Social media discussed at panel
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 22:03
Bob Cesca, Chez Pazienza, Vanessa Valenti and John King came together Jan. 27 as panelists to discuss the effects of social media. Cesca, Pazienza, and Valenti have all made names for themselves as bloggers and journalists, and King is a professor in the communication department at ETSU.
Social media has moved beyond connecting with friends and family and is now a major contender for how most people, especially the younger generation, get their information today. Once deemed trivial, social media is now playing a major role in politics in America and across the world.
The panel was quick to define that social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc.) are not the same as traditional media (newspaper, cable networks like Fox and CNN), Pazienza said, “I got fired in 2008 by CNN for blogging, which kind of made me the go-to person for discussions on the differences between traditional media and social media.”
King was asked about the differences between traditional media and new media (social media) and said, “I want to discuss how traditional news values are changing around social media … traditional news media is continuous following of horse-race coverage, who’s ahead, who’s behind. There’s not enough coverage on the issues. Also in traditional media there’s too much coverage on national polls, which in my mind are meaningless since electoral math is what really matters.
And finally, the No. 1 thing traditional news values is conflict; the news is inherently negative. The one thing traditional news is really good at is giving two sides of a six-sided story. The press can be easily manipulated if you know what you’re doing. On the flip side social media is citizen driven media, and has the potential to overcome some of its difficulties.
“This past election, the election 2012, is the first election where social media had a major impact.”
Anyone who has a Facebook or a Twitter account knows that timelines were full of arguments and opinions from the 2012 presidential election. It was inescapable on social media platforms. The Internet and new media are an integral part of society now and are now becoming the best way for people to be heard.
“Never in our history have we been able to mobilize millions in a matter of minutes,” Valenti commented.
Valenti gave a perfect example of this when she spoke about how early last year, the Susan G. Komen foundation