New media technology is the application of digital (computer) technology to mass communication. They are thus synonymous with information and communication technologies (Wilson III, 1998). They include the use of satellite communication, global system of mobile communication (GSM), Internet and its facilities in form of email and the World Wide Web, as well as computer and the various component such as compact disc, flash drive etc.
With the idea of “information world”, it is believed that no meaningful development can take place without the application of the new media technologies to development process. The World Bank asserts that:
The information revolution offers Africa a dramatic opportunity to leap frog into the future, breaking out of decades of stagnation and decline. Africa must seize this opportunity quickly. If African countries cannot take the advantage of the information revolution and surf this great wave of technological change, they may be crushed by it. In that case, they are likely to be even more marginalized and economically stagnant in the future than they are today.
Development in Africa is then hinged on the adoption and the use of the new media technologies. The idea is that they will enable Africa to leapfrog into the future of buoyancy and progress in every dimension.
For a journalist to be able to bring development using new media technology he/she must learn about the media platforms used in their community.
Majority of the world’s population live in poverty, and the society is familiar with various forms of assistance to help the hungry and the homeless. But the field of journalism can offer a unique avenue to dignity and self sufficiency.
Journalists offer new approaches for reaching isolated and marginalized communities with exciting development initiatives. They can also help to alert the communities on any impending danger.
The enormous benefit derived from new media has and will continue to bring it to the fore in nearly every facet of life’s activities to improve various aspects of human life. Some of which are:
These, among others, are the benefits offered by the new media technologies.
In conclusion New media technology and information portals reached through telecommunication networks provide a modern way for people to access, on demand, a wide array of information including establishing direct contact with distant expert sources and government officials.
They will deliver the expected benefits with proper utilization and management for development purposes. And as such each journalist is advised to make use of this opportunity to foster development.