IMPACT OF TWITTER BAN ON ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN NIGERIA
( A CASE STUDY OF ARISE TV AND CHANNELS TV)
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Electronically, the entire planet is linked. Streaming media, such as radio, television, cable, satellite, and streaming, transmit and receive millions of messages on a daily basis, offering a constant flow of information and entertainment. The landscape of news consumption is undergoing a significant shift, with internet news attracting more readers than ever before.
Today’s viewers can obtain a “immediate helping” of the newest news on the Internet, or get updates on their mobile phones or social media pages (Stassen, J. (2010), cited in Ebbini, A.). (2019). This immediacy is not only conceivable, but expected, thanks to the increasing capability of computerized “smart” phones. People increasingly go online to receive their news more than they read the newspaper or watch network news, according to survey data (Maier, G. (2009) Ebbini, A. (2019). New information, stories, and news can be shared more widely and swiftly than ever before because to the use of social media and new communications tools and technologies.
News has become ubiquitous in the digital age. The transition from a broadcast media era to a digital media era has profoundly changed how information is reported and consumed. Although the general public is at the forefront of social media usage, television stations and radio stations are swiftly following suit. Nearly 70% of television channels use social networking sites, and 48% use Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, according to the 2009 Middleburg/SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired World (McClure & Middleburg, 2009 cited in Ebbini, A. (2019). More than 90% of journalists polled agreed that new media and communications tools and technologies are increasingly using social media to report news, locate story ideas and sources, and monitor feelings and discussions, indicating that social media is important for television and radio stations. As a result, the importance of social media handles in media reporting via electronic media channels is demonstrated.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
On June 4, the Nigerian government announced that it had suspended Twitter’s operations in the country. The announcement came two days after the social media company removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, in which Buhari issued a thinly veiled threat against secessionist groups in the southeast “to treat them in the language they understand.” Since announcing the ban, the government has issued directives to federal prosecutors to arrest anyone still using Twitter — and ordered Internet providers to block access to the platform. After some initial confusion as to whether Twitter remained accessible, it appears as of mid-June that most Nigerians can no longer access the platform.
The Twitter ban is only the latest example of governments using their control over the Internet and other digital technologies to surveillance, censor and suppress their citizen. However this is no the catch, while federal government might give justification for the ban, the thrust becomes how the ban will affect media channels and station who uses twitter to bring the information close to the people in a busy world where their audience have little time to sit in front of television and radio but relies on the internet. One of the most remarkable advantages to social media, and especially Twitter, is the ability to report on a story live, regardless of when the newscast is. A reporter can live-Tweet a story as it is happening, giving news consumers instant access to information without having to wait for the nightly news.With the ban on twitter in Nigeria, this information quick access to information on all the electronic media via twitter platform which does not only affect the citizens but also has a negative effect on those media channels; reducing the traffic drawn to their website and also limit their ability to publish instant news on twitter. Hence this study tends to investigate the impact of twitter ban on electronic media.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of twitter ban on electronic media. Specifically the study seeks to:
- To examine the importance of social media site in media reporting through electronic media
- To examine the level of effectiveness twitter was to electronic media such as TV channel and radio Station before the ban
- To investigate if twitter ban will affect citizens’ quick access to information on television/radio stations’ social media page
- To determine the extent to which twitter ban will affect Television Channels quick reporting aside the nighty news.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The research is guided by the following hypothesis
HO: Citizens’ quick access to information on television/radio stations’ social media page will not be significantly affected by the twitter ban.
HI: Citizens’ quick access to information on television/radio stations’ social media page will be significantly affected by the twitter ban
HO: Twitter ban will not have any significant impact on television channels and quick media reportage
HI: Twitter ban will have a significant impact on television channels and quick media reportage
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The finding and theoretical aspect of this work will be relevant to the citizens, private media owners and the government. To the stakeholders and government, the study will enlighten them on the need to reassess the current ban on twitter knowing how this will affect the freedom of media and the perception of its citizen on the level of at which fundamental human right is upheld as the effect of this may jeopardize the true tenet of democracy. More so study will contribute to the body of knowledge and also be significantly useful to students and researchers and other individuals who may have the interest to gather or carryout any study related to the topic under study.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study borders on the impact of twitter ban on electronic media. The study is however limited to Arise Television and Channels Television in Lagos State which is one of the electronic media.
- LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitations of this study includes:
Finance: Due to the economic difficulty that the people, including the researcher, was experiencing, the prospect of a greater sample size, which would have enabled the study to reach a larger region, has become impossible; thus, this work is limited to Arise Television and Channels Television in Lagos State.
Time: It was not surprising that the researcher was limited by time frame as it posed a direct challenge to the effective coverage intended in the course of this report. It is the intention of the researcher to interview all the employees of the selected television channels but because of numerous activities of the researcher which borders on both academics, work schedules and other social activities it became relatively impossible to cover all but selected few respondents who are journalist in Arise and channels Television.
Attitude of respondents: The majority of reporters fail to collect the questionnaires, and some who do collect pay urgent attention required in filling and returning it, and others did not return theirs at all. Others were less accommodating and may have provided untrustworthy information because they were afraid of being exposed, despite the researcher’s promise that all information would be treated with the utmost secrecy and only for education purpose.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Twitter: Twitter is an American micro-blogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.
Twitter Ban: this is the authoritative pause in the operation of twitter as mandated by the Federal government of Nigeria on June 5th 2021 until the owners of the social network meet the newly established requirement given to them by the government of Nigeria.
Electronic Media: Electronic media are media that use electronics or electromechanical audience to access the content.
CNN (2021) Nigeria bans Twitter after company deletes President Buhari’s tweet”. . Retrieved 5 June 2021.
Ebbini, Aniseh (2019) “An Exploration of Social Media Use in Local Television News Stations: An Evaluation and Development of a Successful New Media Strategy”. Theses and Dissertations. 468. http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/468
Washington Post. (2021) “Nigeria suspends Twitter after the social media platform freezes president’s account”. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 5 June 2021.