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Social media take on failing news media in looming battle

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Will the news media will ever be able to re-invent themselves before they are wiped off the media landscape, wonders JD Lovrenciear.

All mainstream news media and those that are trying to ride on the online media wave better be forewarned.

A looming battle of the centuries taking shape: The new war is that of netizens who have an evolving weapon in their hands: Mobile phones and the social media are gearing up to trample on all news media.

As John Swinton, the preeminent New York journalist, said in the 19th Century, there is no such thing as “an independent press”.

As the world experiences an IT revolution and fuelled by people’s growing distrust of all paid-for and free news media, these media are being replaced by social media news generation and sharing.

Anti-fake news laws will vapourise in the face of this battle which is all about a serious trust deficit.

Journalism is being threatened. Journalists may be losing salaried jobs.

And as mainstream media including their online news portals are being dumped by citizens the world over, the media moguls and their patronising oligarchs and political partners may soon have to face the rebellion that is underway by the “network society” (Manuel Castells).

This unprecedented battle is taking shape because the news media has been weighed down by a trust and honesty deficit.

The age-old argument for and the furious defence of the ‘media agenda’ is collapsing in the face of the netizens’ rising abandonment of the news media.

As bravely stated by John Swinton, if a journalist’s honest opinions were to appear in one issue of his/her paper, “before twenty-four hours (that) occupation would be gone”. 

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The growing perception that is taking root deep in the media landscape is that the “business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread….”

Since the birth of the penny press, media have gone too far with their business agenda with the “rich men behind the scenes”.

With this reality take, the question is whether the news media will ever be able to re-invent themselves before they are wiped off the media landscape by the social media revolution.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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