A study on how social media have changed newsroom operations in kenya: a case study of the standard group and nation media group
The growth of the Internet has changed the way newsrooms across the world operate. At the heart of the new developments is the growing presence of traditional media of newspaper, magazines, radio and television online. Media houses have formed digital divisions solely tasked with operating their websites and social media handles. This study sought to find out how this changing technology is changing newsrooms operations in Kenya. This study picked the Standard Group and the Nation Media Group since they are the two leading mainstream media firms in Kenya. The two media houses have developed both their presence and social media policies. Respondents from these media firms were selected from among journalists in different editorial departments – the print and broadcast sections – cutting across different job strata of editors, subeditors, reporters/correspondents and photojournalists. This study sought to answer the following questions: How have social media changed operations in Kenyan newsrooms? What are the effects of social media use on traditional journalism pillars of objectivity, accuracy and verification? The study found that journalists have embraced the use of social media in the news gathering and dissemination process. This is, however, tempered by a cautious approach to the use of social media in news gathering and uncertainty over the effectiveness of gate keeping checks in place to ensure that social media use in the newsroom remains true to key journalistic tenets of fairness, objectivity and accuracy.