1.0 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 journalism. 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
journalism in general and the professional ideology of journalism 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
journalism: online journalism.
it must be said that every country or region has its own specific issues
regarding new media developments and journalism, 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 Nort America, Australia,
Western Europe and Japan.
1.1 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
journalism online (i.e. where can we make profit)?
traditional news media or even traditional news values disappear because of the
3. Should there be journalism at all online?
4. If the answer to question 3 is
"Yes", what kind of journalism 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 journalism and new media technologies in the last decade or so addresses the
state of the art in ejournalism: as it impacts upon all journalists through
Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR) and upon a specific 'group' of media
professionals through the establishment of online journalism. Secondly data
from a 1999 survey of online journalists in Nigeria the self-perceptions and
the dilemmas of this new group of media professionals are analyzed, with a
specific focus on an emerging new 'mindset' of newsmedia
professionalism in an online environment. Thirdly we will examine how these
insights might inform us in addressing some of the ‘buzzwords’ regarding the
future developments in ejournalism: annotative reporting (Paul, 1995; Bardoel,
1996), open- source journalism (Moon, 1999) and the concept of hyperadaptivity
(Guay, 1995; Nelson, 1999).
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research focuses on the impact of internet on news
media. For purpose of this study the scope is limited to the Nigeria News media
industry. The study will stretch the effects on internet on News Media
professionalism, mindset and buzzword.
the findings of this research work may be applicable to other countries of the
world especially within Africa.