I wrote this write-up for a research journal
during May 2012. I am now publishing it on my blog in parts.
2011 MASS UPRISINGS: SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS - PART-IX
SOURCES AND MEDIA CONVERGENCE
media, while playing a significant role in spreading protests throughout the
globe, has changed the dynamics of the news flow dramatically. And media
convergence has made it possible.
the news media industry, source of information is the main driving force. News
production runs on the values like proximity, authenticity, validity and
relevance based on the circumstance and genre of the news.
organizational channels and news wires have been the main source of the
information flow. The next big addition to it came from the Internet.
one can expect a newsroom without Internet and googled information. And social
media is giving brilliant dimensions to this change especially in situations
when proximity becomes more important than authenticity, as in cases of the
often come across reports that Twitter and Facebook intend to exploit the
information flow through their networks to significantly alter the news
industry and they have a point here to make, for they led the revolutions in
the closed regimes like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. They have started sounding
significant in iron-curtained regimes like China, Russia and Syria.
media has made a difference in countries where the traditional media is totally
controlled. Social media mobilized opinion of millions on issues like
corruption and corporate greed, considered dead issues not so long ago.
last year was the year of the protester, a year marked by the protests when the
common men took to the streets, from Tunisia to India, from Egypt to USA, from
Canada to Greece, to protest regimes and to protest on issues. Most of the
protests were operated in a way totally amorphous with no figurehead.
there were so many heroes, unnamed, leading from the front, fighting in the streets
and on the communication platforms, outdoing the regimes and the controls, by
disseminating their stories of struggle, plight and momentary triumphs.
convergence gave them the global voice. The human aspect of the media
convergence blended so well with its technological and business counterparts -
that it is going to be the next big thing in the news production industry.
Websites, print editions and television programming – on any given day, they
all have multiple stories based on important Tweets. Tweets form major chunk of breaking news
stories these days and the trend effectively began with the Arab Spring.
Hostile conditions for working journalists in
these crisis hotbeds left very few international media persons there and the
global media largely depended on the social media feeds by the protester on the
street. That contingency measure looks well to become a model now. Right from
the office of the Indian Prime Minister to the junk celebrities of Indian film
and sports industries, to the global newsmakers, everyone has now microblogging
presence and it is significantly aiding to the news pool of the organizations.