Nigeria is the largest country in Africa with over 70% of its population dispersed in the hinterlands that are characteristically insecure, inaccessible and isolated. Information gathering and dissemination in these areas are highly limited; most of them do not access national and international news. Notwithstanding arrays of print and electronic media activities; newsgathering and dissemination remained the preserve of professional journalists while rumours, gossips, gong/traditional public announcer remained known alternatives. However, media digitalization led to the emergence of unprofessional journalists and the use of the Internet as an instrument for news gathering and dissemination in the 21st century Nigeria. This paper explores the dynamics of these changes and their challenges through the following questions: What are the characteristics of the digitalisation of news gathering and dissemination in Southern Hinterlands of Nigeria? What are the challenges facing digitalized news gathering and dissemination? How can ICT companies leverage digitalization to transform their business models to achieve sustainable benefits? Survey and descriptive methods were adopted, wherein 600 respondents were randomly selected from six rural communities in Southern Nigeria as sample. The data generated will be analysed with the aid of SPSS software. Through findings, this paper will explicate new areas of innovation and investments in communication technologies, and provide a valid framework for newsgathering across Nigeria, which will inevitably advance globalization and enhance development in Nigerian hinterlands.
Joseph Wogu, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria