6% of the total population stated yes, they have received training on internet use for journalism practice, while 105 respondents representing 85.4% of the total population stated No; they haven’t received any training on internet use for journalism practice Table 5.

Options Response Percentage
Yes 18 14.6
No 105 85.4

Table 5: Did you ever receive any training on internet use for journalism practice?

Internet use in newsgathering/news sourcing

Table 6 shows the responses of respondents on “Internet use is necessary for me when I am gathering news”. In the table, 3 respondents representing 2.4% of the total population Strongly Disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news, 4 respondents representing 3.3% of the total population disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news, 1 respondents representing 0.8% of the total population Have no idea that Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news, 28 respondents representing 22.8% of the total population agree that Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news, 87 respondents representing 70.7% of the total population Strongly agree Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news. Table 6

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 3 2.4
Disagree 4 3.3
No idea 1 0.8
Agree 28 22.8
Strongly agree 87 70.7

Table 6: Internet use is necessary for me when I am gathering news.

Table 7 shows the responses of respondents on “The use of internet to source for news is not necessary for me.” In the table, 98 respondents representing 79.7% of the total population strongly disagree that the use of Internet to source for news is not necessary for them, 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population disagree that the use of Internet to source for news is not necessary for them, 1 respondents representing 0.8% of the total population have no idea about the use of Internet to source for news is not necessary for them, 7 respondents representing 5.7% of the total population agree that the use of Internet to source for news is not necessary for them, 2 respondents representing 1.6% of the total population Strongly agree that the use of Internet to source for news is not necessary for them. Table 7

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 98 79.7
Disagree 15 12.2
No idea 1 0.8
Agree 7 5.7
Strongly agree 2 1.6

Table 7: The use of internet to source for news is not necessary for me.

Table 8 shows the responses of respondents on “The media organization I work expects me to use the internet to source for news”. In the table, 33 respondents representing 26.8% of the total population strongly disagree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to source for news, 42 respondents representing 34.1% of the total population disagree that the media organization they work for expects them to use the internet to source for news, 3 respondents representing 2.4% of the total population stated they have no idea that the media organization they work for expects them to use the internet to source for news, 30 respondents representing 24.4% of the total population agree that the media organization they work for expects them to use the internet to source for news, 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population strongly agree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to source for news. Table 8

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 33 26.8
Disagree 42 34.1
No idea 3 2.4
Agree 30 24.4
Strongly agree 15 12.2

Table 8: The media organisation I work expects me to use the internet to source for news.

Table 9 shows the responses of respondents on “Without the internet my newsgathering work cannot be effective”. In the table, 37 respondents representing 30.1% of the total population strongly disagree that without the internet their newsgathering work cannot be effective, 28 respondents representing 22.8% of the total population disagree that without the internet their newsgathering work cannot be effective, 1 respondents representing 0.8% of the total population stated they have no idea that Without the internet their newsgathering work cannot be effective, 44 respondents representing 35.8% of the total population agree that Without the internet their newsgathering work cannot be effective, 13 respondents representing 10.6% of the total population Strongly agree that without the internet their newsgathering work cannot be effective. Table 9

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 37 30.1
Disagree 28 22.8
No idea 1 0.8
Agree 44 35.8
Strongly agree 13 10.6

Table 9: Without the Internet my newsgathering work cannot be effective.

Internet use in news processing

Table 10 shows the responses of respondents on “Internet use is necessary for me when I am editing news/news report.” In the table, 47 respondents representing 38.2% of the total population strongly disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 38 respondents representing 30.9% of the total population disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 2 respondents representing 1.6% of the total population stated they have no idea that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/ news report, 24 respondents representing 19.5% of the total population agree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 12 respondents representing 9.8% of the total population strongly agree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report. Table 10

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 47 38.2
Disagree 38 30.9
No idea 2 1.6
Agree 24 19.5
Strongly agree 12 9.8
Total 123 100%

Table 10: Internet use is necessary for me when I am editing news/news report.

Table 11 shows the responses of respondents on “The use of internet to edit news/news report is not necessary for me.”. In the table, 7 respondents representing 5.7% of the total population strongly disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 23 respondents representing 18.7% of the total population disagree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have no idea that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/ news report, 55 respondents representing 44.7% of the total population agree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report, 38 respondents representing 30.9% of the total population strongly agree that Internet use is necessary for them when editing news/news report. Table 11

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 7 5.7
Disagree 23 18.7
No idea 0 0
Agree 55 44.7
Strongly agree 38 30.9

Table 11: The use of internet to edit news/news report is not necessary for me.

