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Impact Of Internet Journalism In West Africa Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2496 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Communication studies, according to Wikipedia(2011),is an academic field that deals with the processes of communication commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, a communication study encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass media outlets such as television broadcasting. Communication studies, as a discipline, are also often interested in how audiences interpret information and the political, cultural, economic, and social dimensions of speech and language in context. Journalism is one of the branches of communication studies which have to do with proper or in depth investigating and reporting of events and issues to a large (broad) audience.

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Journalism like other discipline is guided by some ethics; the idea behind journalism is to accurately inform the masses or citizenry on an event or issue that concerns them. According to Wikipedia (2011), in modern society, news media has become the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs; but the role and status of journalism, along with other forms of mass media, are undergoing changes resulting from the Internet, especially Web 2.0.

Still on the Wikipedia (2011), the Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.

Most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are reshaped or redefined by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IPTV. Newspaper, book and other print publishing are adapting to Web site technology, or are reshaped into blogging and web feeds.

Although, internet journalism was practiced by some journalists which made little or no impact on the audience, but the September 11 attack on the US world trade centre brought it to limelight. Thus, this made internet journalism the most effective in the communication industries.

According to Allan (2002), Journalism after September 11 examines how the traumatic attacks of that day continue to transform the nature of journalism, particularly in the United States and Britain. In Nigeria, it brings together an internationally respected group of scholars and media commentators to explore journalism’s present and future by engaging with such pressing issues as trauma, free speech, censorship, patriotism, impartiality and celebrity.

Journalism after September 11 raises vitally important questions regarding what journalism can and should look like today. In providing answers, it addresses topics such as: journalism and public life at a time of crisis; the role of sources in shaping the news; reporting by global news media, such as CNN; current affairs broadcasting; news photography and trauma; the emotional well-being of reporters; as well as a host of pertinent issues around news, democracy and citizenship.

In her article, Bunz (2009), said journalists are coming to terms with the internet changing the way they research, organise their workflow and distribute their content. The biggest publications all over Europe have, for example, Twitter channels, led by the UK with nearly 70% and followed by nearly 40% in the Netherlands. 35% use blogs to research stories and 13.5% even have their own independent blog.

In Nigeria, Some media organizations have already established a strong presence in the internet. For example, The Guardian Newspapers (www.ngrguardiannews.com), The Thisday Newspaper group (www.thisdayonline.com), The Independent Newspaper group (www.independentng.com), New Age Newspaper (www.newage-online.com) and so on have continued to be veritable sources of news and information to both Nigerians at home and abroad.

However, the speed and spread of internet network in Nigeria are still not in comparable to that of the developed countries. The unstable state of the internet in Nigeria is another great challenge facing the masses which makes it difficult for an average Nigerian to log in the above websites in search of news.

The Nigeria internet providers like mtn, glo, celtel, starcomm etc continue to maintain or work on their net to make sure they satisfy their customers in terms of making it more efficient and faster. Though these internet providers work hard to maintain their network, it can be said that they are not there yet. With this inefficiency in the internet, the journalists will find it difficult to communicate through. Few people who can afford a laptop or computer will be reluctant to pay their monthly subscription from the internet providers, then an average Nigerian who pay an exorbitant amount in a cyber cafe for an airtime to browse the internet will be disappointed because of the slow or inconsistency of the network. The media were and are still facing a lot of challenges which will definitely take years to overcome.

In his book, Agbese (2006), said the commonest forms of communication technologies in the 1990s were fax machine, pagers, personal computer and Telephone. These technologies helped with communication and production. However these technologies were not readily available to everyone in Nigerian media houses. Most times only top staffs and owners had access to or owned form of communication technology. In the early to mid-1990s, computers were not available to all members of the staff. Most media had just one computer which only the typist had access to, to prepare stories for the publication.

Lately, according to Nworah (2011), it can be said therefore that the Nigerian media are measuring up with their counterparts in other parts of the world by maintaining strategic presence on the information super highway. But any such attempt at ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the western media stops just with the internet sites which some Nigerian media organisations have managed to set up as other facilities and resources are still largely unavailable to Nigerian journalists. For example, company sponsored laptop computers with mobile internet access, digital recording devices, open access mobile telephones and salaries that take into consideration global trends, market prices and national inflation rates. Again, for internet journalism to sway or be successful in Nigeria, the concepts of the popularised FAN (free readers association of Nigeria) need to be eradicated. The acronym is used to refer to the practice where people cluster around newspaper vendors’ stand to read newspapers and magazines without actually buying any one. This in a sense show or reflect the socio-economic situation which an average Nigerian finds himself or herself into. An average Nigerian cannot afford a laptop and going to the cyber cafe to pay for an air time to listen or read news amidst the huge amount paid for the air time and the inconsistency of the internet is unthinkable. This in a large extent affects internet journalism among the media organization in Nigeria.

