Globalisation like a wave has swept the whole world in its tide, therefore no profession can afford to be left behind nor can any ignore the importance of the internet. Online journalism is defined as the reporting of facts when produced and distributed via the internet by journalists who work for mainstream market driven news organisations. Online journalism though a relatively new phenomenon is the development of journalism in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, online journalism started as some newspapers, radios, television stations created websites in which they transferred what was already on print to the internet. They did not bother to change the news or make it more interesting. Unlike print newspapers there are minimum restrictions when it comes to online journalism, with practically anyone being able to start up their own form of online newspaper.
The challenges of online journalism constitute poor electricity supply and incessant power outages which appears to be second nature to Nigeria. Also, the high level of illiteracy in Nigeria is a major barrier to the development of online journalism especially computer illiteracy. This makes it difficult for those who even have access to the internet, unable to utilise it. Another, challenge in the online journalism industry in Nigeria is not as lucrative as it should be. Prospective online journalists tend to invest a lot of time and capital into the development of their business but do not yield the expected profit because the existing firms solely dominate the industry hence accumulating all the profit. This discourages promising journalists from joining the market.
In spite of all these challenges, some of the major Nigerian newspapers that are online include the Guardian newspaper, www.ngrguardiannews.com , This Day newspaper, www.thisdayonline.com. However, online journalism has very promising prospects. The findings reveal that online journalism will create an informative society and increase the number of internet users in the country as they look for a way out in satisfying their quest to know the happenings around them. According to Don Tap Scott, a business executive and author, “We are heading towards a world with a global digital internet worked infrastructure that can support the majority of business and leisure activities. In this age, there will be little need for corporations to have physical manifestation; in place of the large corporate campus will be a network of ‘molecules’ that can perform functions as cheaply and efficiently as possible”
In order to have an effective and efficient system of online journalism in Nigeria, journalists in collaboration with the government must be steeped into the idea of creating roles of development communicator so as to ensure that Nigerian journalists exceed the standard level of production and dissemination of news online. With all the problems and challenges of online journalism in Nigeria, it can be agreed that it is developing fast and vastly extending its tentacles to the new world of journalism.