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Kenya is relying heavily on digital media technologies for disseminating information in sport, entertainment, education, marketing advancement, chatting and commentary. Kenyans have also taken full advantage of enhanced communicative capabilities of new modern technologies such as social media networking and applications on technological foundations that allow creation and communicative exchange of user-generated content. Social media has changed the way news is generated and accessed. They influence media in at least three dimensions; as a tool for journalists to create content, as a tool to distribute and impart information and as a tool to seek, receive and access information. Despite this advancement, questions have been raised on the quality of information shared on the social media. Many journalists have altered the ways in which they report and disseminate news updates thus compromising journalistic ethics. This study was carried out in Nairobi Kenya to explore how social media impacts professionalism in gathering and disseminating information. It examined the quality and quantity of information shared on social media, investigated effectiveness of social media technologies when disseminating news and established benefits and challenges facing use of social media technology in Kenya. The researchers employed a qualitative research design to carry out research. A sample of 20 participants was selected conveniently out of a target of 200. 4 were sampled from Citizen Journalists, 10 were sampled from professional journalists, another 4 sampled from social media news consumers and 2 were sampled from communication commission of Kenya. The study employed in-depth interviews of 20 participants to generate data. Interviews were conducted online on the participant’s accounts. Data was analyzed thematically through coding. Interpretation of codes included comparing theme frequencies, identifying theme co-occurrences and identifying relationship between different themes. The findings show that though social media plays a significant role in accessing and generating information, a lot of checks and balances have to be put in place to ensure information is of quality and credible. The findings of the study will be useful to the social professional media fraternity and government to develop structures that will enhance quality news dissemination and credible information to the audience.
[Erneo Nyakundi Nyamboga, Gloria Anyango Ooko, Kaboyo Esther Nyambura (2014); THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM IN KENYA Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (12). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com
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