Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been associated with the heightened incidence of fake and sensational news, which in turn has increased the spate of conflict in our country. This probably, is because the advances in ICT have made everyone a publisher. People now take to their social media and blogs and push out all kinds of news that are not verified. The fake news are then shared and reshared by their network, and the chain of damage caused becomes endless.
Worse still, ICT innovations such as the ‘deepfake’ technology can even replace the face of the actual subject in a video with another. But do we conclude that ICT is entirely evil and devoid of any benefit for media practice? Definitely not. Journalism has been greatly enhanced through the use of ICT.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hardware and software innovations and services places us at a high point of a very significant stage of development in the history of human communication, often called, ‘the information society’.
ICT is considered important in today’s media operationsconsidering the major changes it has brought to newsgathering, processing, sharing and dissemination.There used to be a timein the media (the broadcast media) when there was a significant time lag between when an event occurred and when news about itis made available to the public. But, ICT has closed the time lag, such that news can be processed and disseminated with much immediacy and timeliness.
ICT has led to the generation of more and well researched news. With the coming of mobile phones, a reporter can call his or her news sources at any time and get news.ICT eases the reporter’s stress of getting well-balanced and researched news. This is because the internet gives the reporter access to so many online resources with which he or she can enrich his or her story.
Also, ICT have facilitated the spread of information across geographical distance and enabled news reporting globally.A reporter can now stay connected and close to the newsroom, sending news reports through phone or e-mails. ICT has made reporters, editors and other news contributors closer. It has created a ‘network ’that leaves reporters and editors in close contacts at any time. Mobile phones have made it possible for newspapers to get stories from a reporter stationed anywhere.
With ICT, readers and other users of media contents become participatory in the news production process. Stories that touch on the plights of the people, have been found to get more tractions, generate reactions and get more feedback from the audience the media serves. As a result of this, media organisations now do more stories that their audience can relate to. Thus, ICT has made media managers see the need to make news stories more audience-centred and less technical as much as possible.
As much as ICT has been implicated for the woes, particularly of the distrust the media suffers, the WSCIJ holds that there are so much benefits ICT brings into media practice. Journalists, editors and other media managers should explore thesetowards improving on their work. This can be in the form of learning new journalism skills or taking advantage of ICT for amplifying and extending the shelf life of their reports.