APPRAISING THE CHANGING ROLES OF TRADITIONAL MASS MEDIA IN URBAN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

The traditional role of the mass media in any society revolves round four basic roles: surveillance, correlation or interpretation, transmission of cultural heritage, and entertainment. Surveillance function of the media refers to news and information gathering and reporting, while interpretation function involves providing information on the ultimate meaning and significance of events that has happened, is happening or is yet to happen.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which according to a great Canadian English Professor Marshall McLuhan described as what has changed the world into a global village by compressing the world into a single electronic room where information from nooks and crannies of the world can be exploited and disseminated or exchanged within a twinkle of an eye.

A trend of this nature has consequently had a baneful effect on the traditional media, and paradoxically, a positive one on online journalism and e-news. This evolution in media practice is also unequivocally evident in the developing countries of Africa such as Nigeria where the onset of online journalism is gradually putting the demand of newspapers on the internet. Adegboye and Oludele, (2009).

The migration of radio, newspapers and television outfits to the web has been consequently accompanied with that of its readership and viewership respectively. The development of technology most especially in this century has impact on every sphere of human life to include mass media. This has changed the look of the existing media. Because of this, the practice of journalism is no longer in the way of one-dimensional flow of information rather it is interactive and the audience are now part of the information gathering and information distribution. It should be noted that information quality through the internet demands caution as it is questionable since it lack the activities of the gatekeepers who can decide what information to disseminate and what not to make available for the public. Oluwuyi, (2008).

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