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Title: Media management and disruptive technology : the Nigerian newspaper industry today
Author: Omenugha, Nelson
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 6584
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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New media technologies have brought about radical changes in the contemporary mass communication landscape. An important aspect of these changes which is currently provoking much interest concerns how these technologies are redefining and disrupting the operations, ethos and tastes of the old media, thus challenging the future of the traditional media institution. The Nigerian newspaper industry, like others elsewhere, is caught up in this new reality as new media technologies and the attendant alternative news sources increasingly gain footing in the country. This study, therefore, examines how newspaper managers in Nigeria, to secure their future in the new dispensation, have been responding to these urgent challenges posed by new media technologies. The research is anchored within various theories: Technological Determinism (TD), Disruptive Technology (DT), Diffusion of Innovation and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and puts forward the “Techno-Human Dynamism” model, as it seeks answer to the main research question: What are the observable trends in the management of Nigerian newspapers at a time when new media technologies are posing a challenge to the survival of traditional newspapers? Adopting a mixed qualitative research approach - Key Informant Interview (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD), the study focuses on four major Nigerian daily newspapers - The Sun, The Nation, The Daily Trust and The Daily Times - as well as the newspaper readers of these daily newspapers. Three managerial personnel of each of the selected newspapers were interviewed, while Focus Group Discussion (FGD) of four sessions comprising six discussants each were conducted among newspaper readers in each of four purposively selected cities - Aroma junction (Awka, Anambra), Ojota junction (Ikeja, Lagos), Sky Memorial junction (Wuse, Abuja) and Rumukoro junction (Port Harcourt, Rivers) - across the country. Employing the thematic method of data analysis, the study found that Nigerian newspapers, like their counterparts elsewhere, are already experiencing the disruptive impact of new media technologies in all major areas of their operations including content, human resources and revenue. These disruptive impacts appear to be strengthening rather than merely weakening the newspaper organisations. The newspapers in response to them have become more creative, more ethical - volatising factual, accurate, investigative and analytical reporting. These are issues that had hitherto posed huge ethical concerns about Nigerian journalism. Moreover, the hybridization (integration) of the new and old media as one of the coping strategies seems to add further strength to the newspapers as they poach on the strengths of the new media to complement the weaknesses of the old. However, the newspaper managers still have some latitude to secure the future of the industry given the untapped potential of the industry both in the traditional and online sense. The study recommended that Nigerian newspapers should endeavour to keep pace with the technological innovations driving today’s newspaper industry while boldly considering other response strategies that have worked elsewhere - including journalistic cooperatives, mergers and conglomeration - towards arresting the dwindling fortunes of the industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral