Do you remember the last time you get the news information is from where? From the newspaper? Or from the website and social media? Nowadays, social media has become a part of our life which makes our life more convenient. I observed most of my friends using social media as a way to get the latest news. Even my parents are starting to learn how to use Facebook to read the news. According to the media consumer survey 2017, the number of Australian frequently use digital sources as their primary source of news have been risen from 26% in 2013 to 37% in 2017. In the survey, there are also 46 % respondents believe that they will get ‘fast’ real-time and accurate news from the social media and 54% of the active social networking Australian respondents said they will commenting on news area frequently. (Alcorn, Chang and Clare Harding, 2017) That shows the rise
of people accesses and share mainstream news is because of the immediacy and interactivity of social media platform. A research from the Statista, there are 3.3 billion social media users the as of July 2018. (Statista, 2018) There is no single form of media that can gather that many people from all over the world on a platform in human history. The arise of social media is a huge impact on human development and it makes people have a new way to speak out. The social media platform as an Internet innovation, not only the benefits of our daily life but also the political economic and social. At the same time, it also has some negative impacts too. In the following essay, I am going to discuss the history of the social new sharing and who can and does not get the benefit from social news sharing. And how do social news sharing affect our daily life? The conclusion drawn is that social news sharing is a remarkable ideal world, but it can’t be over-reliant on it.
A brief history on social news sharing
According to an article “Understanding news sharing in social media”, Social news sharing refers to “the contribution and dissemination of news stories in various social media platforms by individuals.” (Long, Chei and Dion Hoe Lian Goh, 2014, p.600.) Back to around 30 years ago, people used to reliant on the traditional media (e.g. newspaper, magazine, television) to get the information. Until the World Wide Web has been invented in 1991 (Dijck, José van, 2013), a new community shown upstart changing the way of the journalism industry. With the rapid progress of science and technology, the World Wide Web making huge strides every day. Different websites risen up from the late 1990s, from the Blogger created at 1999, then Wikipedia on 2001, till 2004 the largest social media platform Facebook has been invented by Mark Zuckerberg (Dijck, José van, 2013). The users of Facebook have been rapidly growth till the second quarter of 2018 there are 2.23 billion monthly active worldwide users in Facebook (Statista,2018). In Australia, there are a total of around 60% of the country’s population are an active user on Facebook in 2018, which is around 15 million monthly active user (Cowling,2018 ). The success of Facebook also brings out a lot of new social media platform such as Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc.
With the huge number of users and the journalism also started being a part of these kinds of social media, they use the social media platform as a way to do the daily news report and also immediate live of breaking news. According to the ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) annual report 2017, they are one of the top sours of Australian news organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and one of their social media campaign they had been more than 22,400 #WarOnWasteAU Tweets, which reached more than 19 million people (ABC News Annual Report, 2017, p.33.). Although the traditional formats (e.g TV news, radio and newspapers) may still the main way for people access the news, but that’s show nowadays a lot of people and media company changing the way and using the social media to contribute and dissemination which makes the social media become a new trend of news sharing.
Who has benefited from its transformative effects and who has not?
The transformation of news sharing mainly benefited to three main areas, the Government, the social media company and the society.
This behaviour not only can increase the involvement and interest in daily news, but also political issues. ( Kümpel, Karnowski, and Keyling 2015) Political apathy is always a problem in modern society. Nowadays, People didn’t get much attention of the political issues since there a lot of entertaining and other events that are more attractive to the audience in the world which makes the political apathy more serious. Social news sharing can counter the political apathy, the participation in sharing could ultimately be reflected in the political domain which also provides a platform that for the society to debate and response on political decisions (Parsons,2014). Online sharing or like now can be count on a way of political participation which may help to contribute a healthy democratic society.
The Social Media Company
Social news sharing mainly relied on the social media platform, likes Facebook and Twitter. News posts can help these platforms gain a lot more attention on these platforms which makes them can collect this attention as data and as a new way to do advertising which is also called attention economics. According to an article on Forbes, Facebook and Google control almost 60% of all online media spending now, which means these two companies have passed traditional media leaders in market valuation and can gain huge revenue. (Desjardins,2017). In the recent report, Facebook’s global revenue amounted to 13.2 billion U.S. dollars as of 2nd quarter 2018. (Facebook, 2018)
As mention above social news sharing can help the society can get the information immediately which can let the society easier to follow the breaking news, included some emergency event. At the same time, there a lot of users will like, share and comment while they are reading news from the social media platform as mentioned. This is a democratization of news and information, people can get the news easily and freely through the social media, and the also can freely be expressed or discuss their ideas online and find like-minded people. This is a way that contributes the social identity and connection between the online users. (Dwyer and Martin, 2017). Social news sharing as a form of the cognitive alignment and effective connection is also benefited to the society. (Harber and Cohen, 2005)
Although social news sharing has a lot advantage to different categories, at the same time there still somebody does not benefit from it.
The traditional media
Traditionally the journalism used to sell their news and words through traditional formats, which is print newspaper, magazine, radio etc. With the arising of social media, people not only can get the information easily but also without cost. That makes the traditional media facing the great challenge of low profit even close down. According to the media consumer survey 2017, although the traditional formats are still occupied a large proportion, it still slightly decreasing from 70 % in 2013 to 55% in 2017. (Alcorn, Chang and Clare Harding, 2017) Traditional media need to find a new way to increase their profit, such as enterprise transformation to change their future.
From my perspective, social news sharing is very convenient for me while I am studying aboard. Even I am not living in my hometown but I still can get related news from the social media platform which makes me still able to have a connection between my hometown and family and friends. On the other hand, the immediacy and interactivity of social media platform obviously make the political economy and society have a rapidly fast development which makes the society better. However, every rose has its thorn. Social media as a free access platform, there is still some potential concern of the information of this platform, such as fake information or news varied growth, which we may need to think once more when we are reading news information online. Although there still have the concern about social news sharing I am still optimistic about the future of this industry, which will make a better society.
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Dijck, J. v. (2013). The culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media. New York;Oxford;: Oxford University Press.
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