Nworah (2011), also opined that The matter of indifference among the Nigerian masses is largely compounded by the fact that Nigerian advertisers have not yet started taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the internet, to advertise their products and services in the websites of some of these media organisations, only a few advertisers are doing this at the moment, it was hoped that such advertisements may actually increase to a height so that the free news now readily available on the internet can be subscribed for and also to make up for the shortfall from the hard copy sales.

Nevertheless, the advent of internet may permit readers to log on to the websites and then freely read any newspaper or magazine of their choice, but this obviously will have a huge negative impact on revenues as less hard copies will be bought and the great lost will be on the media organization. The fear definitely deters media organization from using internet journalism as the lost from hard copy will negatively affect them.

Looking at the way internet journalism has affected communication and the masses of the developing country like Nigeria, can this be said of other countries in West Africa? This research proposal will explore the impact of internet journalism so far in Nigeria and the effects on the media organizations and the masses.


The aim of this research proposal is to evaluate the effects and impacts of internet journalism in West Africa, thus using Nigeria as the country to be studied.


This research proposal will base its questions on the following:

How effective has internet journalism proven among the journalists in Nigeria?

What impacts have internet journalism on the masses (audience) of Nigeria?

Has the non stability of internet helped the Nigerian journalists in accessing stories efficiently?

How often an average Nigerian does has access to the internet?


(a)(i).This research will consider the null that Internet journalism has proven effective among the journalists in Nigeria.

(a)(ii).The alternative hypothesis is that the internet journalism has not proven effective among the journalists in Nigeria.

(b)(i).This research will consider the null that the internet journalism has impacts on the masses (audience) of Nigeria.

(b)(ii).The alternative hypothesis is that the internet journalism has no impacts on the masses (audience) of Nigeria.

(c)(i).The research will consider the null that the non stability of the internet has not helped the journalists to access stories efficiently.

(c)(ii).The alternative hypothesis is that the non stability of the internet has helped the journalists to access stories efficiently.

(d)(i).The research will consider the null that an average Nigerian does not have access to the internet.

(d)(ii).The alternative hypothesis is that an average Nigerian does have access to the internet.


As it has been described in the objectives of the research project, the main purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects and impacts of internet journalism in Nigeria, West Africa. The final product of this research project will be a report, containing the effects of Internet Journalism in Nigeria, West Africa.

Research Methodology:

Different 150 internet news readers in Nigeria will be approached to collect the data. There are two kinds of data.

Primary data

Secondary data

Primary data includes the information from the respondents. This also includes responses by the different age groups and geographical locations in the country. Secondary data will tell about the impact of Internet journalism in Nigeria. To collect the data, different newspaper companies will be contacted. Similarly, to assess the changes in internet journalism, their website users’ views will also be found out.

The tools to collect this data will be the surveys. For this, website users and newspaper customers will be interviewed, where as to know the views of customers, different questionnaires will be prepared to ask them different questions.

To analyze the collected data, different statistical techniques will be used.


The most important thing to carry out any research project is to know the background, research objectives, and research methodology of the research project. For this literature is searched out. The University Library will be the primary source to review the literature. Books in hard and soft form will be obtained from the library. Similarly, different research journals and articles in the library will be valuable assets to prepare a comprehensive research report.

To prepare the questionnaires, surveys done by the newspaper companies to know views of customers, will be used. Similarly new questionnaires, depending on the situation, will also be prepared.

Project Plan:

The project is divided into three stages.

Literature review

Interviews of newspaper customers

Report writing

Literature Review:

To carry out any research project, a research must be able to review the literature. This makes researcher aware of work, done by other people in the respective field. The main source of literature is the journals, in which different researchers publish their findings of problems.

Interviews of newspaper customers:

In order to know the effects and impacts of internet journalism in Nigeria, West Africa, the users of different newspaper websites will be interviewed. They will be asked about the positive and negative points of internet journalism. Similarly, customer views will be taken through the interviews. Considering all these views, suggestion to improve the internet journalism will be advised.

Report writing:

The final product of the research project will be a written report. The structure of my report will be divided in following categories,


In the introduction, history of internet journalism will be discussed and how different newspapers implement internet journalism will be discussed.

Aims and objectives:

In this part of report, purpose of the research project will be stated very clearly; what are the aims of the study and what are the problems, which will be discussed in the report.

Research methodology:

This is the core part of the report. After stating the problem, different research methodologies will be explained to gather the data. The primary source will be the interviews of the customers and internet news readers. From these interviews, impact of internet journalism in Nigeria, West Africa will be assessed. The questions asked to customers will be provided in the appendix of report.


After describing the problems and research methods, suggestion will be advised to eliminate or solve the highlighted problems.


In order to carry out any research project, it is very important to study all the aspects of the project. One of the main aspects regarding any project is the risks involved. There are also some risks involved, regarding the research project under consideration. One risk can be privacy. Newspaper companies’ employees can be duty-bound and show reluctance to give information about their websites.

Impact and Beneficiaries of Research:

The main objective of this research activity is to investigate the effects and impacts of internet journalism in Nigeria, West Africa. This research can be very helpful for the information sector


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