The Role of Media and News Platforms in Electoral Politics

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Do you pay much attention on Facebook or Twitter? Have you made comments on the political issues?

Nowadays,it’s difficult to measure the precise impact of Facebook and other social media platforms on international election system, however, political experts and academics find it hard to deny that Facebook’s global influence is powerful since almost a quarter of people on the world has Facebook accounts.dcd5494c863e2bbd5d380005961ae7a8

With the advent of the diverse media platforms, the media platforms have inherited the role the traditional media on the electoral politics. To a large extent, the mode, process and trend of electoral political activities were changed by Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. The interaction between the candidate and the voters is increasing, and the direct effect of this two-way exchange is that the voters have the opportunity to participate directly in the electoral political activities. On the one hand, the interactive effects that online political expression have increased their interaction and communication. On the other hand, the impartiality of electoral activities has also been guaranteed.

080856zc7xz2sy2dxu6yf6While the fact, not surprisingly, has found that the mounting evidence of positive impacts, it also revealed that news platform can have a negative effect on election system.

USA President Obama made a speech during the general election, accusing Facebook and other social media platforms from spreading false news. The US presidential election has thrust Facebook and other media platforms into the spotlight in the digital age, and what’ more, a large number of leaders, advocates and ethnic groups around the world have been facing a lot of false network information and abuse, and they have created the adverse political influence on the real world. Over the years, social networks have largely failed to curb false information. Some conservative governments have closed a number of websites, calling them to spread fake news.  Over the years, Facebook, Google and some other media platforms have not begun to take effective measures to curb this trend.

 

Reference

  • Donath, J 2016, Why fake news stories thrive online, CNN, America, viewed 20 November 2016, < http://edition.cnn.com >
  • Yamamoto, M., Kushin, M. and Dalisay, F. 2015, ‘Social media and mobiles as political mobilization forces for young adults: Examining the moderating role of online political expression in political participation’. New Media & Society, 17, no.6, pp.880-898.
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Social media, the new news delivery platforms

Digital platforms have changed the way in which many of us access, consume, discuss, share and produce news stories. And mass media also rapidly adapted themselves to the innovative way for content delivery.
In most modern countries worldwide, many audiences no longer access news on physical news media such as newspaper and magazine. Many news media have their own website where people access news in their daily lives. Such as Newsvine, a news commentary platform hosted by the NBC in the US, and people often join or raise debates on heated topic there. The examples in Australia are Sydney Morning Herald and Financial Times, where the audience can get news push-delivery from their websites and Apps.
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On social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WeChat, many news media also have their own account, where they push news even quicker and more frequent than website or bbs. People can access instant news or event happening around the world through social media platform, and they can easily share the information with friends by forwarding, reposting the news or posting comment on their own account. People can even create news as parties or witnesses.

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This new form of participatory journalism has established a new type of relationship between media industries and audiences, in which the interaction is more direct and active. Media can now figure out audiences’ preference easily by analysing the “likes” and comments on the news they post online.
To attract audiences and compete with others, some journalists and mainstream media post news with a hot title with no value or even “made up” news to catch the audiences’ eyes. According to Sydney Morning Herald’s research, there are only 20% of journalists will check the news before publishing on social media. The reason is that some editors rush to be the first to report a “news”, which result in their easily making a misinterpretation out of context without an in-depth investigation. In China, a mainstream media called WangYi News is criticised and blamed by audiences for posting news that does not exist or only partially true.

More and more people access news online especially from social media, while a large amount of them cannot efficiently distinguish misinformation. Therefore, government’ rules and regulations to improve the reliability of news online and on social media are necessary.

News media should also take their responsibilities to help to create an environment where audiences can access valuable and reliable information and news. And audiences, as the driving force of the spread of news and information, should also learn to spot and distinguish fake news.

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The influences of digital platforms on Chinese journalism

Nowadays, digital platforms have changed the way in which many of us produce, access, discuss and share news stories. Although Chinese authority impedes the spread of some western social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, Chinese social platforms which have the same functions as these blocked platforms are popular and influential.

Weibo and Wechat have the most users in China; they are just like the king and queen regarding their social influence and power. They also affect journalism because of the reliable news sources shared by their users.

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Weibo is a Chinese micro-blogging website (also available as a mobile app), it is regarded as the combination of Twitter and Facebook. It has a 140-character limit of each post, which is like Twitter. It also provides users many options about sharing photos, music and videos, creating campaigns, which is like Facebook.

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WeChat is a free mobile communication app. People can send text and voice message, conduct a voice or video call (one-to-one & one-to-many), share photos, videos as well as location. However, there is no clear equivalent in western market.

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It is widely believed that China’s media is supervised by the government, however, some digital platforms such as Weibo and Wechat contribute to the escape of media from propaganda. They provide opportunities for citizens to reveal social evils such as official corruption and income inequalities. Therefore, many journalists can acquire news information through these platforms.

Many news agencies have registered their official accounts on Weibo and WeChat to post daily news for the large audiences. News, affected by digital platforms, has undergone great changes in reporting and releasing modes. These platforms make news to meet the user’s personal and individual needs.

