1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Technology and Society (2000 - 2009)

New Information and Communication Technologies and Professionals in the Media (Draft)

This paper examines the use of computer-assisted communications systems by studying a sample of Senegalese enterprises. The study also addresses the use of the cellular telephone—a tool that symbolizes the development of interpersonal communication—and, in a summary fashion, deals with the training needs arising from the adoption of new information and communication technologies (NICTs).

The analysis considers a range of NICTs to which media enterprises have access, and describes the ways in which they are used by these enterprises. The benefits, problems and results of using the various technologies are also discussed.

The study falls within the overall theoretical framework of how information technology is brought to bear in the workplace and, more specifically, its use in producing and disseminating news through the mass media. Defining this conceptual and theoretical framework also brings into play the question of the appropriation of NICTs. The process by which users take up NICTs and deal with the effects of uncertain (i.e., constantly changing) supply must also be taken into account, as must users' ability to adapt and adjust as the technologies gradually become familiar to them.

The study attempts to clarify this interrelationship by showing how the introduction of NICTs in the Senegalese media has affected or failed to affect the practice of journalism. This, it is hoped, will provide better understanding of the impact of the technologies, and shed light on broader questions regarding the appropriation and adoption of these technologies on the part of professionals.

This is the draft English translation of Coulibaly’s contribution to the volume Le Sénégal à l'heure de l'information: Technologies et société (edited by Momar-Coumba Diop, Editions Karthala, Paris and UNRISD, Geneva, 2002).

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