Essay: New Media Implications the Improvement

Pages: 10 (3186 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication - Journalism  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Others view them as heroes that are fettering out the facts and figures that the established news media does not want others to see. Whether one views them as legitimate news makers or just part of the audience that is just stirring things up can vary, but this obviously is an example of the lines between audience and newsmakers blurring significantly.

To zoom back out a little in terms of new media vs. The older established media, there has been a media war underway between "old media" and "new media" outlets and there are many real-world examples of this that are readily findable in research. One example of this was when the established media was accused in 2012 of being anti-Israel, almost to the point of being anti-Semitic (Cohen, 2012). Another accusation leveled against the old media is that they live in a "fantasy land" that is based on a desired reality rather than a real one (Bowman, 2012). Another study focused on the scrutiny focused on then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama was based on hard news gathering or if it was being unduly influenced by people outside of the traditional news and media sphere that had it in for him (Bowman, 2008). Others have gone so far as to say that the new media is subverting cultural transmission and is actually insidious by nature (Barkow, O'Gorman & Rendell, 2012). Similarly, another "scholarly" outlet outright referred to the new media as shallow, divisive and unreliable (Fallows, 2011).

Another factor that many people in the media and in the political sphere at large that many focus on is how online advocacy, much of it propagated by new media sources that are not from the established news media, has delayed action deemed as urgent and necessary by governmental groups. An example of this would be climate change. Many new media groups, many of them accusing as being biased and non-legitimate, have assailed the push by world government to tax and otherwise legislate based on the supposed threats of climate change (Lockwood, 2011).

New media outlets, many of them non-official news outlets thus blurring the lines in yet another way, have reported the words and reports of skeptic scientists and have tried to poke holes in the research of seemingly legitimate news sources. This is assailed by academics in research journals as being improper and unethical and they bemoan how the process is being altered by these advocates. The new media people counter that these climate change opinions are based on political points-of-view and not actual science. The culmination of all of this leads one to wonder who is grinding a political axe and who is trying to do the right thing. When political worldviews are pervading academic journals and news networks, let alone the World Wide Web and social media, it is hard to tell who the audience is, who is just pushing their opinion, and who the real news reporters are, if they even exist anymore.

Another question that is a little more subtle but definitely worthy of review is the increased use of students on college campuses to collect and disseminate news. Traditionally, students and non-students alike in that age range of eighteen to twenty-two have typically only been consumers of news and not creators of it. Part of this event coming to pass is a result of some newspapers and networks reducing their reporting infrastructure and thus passing it off to a source that will do it willingly and for much less money but concerns still exist about whether the news they report is fully vetted and whether or why students that have not even graduated from journalism school are thus making the news (South & Katcef, 2009).

Another study took an even harder look at students and how the perceive and create media. A collaboration of people from Harvard and several other famous universities defined five dimensions that should be explored. These dimensions are identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, credibility and participation. The study focused on evidence such as informant interviews as well as insights regarding the psychology, sociology, political science and cultural implications of this new media (James, 2011). This is yet another study that looked at whether the young of America are transforming the way that news is created and disseminated, who the audience is vs. who the creator is, and whether it is a change for the better or not.

This talk about whether students are even qualified to make and report news is related to a similar dimension. One major gripe about "new media" outlets is that they are biased and/or they do not possess the education and experience to be reporting on things they ostensibly do not or cannot understand. One study asserted that the digital divide between the new media and old media was coupled with a vast chasm in overall educational acumen and knowledge of the world and that this gap was causing news to be bastardized and molded into something that it should not be (Wei & Hindman, 2011). It was also asserted that the economic gap inherent within this chasm was leading to a great distortion of what is consider news and what should actually be called advocacy. However, as noted earlier, many level that accusation against established news media personnel so even lines that are often considered to not be blurred are considered to be by many people and for a number of reasons.

Another dimension to consider is the explosive growth of social media and its effect on the news cycle as well as who is the audience and who is the news provider (Romano, Gerber & Andrews, 2010). Indeed, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have been at the forefront of the news cycle such as during the Arab Spring in countries like Libya and Egypt as well as in events at least mostly specific to the United States like Occupy Wall Street. However, a major reason why this social media phenomenon is not a clear-cut situation is that many people assert that social media "revolutions" are often very artificial and manufactured in nature. The line between audience and content creator is blurred because many assert that they are often one and the same. It is asserted that many social media accounts and events are bogus and are not based on anything genuine.

The talk about social media and the young becoming the news creators in this country even if the creators are not established media mavens is not all negative. Many people hail this dawning news dimension as a hallmark of the new media age and that it should be embraced rather than condemned or shunned (Penman & Turnbull, 2012). One of the reasons this new technology is embraced is that it greatly increases the globalization of both the news process and the ability of people to converse with each other regardless of where in the world that they are (Guo-Ming, 2012).

For their part, the news media has largely embraced social media as well. News personalities and organizations have used Facebook and Twitter to expand their reach with a demographic that trends significantly younger than other mediums in the United States. Public relation departments of government agencies and corporations as well as other public figures have done the same thing, so that both news makers and newsworthy figures are using the same mediums at the same time, which is definitely a new state of affairs as compared to the way it has been in the past.

Conclusion

At the end of it all, the new media is obviously here to stay. It is true that there are many gray areas now but many argue that this is the way it has always been. People have even accused people like Cronkite of being political hacks. The new world order of media has made it much harder to figure out who the newsmaker is and who the audience is, but facts are facts and even if people are not showing their true colors, it is all the more easier for the audience to figure out who is being honest by doing their own research and making up their own mind. While ubiquitous technology has empowered existing and new newsmakers, it has done the same for the audience and they should take advantage of that as the state of affairs in the media is very cloudy and it is hard to figure out who the real news authorities are nowadays.

References

Babad, E. (2005). The Psychological Price of Media Bias. Journal of Experimental

Psychology. 11 (4), 245-255.

Barkow, J., O'Gorman, R. & Rendell, L. (2012). Are The New Mass Media Subverting

Cultural Transmission. Review of General Psychology. 16 (2), 121-133.

Bercovici. (2011). Bloomberg's Blurring of Lines Raises Ethics Red Flags. Forbes. 1 (1),

11.

Bowman, J. (2008). Blurring the Lines. New Criterion. 26 (8), 58-62.

Bowman, J. (2012).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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