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CREDIBILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS ALTERNATIVE NEWS SOURCES_ AN EVALUATIVE STUDY

ABSTRACT

 The traditional media have been acknowledged for years as reliable sources of getting news but the advent of new technology, especially the internet variant which has introduced the interactive social medium, seems to be changing that notion. The Internet’s credibility is a major concern since information seeking is one of the main purposes of using the Internet. Online users have easy access to abundant sources but also run the risk of getting false information. This has prompted much academic research geared to ascertain the situation and to clarify the controversy. This credibility problem associated with social media news is of much concern to the questions of trustworthiness, objectivity, believability and expertise input on social media content, etc, which are cardinal issues in ethics of communication. It was on this premise that this study became imperative to determine the extent to which social media users perceive the news content on social media as credible. The following issues were interrogated in the study’s objectives: (a) to what extent do users depend on social media for information needs? (b) to what level do social media users perceive social media news as trustworthy? (c)What is the extent to which social media users perceive expertise in social media news content? (d) to what extent do social media users perceive social media news as objective? (e) to what extent do social media users believe social media news content. The survey research design was adopted and a structured questionnaire was used to gather data from a sample of 222 respondents through the use of the Australian Calculator. The quantitative data generated through the questionnaire were analysed using frequency distribution and percentages. The three alternate hypotheses were tested with a combination of T-test and Analysis of variance (ANOVA). While the t-test examined if there was dependence or independence of one variable on the outcome of another variable between two groups, the ANOVA tested mean differences among several groups. Findings showed that: (i) Social media platforms were depended upon by majority of the respondents for their information needs (71.8%); ii) Majority, (60.7%) of the respondents perceive information from social media network as trustworthy but not as very trustworthy; iii) Majority of the respondents said there was expertise in handling social media news (63.1%); iv) Majority, (63.6%) perceive social media news as objective news sources; and (v) those who rated social media news as believable, were in the majority (65%). T-test showed that there was no significant difference (t=1.152, df =203, P >.05) between gender and dependence on social media for news.

Project detailsContents
 
Number of Pages115 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
ReferenceReference
QuestionnaireQuestionnaire
AppendixAppendix
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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