Informationis indispensable to individual, organization and community for societal development;hence people depend on it for taking the right decision in every facet of humanendeavor. According to Tahir, Mamhood and shafique (2008, p. 1), “informationhas become the most important element for progress in society. To thrive inthis modern era, one needs a variety of information, no matter how well versedone is in a field or profession”. Without relevant and up to-date information,it is difficult to progress in any field of life. With the deluge of availableinformation, each person including the media and media practitioners needsinformation in an increasing variety. “The media is said to be anaggregation of all communication channels that use techniques of making a lotof direct personal communication between the communicator and the public”( Inuwa,2007, para. 5).
The media play a very influential capacity by setting a socialissue for mass audience and discourse through channel of communication byprofessional media practitioners. Therefore, media practitioners play a crucialrole to society, serving as the watchdog of the society, and providing constantstream of information, entertainment, education and socialization to the publicthrough television, radio, and Newspaper. The delivery of these messagesrequires the media and the media practitioners to source for information fromdifferent sources in order to first meet their own information needs so as toserve their audience and perform their duties. This is because access toinformation is critical and vital to individual, organization, for thedevelopment of human society.
It may be in form of news on radio or television,and the print media, which may be used for decision making ( Familusi, &Owoeye, 2014, p. 3). According to Nicholas & Martin (1997,p.43), “journalists have a need for large volumes of information, for verycurrent and authoritative information, and they require their information veryquickly.
They are generally very well provided for in terms of informationsystems, sources and channels”. They device means to seek and disseminateinformation to their diverse audience. As such, every media house spends alarge premium of their annual budget on sourcing for information. Paul (2002,para. 1) affirmed that, “acquiring information is certainly the largest budget itemin the newsroom’s expense ledger, irrespective of the source or format whichthey are derived”. This is largely attributed to the fact that, mediaprofessionals are special seekers of information because they are informationconsumers as well as information communicators. For this reason, “theirrequirement of information is very vast and diversified. They are very timeconscious.
For satisfaction of their information needs, they interact with manytypes of information system and personal sources” (Ansari, 2011, p.1). Hence, “they will not perform their dutieswell without information or information sources” (Ansari and Zuberi, 2011, p.10). Accordingly, the necessity forinformation often leads to information seeking and formulation or requests forinformation from appropriate related sources. In order to satisfy these needs,media practitioners consult many sources and channels of information, such aslibraries, information centers, record centers, and Internet resources (Ansari,2011, p. 1). Consequently, it is the duties of librarians and informationproviders to know the information needs of media professionals in order to beable to acquire relevant materials and ensure that these resources are wellutilized through provisions of adequate services.
It is against this background,that this study seeks to study the information need of media practitioners inLagos State, Nigeria.