Table 12 shows the responses of respondents on “The media organization I work expects me to use the internet to edit news/ news report”. In the table, 61 respondents representing 49.6% of the total population strongly disagree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to edit news/news report, 39 respondents representing 31.7% of the total population disagree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to edit news/news report, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have no idea that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to edit news/news report, 18 respondents representing 14.6% of the total population agree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to edit news/news report, 5 respondents representing 4.1% of the total population strongly agree that the media organization they work in expects them to use the internet to edit news/news report. Table 12

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 61 49.6
Disagree 39 31.7
No idea 0 0
Agree 18 14.6
Strongly agree 5 4.1

Table 12: The media organisation I work expects me to use the internet to edit news/news report.

Table 13 shows the responses of respondents on “Without the internet my news/news report editing work cannot be effective.” In the table, 49 respondents representing 39.8% of the total population strongly disagree that without the internet their news/news report editing work cannot be effective, 38 respondents representing 30.9% of the total population disagree that without the internet their news/news report editing work cannot be effective, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have no idea that Without the internet their news/news report editing work cannot be effective, 20 respondents representing 16.3% of the total population agree that without the internet their news/news report editing work cannot be effective, 16 respondents representing 13.0% of the total population strongly agree that without the internet their news/news report editing work cannot be effective. Table 13

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 49 39.8
Disagree 38 30.9
No idea 0 0
Agree 20 16.3
Strongly agree 16 13.0
Total 123 100%

Table 13: Without the internet my news/news report editing work cannot be effective.

Internet use in news dissemination

Table 14 shows the responses of respondents on “Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization I work wants to broadcast/print/post news”. In the table, 15 respondents representing 12.2% of the total population strongly disagree that Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization they work in wants to broadcast/print/post news, 37 respondents representing 30.1% of the total population disagree that Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization they work in wants to broadcast/print/post news, 2 respondents representing 1.6% of the total population stated they have no idea that Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization they work in wants to broadcast/print/post news, 49 respondents representing 39.8% of the total population agree that Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization they work in wants to broadcast/print/post news, 20 respondents representing 16.3% of the total population strongly agree that Internet use is necessary whenever the media organization they work in wants to broadcast/print/post news. Table 14

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 15 12.2
Disagree 37 30.1
No idea 2 1.6
Agree 49 39.8
Strongly agree 20 16.3
Total 123 100%

Table 14: Internet use is necessary whenever the media organisation I work wants to broadcast/print/post news.

Table 15 shows the responses of respondents on “The media organization which I work relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/printing/posting online”. In the table, 18 respondents representing 14.6% of the total population strongly disagree that the media organization which they work in relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/printing/ posting online, 33 respondents representing 26.8% of the total population disagree that the media organization which they work in relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/ printing/posting online, 1 respondents representing o.8% of the total population stated that they have no idea that the media organization which they work in relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/printing/posting online, 46 respondents representing 37.4% of the total population agree that the media organization which they work in relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/printing/posting online, 25 respondents representing 20.3% of the total population strongly agree that the media organization which they work in relies on the internet for most parts of its news broadcasting/ printing/posting online. Table 15

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 18 14.6
Disagree 33 26.8
No idea 1 0.8
Agree 46 37.4
Strongly agree 25 20.3

Table 15: The media organisation which I work relies on the internet for most parts of its news

Table 16 shows the responses of respondents on “The use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization I work”. In the table, 38 respondents representing 30.9% of the total population strongly disagree that The use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization they work in, 49 respondents representing 39.8% of the total population disagree that the use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization they work in, 0 respondents representing 0% of the total population stated they have no idea that the use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization they work in, 22 respondents representing 17.9% of the total population agree that the use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization they work in, 14 respondents representing 11.4% of the total population strongly agree that the use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organization they work in. Table 16

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 38 30.9
Disagree 49 39.8
No idea 0 0
Agree 22 17.9
Strongly agree 14 11.4

Table 16: The use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organisation.

Table 17 shows the responses of respondents on “Without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization I work cannot be effective”. In the table, 21 respondents representing 17.1% of the total population strongly disagree that Without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization they work in cannot be effective, 46 respondents representing 37.4% of the total population disagree that without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization they work in cannot be effective, 1 respondents representing 0.8% of the total population stated that they have no idea Without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization they work in cannot be effective, 38 respondents representing 30.9% of the total population agree that without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization they work in cannot be effective, 17 respondents representing 13.8% of the total population strongly agree that without the internet the dissemination of news by the media organization they work in cannot be effective. Table 17

Options Response Percentage
Strongly disagree 21 17.1
Disagree 46 37.4
No idea 1 0.8
Agree 38 30.9
Strongly agree 17 13.8

Table 17: Without the internet, the dissemination of news by the media organisation cannot be effective.

Table 16: The use of internet to broadcast/print/post news online is not necessary in the media organisation.

Furthermore, with reference to the aim of this study which was to examine the impacts of internet on journalism practice in Kano State, Nigeria? The respondents agreed to the view that the internet has influenced the practice of journalism in Kano State, Nigeria. However, 78 respondents representing 63.4% of the total population agreed that the use of internet has a significant impact on journalism practice among journalists in Kano State. The findings agree with the Uses and Gratifications Theory which explains how people use the media for their own need and get satisfied when their needs are fulfilled.