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What Is The Best Media Platform?

The news industry is one of the most trusted sources of information on current events. Furthermore, television and newspapers are still reliable media platforms. For instance, in a recent Pew research, the studies indicate that there has been a significant decline in newspaper circulation by 7% since 2010 (Mitchell & Holcomb, 2016).1.jpg

Moreover, platforms such as the television, have recorded a decrease in viewership due to the development of digital media platforms. Although cable and network TV have experienced increased revenue, their broad public exposed to digital platforms have resulted in the development of online newspapers, blogs, and websites. In the U.S, the presidential primary led to an 8% increase in television viewership.

However, after the primaries, most Americans turned away from cable or satellite TV subscriptions. Currently, the digital audience is expanding to include podcasts, social media, mobile apps and email newsletters.

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Low Quality On Social Media Posts

Social media has become important, so the number of journalists who use digital media to report news have increased. However, at the same time, the reliability of the social media posts is suspected. In order to obtained a wide responses of readers, journalists uses a lot interesting topic but low quality news.

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Journalists do less fact-checking when they report news on online. Nearly 33% of journalists believe that the social media posts are not creditable, but 50% of them still use those posts as the main source of information.

A new motto is  ‘publish first, correct if necessary’. There are only 20% of journalists who check their news before publishing on social media. Many journalists think that quick publishing posts is more important than checking the facts. Generally, they publish the news at first, then they will change the content if it leads to something negative effacts.

In addition, the journalists rules on social media lacks supervision compared with traditional media. Thus, sharing private opinion of journalists has become a popular on online.

Moreover, journalists pay more attention to the click rate, than caring the quality of posts. For example, they choose and use those exaggerated titles to attract the audiences.

According to the current social media environment, propagating right rules to improve the reliability of social media posts is necessary, for example, emphasizing the importance of fact-checking and reducing the expressing the personal view of jouranlists. Furthermore, traditional media and social media should have the same platform of rules and regulations on journalists.

 

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Journalism in the Digital Age

Traditional news media has experienced major changes from physical newspaper to multiplatform since the wide use of the Internet in the mid-1990s.

In the days before the world wide web, journalists need to witness a story, write up a news story, go to the business centre, print it out or report through television and radio. News editors and the governments play an major role as the gatekeepers to information. The audiences get whatever news and information newspaper and tv report.

Since the Web1.0 era, the way of how people consume information and news started to change – BBS became popular. The forum was a new interactive platform for the public to communicate with strangers online. West Temple and Tencent are two example for popular BBS at that time.

After the reveoluntionary change in technology and Internet, information gatekeepers become less and less essential because costs of distribution is disappearing and the public are no longer only audiences, they become news editors and spreader.

With the emergence of Facebook in early 2000, the social network officially entered the Web2.0 era. People started to use blog, instant messages apps, social media platform and other multimedia means as a way for daily communication and information resources.

As people can now freely access to news and information through multiple platforms, traditional journalism is somehow ‘abandoned’. In the words of The Guardian, “feeds from social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter provide a snapshot of events happening around the world from the viewpoint of first-hand witnesses, and blogs and citizen news sources offer analytical perspectives from the ground faster than print or television can provide.”

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“As with all major change processes, a game of opposites develops between control and freedom, order and chaos. The potential controllers aren’t only in government and parliaments throughout the world. Large companies also want to exercise control over the market,” said by the Sverige Adio.

While I think that the biggest power of control is in the hand of neither the government or large companies, it is in the hand of the public and technology. The revolution of technology change the way of how people access information and news, and it forces the news media to adapt themselves to attract audiences. The rise of independent blogger, the wide use of social media and the trend of online news spreading are challenges for news media. Instead of trying to control the audiences and the ‘news industry’, news media should focus on how to adjust themselves to fit the needs of the general public in this digital age.

 

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Week 7 UGC and Digital News Platform

Following the development of technology, a wide variety of digital devices are used in daily life of people. According to content of this week’s online lecture. I found that people would use different digital devices in different time periods and occasions. For example, most people choose to use computer during working time. But at other times, people prefer to use portable devices to read news. Due to the change of people’s reading habit, traditional media have to face to impacts and challenges caused by digital media and journalists have to provide news content which is multiplatform-friendly.

UC News is a digital news platform which provide services to both PC and mobile devices. It is the first batch of media platform, which provide cross-platform news in China. Today, UC News even provides news content in Indonesia. UC News has it own news website, news plugin in mobile browser apps, mobile-friendly website  and news apps of both Apple and Android. In Addition, UC News Indonesia even publishes news content on YouTube. From a technical level, UC News can be seen as an excellent digital news platform. However, it also has many problems that can not be ignored.

UC News on Different Platforms

The problem is the authenticity of the news on UC News are not guaranteed. The reason for this problem is because UC News allows users and self-media to upload news content to the platform, but UC does not supervise them effectively and seriously.

In my view, although UGC provide a new source to journalism and increase interactivity to readers, but also make the news environment complicated and chaotic. Therefore, News platform should strengthen supervision, and readers like us should also learn to identify the authenticity of the news in this digital generation.

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