An empirical study of accessibility and use of electronic information sources by journalists in Nigeria
This paper investigates accessibility and utilization of electronic information sources (EIS)by journalists in Nigeria;identifying the types of EIS that are accessible to journalists;extent of EIS utilization for journalistic tasksand the constraints to EIS utilization.The descriptive research of the survey type was adopted. From 42 media houses, 23 were purposively selected. The population comprised of 1,357 journalistswhilea sample size of 926 (68.2%) was drawn using a purposeful sampling technique. Self-designed questionnaire was used for data collection,which yielded 0.868 Cronbach’s alpha. The study found that Facebook (88.2%), Twitter (83.2%), E-mail (82.7%), and YouTube (78.4%) were readily accessible to journalists while online databases (52.5%), e-books (49.9%) and online reference works (32.4%) were not readily accessible;journalists’ usage of EIS was limited to Facebook (91.2%), Twitter (86.8%), YouTube (84.7%) and E-mail (83.2%) while EIS was mainly used for fact checking (92.4%), writing news (90.5%)and conducting research (87.7%). Cost of subscription (95.8%), lack of awareness of available EIS (81.8%), lack of assistance from media librarians (76.5%), lack of ICT training (77.8%) and poor Internet connection (68.3%) were identified as major constraints to EIS utilization.The study concluded that journalists in Nigeria reflected high dependence on open access EIS for work-related tasks while journalists are still faced with some challenges in accessing EIS.The study therefore recommended provision of access to licensed EIS, fast Internet connectionand pro-activeness of media librarians in creating awareness to available EIS.
Keywords: Accessibility; Electronic Information Sources; Journalists; Print Media; Broadcast Media; Electronic Resources Utilization; Nigeria