From the research the researcher found out that the internet has developed the level of journalism and media practice in Kano state this is backed by the response given by 57 respondents representing 45.3% of the total population strongly agreed that internet use makes it easier for journalists in Kano State to balance news stories and also response by 73 respondents representing 59.3% of the total population Strongly agree that Internet use has enabled journalists in Kano State to disseminate breaking news more than ever before. This shows that the internet has made it easy for journalist to source out and disseminate news faster and more efficiently [11-13].

The finding of the study reveals that Internet use is necessary when journalist needs to gather news. This evidence is backed by the Technological Determination Theory upon which this work is anchored. The theory states that media technologies shape how we as individuals in a society think, feel act, and operates as we move from one technology age to another. This indirectly shows that the use of the internet for fast sourcing of news rather than waiting to listen to news on radio or television or walking around to source out news, shows the internet has affected journalists’ behavior and practices. 87 respondents representing 70.7% of the total population strongly agree that Internet use is necessary for them when gathering news [14].

Also, from the research the researcher found out that the internet has developed the level of journalism and media practice in Kano state this is backed by the response of respondents who were of the view that the internet has developed the level of journalism and media practice. This shows that the internet has made it easy for journalist to source out and disseminate news faster and more efficiently [15-16].

The findings of the study reveal that internet use is necessary when journalists need to source out, gather and disseminate news, which bring to limelight the reliance of people most especially journalists on the internet and through the response by respondents it shows the high reliance of people on the internet for information.

Conclusion

This study set out to assess how much the internet has impacted the modern-day journalism practice in Kano State and to determine the perceptions of the journalist themselves about how the internet impacted their day-to-day practice of journalism. People, especially young people nowadays tend to pay more attention to internet news and news stories more than the traditional news media.

It is an undeniable fact that the emergence of the internet has changed the world in many ways most especially in journalism practice which one can see the effect in news gathering processing and reporting. The new information and communication technology especially the internet has impacted journalistic practices both positively and negatively in Kano State.

The internet has helped journalist activities day by day, it has made dissemination of communication easier, it has also made sourcing news stories easier as journalist can access information without much stress, efforts, or resources. This tool speeds up and facilitates the functions of journalism practice, it improves the work’s impact on audiences, and it enables a more visible and public relationship with readers, thus, changing the traditional concept that the public has always had about news sourcing and reporting. Another impact the internet has had is on the audience. It is a fair saying that the internet has also impacted news readers’ attitudes; the internet has made it easier for them to access information faster and easier. Also, this has indeed created a gap on the day-to-day resource base of media organizations in Nigeria especially the print media organizations who are major subscribers of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). People now research specific articles, biography, information about a person, event through portal sites. This is also affecting the agenda- setting theory where it is said that the media fashions the minds of the people on what to think, say and how to say it. News readers’ now get information on personal concern. Therefore, the role of gatekeeper is transferred from journalist to readers. Even though the internet has improved the feedback pattern between the reader and the journalist, it did not give enough opportunity for the journalist to express opinions.

Thus, the internet has made journalistic practice easier, information spread more, sourcing is now easier, and audience are now even active participant, but with the highs comes the lows, as poor information can also be easily spread which would reduce the credibility of journalists also media organizations, must fashion out ways to replace and boost their resources which the internet has taken over. Journalists should utilize the internet very much and as a matter of necessity must strive to be relevant in the information world or very soon, would gradually go into extinction.

Recommendations

Regarding the subject of internet impacting journalism practice further extensively in Kano State, Nigeria, the following suggestions, and recommendations are made non sequentially, on how journalists and media organizations are to utilize the internet, keep their media organizations running and retain their audiences.

1) Although, the internet has encouraged free flow of information, this information should be law guided to discourage rumors capable of causing disorder.

2) Media organizations on their own must fashion out ways to boost their resources to survive the dynamism of the information world. They should set up online news sites to decisively maintain their information roles. They should also seek the support of professional editors and varied reach in terms of readers.

3) Media houses and journalists should incorporate chatting boards on their online news website, which will encourage public opinion, through this process various opinion about national issues can be mentioned by the public, they should also include developing roles for their existing and intended readers as active participants in discussions and deliberations as well as in problem solving that will have significant bearing on the process of democratization.

4) A good number of the administrative challenges can be overcome if government provides the needed social infrastructures, which the media need to operate. In this sense, government should improve on the power supply situation so that ICT facilities can function under the right environment. Newspaper access codes should be well protected to prevent hackers from tempering with online stories.

5) It is also recommended that media organizations should constantly update their news portal to encourage easy access and satisfy the interest of readers or subscribers.

Media houses should rain their staff in online journalism while government should provide enabling environment in the rural areas so in information can get to them.

References

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