In Web 2.0 It’s Users Who Set The News Agenda

With a background in delivering major brand projects for international clients, @brandlogik specializes in branding and content development in the area of social media. In this Guest Post, their Creative Director looks at how social media empowerment is changing the news agenda.
Rupert MurdochIn a previous post for Energise 2.0, Stephen Dunn looked at the relationship between old and new media. I would like to take up the theme again and look at how the news agenda is changing in the Web 2.0 era and how users have lost faith and belief in traditional media channels, something that has economic consequences.

In the age of Leveson, mainstream news media is viewed by many as tainted. In the age of Leveson, journalism itself has been shown to be at best unreliable and agenda driven and can arguably be viewed as little more than a propaganda tool for governments and other powerful organizations.

Like ten million others in the UK I get most of my news and opinions from Twitter, and I don’t get that news from following traditional media or any mainstream journalists whatsoever.

Time MagazineUsed properly, Twitter can be a very powerful search tool. When combined with other applications such as Topsy and good search skills it can become a very powerful news-gathering resource. Powerful enough to bring down some long lasting barriers as we have all seen in major political events and social upheavals around the world.

So what’s changing? In the old media age broadcasters and editors set the news agenda and they were often influenced by media owners and government PR machines that set the tone and language for most significant social, political and sporting events.

In the Web 2.0 era, however, the user can interact and employ social media to comment on the news and editorial content and source the news that they find important and newsworthy. With Web 2.0 you can easily and inexpensively produce your own editorial or news content and help set the tone and language for the news agenda yourself and, if you have the time, produce your own blog, Twitter account or Facebook page that reflects your own agenda. If history belongs to the victor you can now write your own version of history. The tools are there.

Whenever there is a major news event you can really feel the full power of Twitter and if you feel that news event is not being reported fairly and accurately, then social media gives you the means to make your views heard. And this is in turn changing mainstream media and how they generate income.

Twitter NewsLike a lot of people I stopped buying newspapers a long time ago. Like a lot of people too I have an internet TV and can choose my own editorial viewpoint by simply not being forced to watch traditional broadcast news streams. I can choose to get my news from another region or country entirely if I want to have a more balanced and nuanced view of events. I can comment on those channels too via social media outlets.

If newspapers and broadcasters are failing, and failing economically, then social media and adaptable news sources that engage with their users are starting to gain ground. Thanks to Web 2.0 that can only lead to a fairer and more balanced news agenda for everyone. Everything is possible.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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