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Table of Contents
Title Page i
Declaration ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgement v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables viii
Abstract ix
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 4
1.3 Objectives of the Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Research Hypothesis 5
1.6 Scope of the Study 5
1.7 Significance of the Study 5
1.8 Operational Definition of Significant Terms 6
2.1 Introduction 7
2.2 Review of Concepts 7
2.2.1 Concept of Social Media 7
2.2.2 Concept of Media 12
2.2.3 Concept of Journalism 15
2.2.4 Concept of Modern Journalism 16
2.3 Review of Related Studies 20
2.4 Theoretical Framework 23
2.5 Summary 25
3.1 Introduction 26
3.2 Research Design 26
3.3 Population of the Study 26
3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Technique 27
3.5 Description of the Research Instrument 27
3.6 Validity of Data Gathering Instrument 28
3.7 Method of Data Collection 28
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 28
4.1 Introduction 30
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis 30
4.3 Hypothesis Testing 41
4.4 Discussion of Findings 42
5.1 Introduction 47
5.2 Summary of Findings 47
5.3 Conclusion 47
5.4 Recommendations 48
5.5 Suggestions for Further Studies 49
References 50
Appendix A 52
Appendix B 53
List of Tables
Demographic Data Table
Table 1: Demographic Data on Sex 31
Table 2: Age Distribution 31
Table 3: Educational Status 32
Table 4: Marital Status 33
Table 5: Area of Specialization 33
Table 6: Computer Literacy 34
Table 7: Access to Computer 34
Table 8: Internet Access 35
Table 9: Awareness of Social Media Tools 35
Table 10: Ownership of Social Media Account 35
Table 11: Types of Social Networking Sites 36
Table 12: Frequency of Respondents‟ visit to their Online Account 36
Table 13: Choice of the Best Social Networking Site 37
Table 14: Reason for Choice 37
Table 15: Reason for not making a choice of the available
Social Networking Sites 38
Table 16: Distribution showing how well journalists embrace Social Media as
Part of journalism 39
Table 17: Distribution showing how respondents agree that Social Media have
Changed Journalism 39
Table 18: Reason for Acceptance 40
Table 19: Distribution showing Believability of Social Media to enhance
Productivity of Journalists 41
Table 20: Distribution showing how social media enhance journalists‟ skills 41
The aim of this study was to determine the impact of social media on modern journalism in
Makurdi metropolis. To achieve this aim, the survey research method and chi-square were
used. Subjects were drawn from journalists in Makurdi metropolis in Benue State, using the
purposive sampling technique. Three research questions and one alternative hypothesis
guided the study. Research findings showed that social media have enhanced the productivity
of journalists in Makurdi metropolis and a great number of journalists use them to source for
news among other things. To this end, the researcher recommended that journalists should
carry out a research on the available social media tools in order to identify reliable and
trustworthy social networking sites and use them to discharge their journalistic duties. The
researcher suggested that further studies should be carried out on the role of social media in
sustaining democracy, advertising, public relations and public opinion polls.
1.1 Background of the Study
A century and half ago, communication between countries involved physical
presence. Once, a reporter had to run as fast as possible back to the newsroom after
interviewing and tried to beat the competition to print. With the advent of the digital age the
role of the journalist changed. The inception of information communication technology such
as the internet has made it possible to find out about events without actually being there.
Journalists can report news across the world over the internet.
Throughout history, developments in technology and communication have gone handin-hand, and the latest technological developments such as the internet have resulted in the
advancement of the science of communication to a new level. The process of human
communication has evolved over the years, with many path- breaking inventions and
discoveries heralding revolutions. The invention of pictographs or the first written
communication in the ancient world brought about written communication. These writings
were on stone, and remained immobile. The invention of paper, papyrus and wax,
culminating in the invention of the printing press in the 15th century made possible transfer of
documents from one place to another, allowing for uniformity of languages over long
distances. The latest revolution is the widespread application of electronic technology such as
electronic waves and signals to communication, manifesting in the electronic creation and
transfer of documents over the World Wide Web (
Social media which are a form of electronic communication have become the highest
activity on the internet. They refer to social networking websites developed to specifically
help people share their views and stay in touch with their friends, relatives and wellwishers.According to Wikipedia, social media represents a shift in how people discover, read
and share news, information content which brought about the democratization of information,
transforming people from content readers into publishers.Social media are also internet sites
where people interact freely, sharing and discussing information about each other and their
lives, using a multi-media mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audio (Bruce and
Douglas; 2008, p.27). In order to broaden our knowledge on the topic of study, a brief history
of social media will be discussed below.
