How News Has Moved Online

In many ways, traditional news outlets moving to an online publication doesn’t really change the consumption patterns a great deal. However, the advent of social media news that people are seeing on a regular basis has become problematic in recent times. Instead of reading a newspaper, be it online or paper, from cover to cover, people are digesting a curated version of the news through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

According to a recent survey, more than half of the people in Great Britain are now using the internet on a daily basis. The data obtained from the Office for National Statistics show that 55% of people use the internet to either download or read, the news, though it doesn’t indicate from which source. Social media sites such as Facebook have come in for considerable criticism recently, for the targeting of the press, and potential influence over the political process. The problem comes from the fact that social media sites are not a meritocratic organisation; instead, they are a business which is seeking to make money. You can also post as an individual or organisation, and don’t have to adhere to the usual publishing or broadcasting standards which apply to both print and television news.

The most notable example of how news consumed via social media can be problematic is the supposed Russian interference in the American Presidential elections. It is now widely believed that campaigns funded by the Russian state promoted the candidate, Donald Trump, to get him elected as the next president. In the days of people consuming their news by a more traditional conduit, these publications would be held accountable for any lies or deceit which they propagated during the campaign. When such accusations are levelled at social media accountability becomes very difficult to pinpoint or action.