Internet is one of the main sources of information and data that is now highly accessible and also an essential to survive this digital world we live in. One way to share information is through social news sharing through platforms such as the social media or websites, it is very easy to gain news information with just a couple of clicks and within seconds. The everyday data and information across nations is in the palms of your hand; a smartphone. Social media has become a part of online news distribution and consumption. The term news sharing refers to the act of distributing a specific kind of content instead of describing a general social media activity that can involve posting personal pictures, anecdotes, or talking about one’s feeling (Kümpel et al., 2015). Furthermore, it is also the practice of giving people access to news through social media platforms, as by sharing, posting or recommending it. This article will discuss the origin and the historic trends of news sharing, who owns and control the key business in this field and lastly who benefits from its transformative effects in political economic, social and/or cultural terms and who does not.
Reading the news. FOSI, subject to copyright. Available at https://www.fosi.org/good-digital-parenting/reading-news
Basic history of News sharing
News sharing is not something new to human. It has been passed on from generation to generation, it is human instinct to communicate with another human about certain issues to socialize, it may come from a simple gossip to talking about the current issues of the world, whatever it is, it is news. However, news was spread through mouth to mouth or from a paper but as technology advances, news could be found from the internet or many social media platforms. According to the history of newspaper (Park, 1923), the press is one of the most attribution towards enlightenment, due to the extension of opportunities of education to the masses of population, it was a pathway for advertising and it is proud to be called a product of the city life. It was then a journal of opinion without clear background check if the issue was real or not, meaning it was easily fabricated. Moreover, according to Park (1923), reading the newspaper back then was considered a luxury is now a necessity in the city. With technology advancement, social media has changed our news reading habits over time. This argument is supported by Levy & Radcliffe (2016) as they pointed out that with the introduction of smartphones and the growth of online advertising, it has highly subsidized to the media that is ever so changing by time. Their research shows that there are more than 50,000 news consumers in only 26 nations which mostly have a high income, widespread internet adoption and share many cultural characteristics. Additionally, there was mass decrease of reading the news via a physical paper and online service is now the first ranking source of daily news following with television news (Levy & Radcliffe,2016). From this we can see how things have changed a lot with news sharing.
The role of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are a powerful tool to enable any users who has access to internet to be able to produce, write and share their news to the public. Social media according to Spencer (2014) is now part of our everyday communication and information sharing processes which allows us to share good practice to others. Moreover, messages and visual images can be seen by a click of a button by others using the internet. Social media is a platform where you can collaborate, agree or have opinion on a particular matter. This statement is corresponding to Kümpel et al (2015) as she mentioned that as individuals own news sharing behaviour may escalate their involvement and interest in news topics, incidental news exposure, confrontation with opinion and ideas may occur whilst observing other people’s news sharing.
See what’s happening. Twitter Blog, copyright reserved. Available at https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2018/see_whats_happening.html
Impacts of news sharing today
The evident existence of digital news sharing changes a lot of things in the perspective of political, economic and social sense. Everyone living in this era benefitted from this digital world. Everyone from any race, gender, background etc can join in participation towards this new media era. Comparing to the traditional method of only receiving news in one end, now many would prefer to know the general public opinion about a matter of fact, rather than just keeping one’s opinion to oneself. That is why social media platforms such as Facebook or twitter are the leading role of sharing news because they give out easy access to whomever that has something to say, write, post or share. Kümpel et al (2015) mentions that with these “reposting” or “retweeting” links to news found on those social media applications, online news sites have progressively relied on their referrals from social media to help advance their website traffic, article views and their general economic success. With paperless news goof for the environment, it may not be so good for the news company themselves. Levy & Radcliffe (2016) reported that the economics of the news business is challenging as audiences are now used to consuming online news for free. Not to mention about the ad-blocking tools that prevent desktop and mobile audience from seeing digital advertisement. This is how online news agencies great money, but with ad-blocking tools in the way, it is hard for the publishers to hit their target revenues. Apart from digital ads, publishers make other potential revenue sources from subscriptions, one-off payments, memberships and sponsored content (Levy & Radcliff, 2016).
Video: Reading News Online
Impacts; advantage and disadvantage of news sharing
This great innovation has greatly impacted me as a student, with social news sharing in the digital platforms, I was able to keep up to date with the current issues and news of the world. It is easier for me to learn new things that have never been thought from school or my social communities. To be able to clearly understand both sides of a story is very relevant in everyday life, to be able to make judgments after facts and clear intentions, this is what social media taught me. However, I do see some problems considering the use of social media news sharing, there may be a lot of times where cases of disinformation or fake news sharing happens (Chadwick et al, 2018). There were a lot of cases that news was fabricated, which could lead the public knowledge limited to what the news agency told them. Meaning to say, without the truth, whatever social media tells you what is right, you will believe that the information given is right with no doubt or no question. Chadwick et al (2018) points out that the status of news as the raw material of a great citizenship is still going through a crisis ad there are a lot of constitutional questions regarding the use of social media by news producers and users who shapes the current situation of advanced democracies. There are still questions going around about when users of the internet do share information, how do we actually know who is speaking the whole truth and what if the information is misleading and false, what are the effects of these problems on the culture of life online? I believe this is something that the we as social media users have to put in mind before writing something online.
In conclusion, social news media is a great way for internet users to interact, share, have opinions, post or influence others in social media. There are a lot of good examples of movements and communities that brought real goodness to society such as the #metoo movement. A simple hashtag could help young girls or boys pass through hard times with the help and support of the community. Participation and interaction is what makes us human, to be able to have the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hands is not that horrible after all.
- Chadwick, A., Vaccari, C., & O’loughlin, B. (2018). Do tabloids poison the well of social media? Explaining democratically dysfunctional news sharing. New Media & Society, 20(11), 4255–4274. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818769689
- Kümpel, A., Karnowski, V., & Keyling, T. (2015). News Sharing in Social Media: A Review of Current Research on News Sharing Users, Content, and Networks. Social Media + Society, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305115610141
- Levy, D., & Radcliffe, D. (2016). Social media is changing our digital news habits- but to varying degrees in US and UK. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/social-media-is-changing-our-digital-news-habits-but-to-varying-degrees-in-us-and-uk-60900
- Park, R. (1923). The Natural History of the Newspaper. American Journal of Sociology, 29(3), 273–289. https://doi.org/10.1086/213596
- Spencer, C. (2014). Social Media. Nursing in Critical Care, 19(6), 323–323. https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12136_2
- Common Sense Education. (2018, August 14). Reading News Online [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwptAak6Vho