BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the recent years, fast developing technology has been fuelling an information revolution. The new media, digital broadcasting and the internet are sweeping away the limitations of the analogue world and weakening the grip of government-owned platforms. The nature of the relationship between the broadcaster and its audience is changing. New media in this information age provides an immediate, informative, intelligent, interactive platform for discussion and debate. New media is essentially a cyber-culture with modern computer technology, digital data controlled by software and the latest fast developing communication technology. Most technologies described as “new media” are digital, and often have characteristics of being networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial. Examples are the internet, websites, computer multimedia, games, CD-ROMs and DVDs. Young people are attracted to the easy means of getting information with internet based terminals or hand phones which provide them information of their choice anytime, anywhere. They need not have to wait for any broadcasting schedule to be connected to get the information. Internet blogs, news portals and online news, Facebook, You Tube, podcast and webcast, and even the short messaging system (SMS), are all new media. The modern revolution enables everybody to become a journalist at little cost and with global reach. Nothing like this has ever been possible before. The impact of new media has been noticed by governments in some developing countries where seats have been lost in the Senates and Parliaments due to the impact of the new media’s uncensored, audience penetration and interactive tendencies. For example, when the government depended on the mainstream media which it controlled to give information to the electorates, while the opposition used the new media which was uncensored, faster, cheaper and reached a bigger audience. Ironically it was the same government that had spent billions of dollars to foster the growth of the new media technology (Nagasvare & Krishnasamy, 2011). However, it cannot be denied that the first media revolution was characterized by news traditional, while the second by radio, TV and internet, hence it is undeniable that the third media revolution, where professional media competes for attention alongside user-generated blogs, YouTube and Qik videos and Twitter, poses quite a conundrum (Silicon Republic Knowledge and Events Management Ltd, 2009).
Traditional media industry experiences changes as a result of advancement in technology especially new media. Smith and Hendricks (2010) asserted that the dynamic nature of the industry resulted in constant revolutions and changes than at any other time in the traditional media history globally. New technologies become a major threat to traditional newspapers in the 21st century. This is certainly evidenced in the work of Everett (2011), who examined how some technological discoveries are rapidly replaced by the new media, which is more impressive and efficient in dissemination of information. In the digital age, online news is instantly disseminated, posing challenges to traditional news. As a result, most newspapers integrated the Internet for more quicker and accessible news-delivering techniques. As pointed out by Patel (2010), newspapers have now blended into the internet, which is viewed as a single system, consisting of interrelated systems. The phenomenon of online newspapers has greatly augmented the people’s accessibility to news, signifying the influence of the internet. The Internet World Stats of 2017 apparently clarifies that Nigeria, having 91.6 million internet users, is ranked the largest Internet country in Africa. Okoro and Diri (2012) predictively argued that there is an assumption that the accessibility of online newspaper content tends to lower the readership of its traditional counterpart, as the online version satisfies readers’ needs for information. A number of related studies were conducted in Nigeria, mainly in the west, south, and north-eastern parts of the country. But little or no scholarly attention is given to the readers’ preferences for traditional and online newspapers, particularly in the Northwest, which is the focus of this study. This study aims to measure the readership preferences, and determine the extent to which online newspaper reading affectsthe readership of its traditional versions in Northwestern Nigeria. Daily Trust, the most widely circulated daily newspaper in the study area, was chosen for the purpose of this study.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the past century traditional newspapers have played a dominant role in public communication and are now struggling to adapt to the information age that has shrunk the business model foundation that has proven so successful in the past which led to the rise of online newspapers. Most Consumers no longer purchase the printed version but prefers the online version of newspaper hence it is cheaper and accessible. Faced with such an adversary, small and large newspapers alike may have no choice other than to abandon their traditional methods and go for an innovative approach which is going online.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of online media and traditional media in Nigeria. Other general objectives of the study are;
H0: There is no significant impact of online media on traditional media in Nigeria
H1: There is a significant impact of online media on traditional media in Nigeria
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of effects of online media on the traditional version can be a learning paradigm in the Nigerian media and various newspaper publishers to ensure and enhance productivity in both media. The primitive purpose of this study is to establish the effects of online media on traditional version and to develop positive and negative effects they may have on newspaper publishers, the results of this study will benefit different newspaper organizations and businesses in terms of where to advertise, and the community who are the consumers of this media. This study is significant because it will provide the crucial facts about the existing effects of online newspapers on the traditional version, including the challenges that print newspapers face. This study will serve as the basis for future plans of action by the newspaper organizations in Nigeria be it community newspapers or commercial print newspapers .This study will not only benefit newspaper publishers but also the entire country they serve.
Furthermore, this study will serve as a source of literature to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter..
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the impact of online media and traditional media in Nigeria using Sahara reporters and punch Newspapers as case studies.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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