Mass Communication | THE IMPACT OF INTERNET ON NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION

THE IMPACT OF INTERNET ON NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION

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THE IMPACT OF INTERNET ON NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

New communication technology, including accessible online publishing software and evolving mobile device technology, means that citizens have the potential to observe and report more immediately than traditional media outlets do. Swarms of amateur online journalists are putting this technology to use, on open publishing sites such as In the media and on countless weblogs, adding a grassroots dimension to the media landscape. Bloggers and other amateur journalists are scooping mainstream news outlets as well as pointing out errors in mainstream articles, while people who’ve been made subjects of news articles are responding online, posting supplementary information to provide context and counterpoints. Increasingly, the public is turning to online sources for news, reflecting growing trust in alternative media.

While some traditional news outlets are reacting with fear and uncertainty, many are adopting open publishing features to their own online versions. The Guardian and other mainstream media outlets have added blogs to their sites. The BBC’s web site posts reader’s photos, and other sites solicit and use reader-contributed content. Mainstream news outlets are increasingly scanning blogs and other online sources for leads on news items, and some are hiring journalists from the blogging ranks. Journalists are blogging live from courtrooms, from Baghdad, and elsewhere, allowing them to post frequent updates in near real-time.

As the public turns toward participatory forms of online journalism, and as mainstream news outlets adopt more of those interactive features in their online versions, the media environment is shifting, slowly and incrementally, away from the broadcast model where the few communicate to the many, toward a more inclusive model in which publics and audiences also have voices.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

A first step has to be made in terms of the developments on the technological front and the ways in which these developments are making inroads into our understanding of newspaper production. Computerization in all sectors of society has taken place in particularly Western capitalist democracies - with effects on the way the economy and society operates. Practically all media companies have switched to computer network systems, electronic communication traffic and the ‘paperless office’ are topics of debate in management circles and the convergence of media as well as the fact that the television set, video player and personal computer have found their way into an increasing number of West-European, North-American and Australasian households are signs of the high impact of technology on all aspects of life.

The Internet as it can be considered to be affecting newspaper production in general and the professional ideology of newspaper production in particular will be discussed here in two ways: how it has made inroads into newsrooms and desktops of journalists working for all media types in terms of Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR); and how it has created a new type of newspaper production: online newspaper.

Although it must be said that every country or region has its own specific issues regarding news media developments and newspaper production, the author assumes that some of the more general points made here can be extrapolated to the developments in more or less similar areas in the world such as North America, Australia, Western Europe and Japan.

1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The central questions which have been addressed to some extent in these publications can be summarized as:

  1. What kind of business model works for newspaper production with the aid of internet (i.e. where can we make profit)?
  2. Will traditional newspaper or even traditional news values disappear because of the Internet?
  3. Should there be newspaper production at all online?
  4. If the answer to question 3 is "Yes", what kind of newspaper production should it be and what kind of skills is required of journalists working for and with the Internet?

1.3. PURPOSE OF STUDY

This paper aims to offer some thoughts on how to answer this question in three steps. First a brief sketch of the two key developments in newspaper production and news media technologies in the last decade or so addresses the state of the art in e-newspaper production: as it impacts upon all newspaper journalists through Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR) and upon a specific 'group' of media professionals through the establishment of online newspaper production.

1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research focuses on the impact of internet on paper production. For purpose of this study the scope is limited to the Nigeria news media industry. However the findings of this research work may be applicable to other countries of the world especially within and outside Africa.

1.5. OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The level of impact of internet on Nigeria newspaper production seems rising very fast but not fully focused by the most concerned party. The purpose of this study is to identify the impact and significance of the internet on newspaper production.

Therefore, this study is intended to inquire into the factors hindering the effective use of internet in the Nigeria newspaper production suggest, in the concluding area, the possible prospect to aid the operation of newspaper production in this era of internet.

1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is expected that this study would be immense benefit to the government, the news media, newspaper publishers and the people of this country. This study will highlight the importance of the internet as a vehicle for promoting news reporting and production.

Through the mass media, especially the radio and television Nigeria might have a chance of having a viable internet culture.

1.7. THEORETICAL FRAME WORK

The entire study of mass communication is based on the premises that there are effects from the media, yet it seems to be the issue on which there is certainly.

1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS

  1. MASS MEDIA: Existing channel through which government and its citizens communication to each other or means through which greater number of people are reached spontaneously with information.
  2. NEWSPAPER: A newspaper is a regularly scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint.
  3. THE INTERNET: The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies.
  4. PRODUCTION: Production is the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services).
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