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Posts tagged ‘new media’

Herbert Gans blasts old media

A new type of news is here and it is radically different from what we’ve seen before.  Is that a good thing in the long run?  Does it get people involved politically?  This is something we can’t assume even though traditional media has served such a role in a democratic society, since new media doesn’t operate under the same norms.  Maybe it is too unfiltered, too raw, or maybe there’s too much of it for people to make sense of.

Herbert J. Gans is a famous sociologist whose work includes media studies, and he raises these exacts concerns [3].  However, he makes the same criticisms of traditional media, that is, he feels all forms of news media fail to stick to journalistic standards and contain enough quality information to inform voters.  Perhaps old forms of news on TV and in print can respond to this, but what about Twitter and blogger.com?  On other hand, does news have to be in all cases slow and measured like he proposes?

I don’t think Gans’ condemnation is warranted.  I agree it is good for a healthy democracy to have investigative journalists from major outlets, but new media gives something unique.  Old media relied on word of mouth; if you missed last night’s broadcast, you had to ask a friend to regurgitate everything that was said.  However now we take a tweet or article and “like” it, link it, tweet it, and text it to all our friends.  Whatever the story, it can be accessed 24/7 even if it’s a video.  It injects information on politics and news into the daily conversation. Before your friend might not mention a recent political speech in their 5-minute face-to-face conversation with you, but now this information is sent out to your phone in the same way a friendly text would be (and you can “like” it, comment on it, and pass it on).   The ease of information sharing which new media provides seems to be indispensible for a democracy.

So we stand at a crossroads.  We use both old ways to get news (TV, print) and new media.  These new types of news outlets have fundamentally changed how we access news and talk about what’s going on.  Internet and mobile phones connects people together.  Not only are we connected to our friends, but to public figures, the entire country, and the world.  It is for this reason I am optimistic about where new media can take us in the future.


What are current media?

By Joe Hronek

So what is the current state of news media?  To a certain extent we are all aware of the situation because this is the era in which we live.  It is common knowledge that twitter and blogging are popular, that print news and of 6:30pm broadcasts are in decline, and that these companies are scrambling to remain relevant.  This is supported by research: Twitter averages 1 Billion Tweets per week [1]; here we can see the decline in newspaper usage: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/638/whoreadsnewspaper.jpg/ ; and here we can see the decline in broadcast viewership: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/714/eveningnewsaudiencecont.png/ .

I do not think traditional media will be disappearing anytime soon.  So far newspaper outlets have been able to adapt somewhat by transporting their content online: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/adrevenues.jpg/ .  Cable news has worked out its own niche in the market, but broadcast news viewers still vastly outnumber that of cable outlets by millions [2].

It is clear that we currently consume news in a hybrid form; we use both traditional and new sources.  I think what helps inform our predictions for the future is very recent trends in the developing or non-Western world.  The Arab Spring and unrest in the Middle East is a perfect example of this.  Also, the structure of our media speaks volumes of our culture, and this can better inform how we act going forward. If non-traditional news media fosters democratic participation in our society, we might want to increase its use for that end.

Media are at a crossroads

By Joe Hronek

As a political science major, I am inclined to see news media through the politics lens, but it has other functions in today’s society.  Analyzing the current state of news media tells us things about our culture and what we value as a society.  What do I mean?  Well, we can make inferences about what our society values based on why and how people consume media.  We all know that on Twitter, the most popular accounts are those of celebrities.  Likewise, the growth of online and mobile media demonstrates our desire for quick, accessible information.  This could be contrasted with the past, where the most articles are newspaper columns written by professional journalists.   One couldn’t learn of a sports team’s progress via Twitter; one could only catch up with the latest news via newspaper recaps the following day.  Despite the frequent use of Twitter and blogs as personal diaries and not a source of information, they do play an important role in the news world.

We stand at a crossroads.  There is still a living legacy of old media.  Yet at the same time we are accommodating new media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8&t=00m45s (30 seconds).  The critical point of the video is that even though traditional news corporations are adapting, there is vastly more content being put out online by new websites and user-generated content.

Storify offers people a different way to tell stories

This is also serving as a show and tell for this class.

Recently creates is Storify, a website that allows users to tell a story through Tweets, Facebook posts, other social media posts and original content. Just last week, Storify was used to tell the stunning story of the tornado disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The author, Steve Streza, used tweets, pictures, videos and blurbs from other news websites to show the devastation in Joplin.

All of the different places on Twitter and news websites, photos and videos taken from different people are all seen in one story. It is a very powerful way to convey one story that canvasses an incredibly wide range of opinions, view points and perspectives from all across the world.

We all thought Twitter was huge. It gave us all ways to express short opinions and share stories in the same place. Storify takes it a step further. All of those thoughts we would have to click on individual profiles, pages or links — across different online and social media platforms — can all be seen on one place.

If used well, there are no limits to the advantages of using Storify to tell the news of any given day.