Mass Communication Project Topics

Influence of Social Media on Journalistic News Dissemination in a Digital Age: Study in Damaturu Local Government Area of Yobe State

Influence of Social Media on Journalistic News Dissemination in a Digital Age Study in Damaturu Local Government Area of Yobe State

Influence of Social Media on Journalistic News Dissemination in a Digital Age: Study in Damaturu Local Government Area of Yobe State


The study had the following objectives:

  1. To know if journalists in Damaturu are exposed to social media networking
  2. To find out the type of social media tools journalists in Damaturu prefer.
  3. To determine whether social media have enhanced the productivity of journalists in Damaturu



  • Introduction

This chapter reviewed concepts such as social media, media, journalism, modern journalism and other related studies. The chapter also reviewed the theoretical framework in relation to the study.

Review of Concept

The Concept of Social Media 

Social media is not really new. While it has only recently become part of mainstream culture and the business world, people have been using digital media for networking, socializing, and gathering of information. Social media started as a concept many years ago but has evolved into sophisticated technology. The concept of social media can be dated back to the use of the analogue telephone for social interactions. The most recognizable use of social media was through innovative application, an online dialogue framework, created by Ward Christensen, a former IBM employee and Randy Suess. Initially they envisioned a place where they could immediately contact their co-employees for announcement, that is, meetings, reports, and other affairs, rather than making multiple phone calls, distributing memos and the like. They were looking into creating a computerized bulletin board, which is why they named the program CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System).

Soon enough, more and more employees contributed their ideas and comments in the said online community. That event was a momentous episode in the history of computer and internet. It was the birth of online social networking. The CBBS platform was made known to other companies and has been used for specific purposes. The Bulletin Board System expanded largely and began breaking into mainstream much sooner than it was planned. It was during the rise of the Internet Service Providers in the early 1990s when social networking sites began to flourish. Along with the availability of the internet service to people, many people rummaged to have themselves acquainted with the new technology.

Social media attained a great measure of success with the launch of the then very popular Creator of Friendster, Jonathan Abrams concocted a perfect mix of popular features from earlier social networking predecessors. Friendster became an instant success and gathered about 3 million members who signed up in its early month of launch. Friendster unfortunately got out of hand and suffered from too many glitches in the server. Today, Friendster has been announced as a newly owned identity of a Malaysian company, and outshone by present social networking sites but still remains to be patronized most especially in Asia.

Another social media evolved called The concept of MySpace opened the internet users to vast opportunities of self-expression which include wide control over a user‟s profile content. In MySpace, users experienced the best of creating unique identities to show to the online world. MySpace remained as the uncontested favorite among all social networking sites until 2005 when it met its competitor in the market. started as a local social network made for the students of Harvard University. It was developed by sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook was actually made by hacking Harvard database containing identification images of students. The initial idea was to compare the faces of students with images of animals, for entertainment purposes. However, due to the potentially damaging contents of the site, the creators decided to put it down, before it caught the attention of the school authorities. The application was shutdown, but the idea of creating an online community of students came into existence. The platform was then improved and sooner than they expected, ultimately offered the opportunity to the rest of the world. Facebook has grown to become the most popular and biggest social networking site with 800 million active users worldwide (Facebook statistics 2012). Other social networking sites continue to appear in the scene such as BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Badoo, Amazon and many others.(Bruce and Douglas, 2008).

Similarly, some refer to social media as social networks. However, the two terms are said to be same side of a coin. Wikipedia defines social networks as “a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called „nodes‟, which are connected by one or more specific types of inter-dependency such as, friendship, kinship, financial exchange, dislikes, sexual relationships or relationship of beliefs, knowledge or prestige”. While it also defines social media as “media designed to be disseminated through social interactions, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing technique”.

Boyd and Allison (2007) defined social network sites as “web-based services that allows individuals to; construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the systems”. The definition focuses on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Based on a strict theoretical understanding, all networked tools that allow establishing connections between at least two humans, have to be understood as social networking platforms.

Wikipedia notes that social media use internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (that is one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming from content consumers into content producers. Kaplan and Haenlein, quoted in Ganiyu and Qasim (2011) defined social media as “a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user generated content”.




This chapter described the method of research design, population of the study, sampling technique/sample, instrumentation as well as the validity and reliability of the instruments used. It also stated the method of data collection and method of analyzing the data collected.

Research Design 

Research design is the plan or blue print which specifies how data relating to a given problem should be collected and analyzed or the procedural outline for the conduct of any given investigation. (Nworgu, 1991). It is also the researcher‟s plan of action concerning the study, compressed into few paragraphs (Acholonu, 2012). Nichmas and Nichmas (1981) in their work on research methods in the social sciences defined research design as:

The program that guides the investigation in the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting observation. It is a logical model of proof that allows the researcher to draw inferences concerning causal relations among the variables under investigation. It defines the domain of generalization to a large population or to different locations.

Simply put, the research design is the hub on which a research is hinged upon. It is the general arrangement or the plan of the research intention (Madueme, 2010).

This research therefore, employed the use of survey in the collection of data. This is because the people‟s opinions were sought through questionnaire.




The purpose of this study was to determine the Influence of social media on journalistic news dissemination in a digital age: a study of journalists in Damaturu. This chapter is concerned with the presentation and analysis of data gathered through the use of questionnaire distributed. One hundred and fifty (150) copies of questionnaire were distributed, out of which one hundred and ten (110) copies were retrieved. This gave a response rate of return of 73.3%. The study answered the following research questions:

  1. Towhat extent are journalists in Damaturu exposed to social media tools?
  2. What type of social media tools do journalists in Damaturu prefer?
  3. How have social media tools enhanced the productivity of journalists in Damaturu?




The main aim of this study was to determine the Influence of social media on journalistic news dissemination in a digital age in Damaturu. Survey research design was adopted using questionnaire for data gathering. Based on the data collected, analyzed and discussed, this chapter will be focused on the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

Summary of findings 

The findings among others showed that:

  1. A great number of journalists in Damaturu have access to internet and are exposed to social media networking  Majority of journalists in Damaturu prefer Facebook and Twitter as their networking tools for a number of reasons, one of which was its wide
  2. Social media enhanced the productivity of journalists in Damaturu and have broadened their news sourcing and dissemination.
  3. Some journalists in Damaturu require basic computer training in order to be relevant in the modern journalism practice and to explore the various opportunities that internet and social media have to offer.


The uses of social media networking tools have made journalistic activities easier and satisfactory for journalists. Although some journalists still require the basic computer training to become conversant with social media networking tools, majority of journalists are very much at home using the social media networking tools. These have tremendously enhanced their journalistic skills and positively influenced their journalistic activities.


Based on the findings and conclusions of this study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Media organizations and press bodies should organize seminars and workshops to sensitize and educate journalists on the Influence of social media tools so that they can embrace social media and use social networking tools to improve their skills and professionalism
  2. Journalists should conduct research on the available social media networking tools to verify which one of them is more trustworthy and reliable in order to ensure credibility of sources.
  3. Also institutions, media organizations, press bodies and government should provide facilities for training and retraining of journalists on the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in order to ensure professionalism and offer of quality services to modern and sophisticated media


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