In the early 1990s, chat rooms and bulletin boards were forms of social media; in that
they helped people connect with others and share interests.A little later,dating sites hooked
together those looking for partners, and people connect with people they
had known in high school and college.In the early 2000s, a site called Friendster was set up
where people invited their friends to join and in turn, those friends invited other friends.The
site was popular for a while but it suffered from technical difficulties and fake profiles and
began losing members.Some of those members went to MySpace,which had actually started
in 1999 but became better known in 2003.Its roots are a little muddy because it received
financial and logistical support from another company called eUniverse, and most of the early
users were eUniverse employees but Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe are given credit for
much of the innovations and success of the site which built up to 115 million users
worldwide. Members post bios, photos, blogs, videos, and other things that strike their fancy,
and some TV programmes to air on MySpace. In 2005, Rupert Murdoch‟s News Corporation
(parent of Fox Broadcasting) bought MySpace for 580 million dollars.
A competitor to MySpace, Facebook was started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while
he was a student at Harvard University; it grew up rapidly about 2007. At first Facebook was
solely for college and high school students, but Zuckerberg opened it to everyone and like
MySpace, it encourages all types of member postings (Lynn Gross, 2010). Apart from the
above mentioned social media tools,there are also others. These include; Twitter, YouTube,
BlackBerry Messenger, Flickr, Word Press, Blogger, Badoo, Live Journal, Wikipedia, Type
Pad, Second Life, Lulu, and many others. All these social media appear in many forms
including blogs and microblogs, forums, and message boards, social networks, wikis, virtual
worlds, social bookmarking, tagging and news, writing communities, digital storytelling and
scrapbooking, data, content, image, video sharing, podcast portals and collective intelligence.
Journalism on the other hand is the deliberate and conscious efforts to gather
information, collating and analyzing data for the purpose of informing, educating, and
entertaining the people with a view of making an appropriate decision (Qasim Akinreti;
2007). 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 topics ranging from government and business organizations to cultural
aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field of journalism include; editing,
photojournalism and documentary (
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The impact of social media in today‟s world of communication, especially journalism
cannot be over-looked. Since its arrival social media have certainly changed the way
journalists work, how stories are developed and disseminated. Social media have had positive
impacts, without doubt, but there are also concerns about their impact on 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 journalistic 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 of tools to
source for news, some journalists are less positive about some of the ways social media affect
their journalistic activities, their engagement with their audience, their productivity and the
quality of their work. Based on these contrasting views, the question this research seeks to
answer is; how have social media affected the journalists in Makurdi metropolis with regards
to their journalistic duties?
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The study had the following objectives:
1. To know if journalists in Makurdi metropolis are exposed to social media networking
2. To find out the type of social media tools journalists in Makurdi metropolis prefer.
3. To determine whether social media have enhanced the productivity of journalists in
Makurdi metropolis.
1.3 Research Questions
1. To what extent are journalists in Makurdi metropolis exposed to social media
networking tools?
2. What type of social media tool do journalists in Makurdi metropolis prefer?
3. How have social media enhanced the productivity of journalists in Makurdi
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H1: There is significant difference between journalists in Makurdi metropolis who use social
media networking tools and those who do not.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study is focused on journalists in Makurdi metropolis and not necessarily
conclusive for journalists in other parts of Nigeria. Since journalists share common
characteristics and skills, data generated from this study and the result obtained thereof, can
be applied to all journalists.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immeasurable importance to journalists, media organizations,
news agencies, editors, lecturers and students in the field of journalism and mass
communication as well as other researchers who will want to embark on same study as this.
The study will help journalists to source useful information using social media
networking tools as well as provide them with a guide on how to write online stories. It will
also help journalists to interact with their audience and identify their information needs. The
study will also help journalists who have rarely embraced social media to do so in order to
increase their productivity.
1.7 Operational Definition of Significant Terms
A. Social media: The term social media refers to the Internet-based social networking
websites developed to specifically help people share their views and stay in touch
with their friends, relatives and well wishers.
B. Media: media in this study are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media
networking tools which journalists use to disseminate information to a large
heterogeneous audience.
C. Journalism: this is the practice of writing, editing, and disseminating information to
the public.
D. Modern journalism: it is a term used to describe the new era in journalism where
internet and computers are used in almost every journalistic activity.


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