Current affairs reporting
Leveraging new and social media
TEDGlobal Fellow 2010
Editor, Groundviews (www.groundviews.org)
what is social media?
• Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform
broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues
(many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and
information, transforming people from content consumers into content
what is new media?
• New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital,
computerized, or networked information and communication technologies.
• New media is not television programs, feature ﬁlms, magazines, books, or
paper-based publications. (Wikipedia)
• But increasingly, old media is leveraging the web, Internet and mobiles in
generating and disseminating news and information.
new media and foundations
• Social networks (Twitter, Facebook)
• Google Maps
• Mobiles: SMS, mobile photography and video
• VoIP: Skype, Google Chat
• And making this all possible is ADSL + 3G wireless broadband
• Ubiquity of two way communications
• Addressable peoples, even those who IDPs or refugees
• Both news generation and dissemination leverages new media
• Disintermediated models vs. traditional media model
• Citizens as producers
• Low resolution content broadcast on high deﬁnition media
old media model
Event / Issue
new media models
Event / Issue Consumer Citizen media
Journalist Mainstream Consumer
News as a package
News as a conversation
readership and reach: web media
From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka.
Over this week alone, the site received over forty thousand readers and exclusively
featured over eighty-thousand words of original content, one video premiere, over
a dozen photos, generating over one hundred and ﬁfty thousand words of
commentary. Tens of thousands more have read and commented on this content since.
• Buying fruits of vegetables • Curating news
• Check price • Check authorship
• Weigh it in one’s hands • Check for veracity, quality
• Is it accurate, fair, topical?
• Look at it from all angles
• What is the bias? Is it progressive?
• Look at it in context
• Select a few from many sources
• Look at a few, not just one
• Discard if out-dated information is
• Discard if old presented
• Be suspicious if it looks too good • Be cautious of unveriﬁed information
and breaking news
• Ascertain location where it was
produced • Is the producer local or foreign?
curated twitter content on sri lanka: news
curated twitter content on sri lanka: blogs
ustream: mobile phone broadcasting
ﬂickr: posting images via mobiles
• Impartial, accurate coverage still vital, increasingly hard to ascertain
• Torrent of information, trickle of knowledge
• Veracity and veriﬁability
• Eye-witness accounts are partial, subjective
• New media / technology illiteracy even amongst journalists
• Apathy and animosity against citizen journalism
• Licensing and attribution of online content
key points: recap
• New technologies potentially give voice to all citizens
• Be sceptical of new information, but use new media to push and pull content
• Develop media literacy to embrace new technologies