Journalists’ perceptions of opportunities for integration of new media for professional use: A study of three mainstream newspapers in Kenya
The study evaluated journalists’ perception of opportunities for integration of various new media platforms for professional use. Print media journalists in Kenya and the world over have adopted new media technologies for professional journalism. However, a review of relevant literature shows that little research has emerged on the current integration practices targeting the three media houses combined. The study was guided by Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory. The qualitative multiple case study design was adopted. A sample size of 15 journalists drawn from both the print and online teams was selected purposively from three mainstream newspapers in Kenya. Data was generated using in-depth interviews, analysed thematically and presented in a narrative form. The study revealed that new media platforms have emerged as powerful tools of journalism across the mainstream print media in Kenya. Some of the opportunities cited in the use of new media are expanded tools for news gathering and new channels for dissemination of information to audiences. And of the various social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook and Whatsapp were the most widely used by journalists in Kenya for finding sources, story ideas and distribution of their journalism, among other uses. Legacy journalists were, however, slow in embracing new media while correspondents and those with personal drive saw new media platforms as an opportunity to improve their journalism. The study recommends research on the kinds of trainings offered to journalists to become fully multi-skilled. A further study on the problems facing journalists as they interact with the newest technologies would also be relevant.
Keywords: New Media, New Media Platforms, Social Media, Diffusion of Innovations