Wednesday, 14 December 2016

CASE 457 - The news, news papers and mainstream media

CASE 457 - The news, news papers and mainstream media

Mainstream media (MSM) is a term and abbreviation used to refer collectively to the various large mass news media that influence a large number of people, and both reflect and shape prevailing currents of thought. The term is used to contrast with alternative media which may contain content with more dissenting thought as they do not reflect prevailing opinion.Over time the amount of media merging has increased and the amount of media outlets have increased. That translates to fewer companies owning more media outlets, increasing the concentration of ownership. In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by fifty companies; today, 90% is controlled by just six companies and there is usually only a few different opinions and philisophies in the newspapers and mainstream media i.e one area is the Tabloid newspapers which prefer to concentrate on nationalistic views, over the top fear and hate and miss information, 1 example is the express newspaper has put messages that many muslims in the UK are or could be linked to religious fundamentalism or terrorism. Then you have the more conservative view, fear of anything that goes outside the normal accepted way of thinking, such as the daily mail or standard or even the BBC. You then have independent newspapers that still have "their" views and ways of expressing the knowledge they want to show but its a more fair and unbiased view such as the independent or Guardian

The executives, the editors in print media, the senior producers, executive producers in the visual media – these are the people who have the ideological bias and what’s probably almost as important – their personal friendships. They go to the same country clubs, they go to the same dinners, they socialize with a lot of the people that they cover.The mainstream news media, while Americans rely on it daily for the latest reports on world and domestic events, a recent study conducted by the Cronkite School of Journalism indicates that nearly 67% of Americans don’t trust major media for accurate reporting. Ask Americans specifically why they distrust the media and the answers are generally vague. After all, reports of news media abuses aren’t normally found on the front page or the nightly news. Nonetheless, they do exist. Today, standards in mainstream news reporting had more to do with career enhancement than reporting the truth.

The debate about post-fact politics misses the point. The Brexit and Trump campaigns deliberately exploited the crisis of journalism and the rise of social media. We are witnessing the birth of robopolitics: the mechanised reproduction of campaign messages by campaign machines that bypass normal journalistic verification. Internet campaigning is smart. Why waste money spraying your message all over the country in the hope that it somehow splashes those that will count? The superior targeting of social media campaigns is why the UK ad revenue of Google and Facebook now exceeds that of all newspapers in the country combined. It is also why all the main campaigns – but particularly the pro-Brexit campaign – embraced social media. Another development is targeting and message selection. Politicians have always followed the maxim “know your audience”, and adjusted their talks for whomever was present, but a messaging machine driven by ever more finely grained knowledge of the audience tunes “dog-whistle” politics to new heights. Each of the Brexit campaigns employed message-targeting to ensure effectiveness. The ground war in the campaign was in many ways a battle of the databases.

The future of the news and the mainstream media

The communication landscape is one of constant change. To be an influencer in the industry, companies have to embrace a culture of innovation and change. The truth is that communications has changed more in the past five years than it has in the past 100. And it will change more in the next year than the last five. The question we each need to ask is how are we evolving as communicators to meet these rapid changes?

The internet era has not been kind to newspaper publishers. It has almost killed classified advertising, accelerated a decline in circulation and directed eyeballs towards a seemingly infinite supply of blogs, videos and websites but after more than a decade of struggling to keep up with disruptive technology, a glimmer of hope has brightened the pervading gloom in the industry. And with that hope comes the very source of so many of its woes: Silicon Valley. Apple and Facebook have announced news services that could potentially create an important revenue stream for publishers, broaden their readership and — eventually — offer them a direct path to paying subscribers.

Facebook has enlisted nine publishers for its Instant Articles services, which has already launched in limited form in the US with content from BuzzFeed, The Atlantic and The New York Times. (It plans to start the service in Europe soon.) Apple, meanwhile, has signed up dozens of publishers for Apple News — a Flipboard-style app which launches in the autumn — including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist and the Financial Times. Given the industry’s bruising experiences, it is perhaps natural that publishers have greeted the new services with a mixture of fear and optimism. Mark Thompson, chief executive of The New York Times, points to the benefits of being able to provide its news content to a vast new audience. “We’re talking about an opportunity to distribute your content at no charge at all to well over 1bn people,” he says. “[Facebook] has a larger population than the People’s Republic of China.” Driving Facebook and Apple’s interest in news “is the arrival of the smartphone as the primary access point for many readers”, he says. A publisher who has had negotiations with both companies puts it differently. Facebook and Apple have “finally woken up to the fact that news has value on mobile”.

Publishing boost

Two of the world’s biggest technology companies identifying value in a sector written off by many other investors would normally be cause for celebration in an industry that has lately not had much to cheer about. In the US, combined newspaper advertising revenues from print and digital sources tumbled from close to $50bn in 2005 to $20bn last year, according to the Pew Research Center. In that period, digital advertising revenues on newspaper websites increased from $2bn to just $3.5bn.

Understanding modern communications

Today’s news stories are no longer text only. Today’s news stories are visual, personalized, snackable and sharable. They are long form and they are short form. They can be consumed in an office, or while at a ball game. They are available on demand and easily available in search. They are interactive and global. They are designed to provide the reader with the format of news the reader prefers. Today’s news is customized by user consumption preference.

How the news distorts our world view

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