Social Media in a Changing World

by mkleit

Intelligence came along with evolution, but the smarter we get, the more dangerous we become. War has become a very strong and dominant business nowadays, especially in the Arab world. What we know as the Arab spring is also known as the media revolution. Traditional media outlets have lost credibility when it comes to Arab nations and their revolutions. The media tools are now owned and manipulated by businesses, politicians, and religious figures. The viewer is less and less relying on traditional media news channels such as newspapers, TV stations, and radio, and heading more towards social media news outlets such as Twitter, blog spots, and Facebook.

Christopher Harper, professor at Temple University and a Middle East correspondent for 30 years, said when talking about professional journalism: “I don’t care what I’m interested in, I’m writing what my leadership and viewers like and want.” Traditional media is no longer based on the journalists’ code of ethics, but solely on what the owner’s agenda has. Social media has become the sword of the citizen journalists; nevertheless, it’s a sword with two blades. It’s being abused when reporting issues such as the Arab spring, in favor of a point of view, politics, or allies.

4200 activists are imprisoned and over 100 are either dead or injured during the “Occupy Together” movements in the world. This piece of information was not placed on traditional or official media outlets, but through social media sites. Maya Rahal, ex editor-in-chief of Hibr.me, said in the Beirut Social Media Week that citizen journalism is a type of information spreading and fact checking. The citizen journalist’s tool is social media, since he/she is reporting from the people to the people. Maya also adds in her discussion that media outlets are biased, owned, and on the routes that the owners have placed.

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2 Comments to “Social Media in a Changing World”

  1. An interesting view point… The question is how effective the social media is when it comes to change… It has not that much of an influence as the media guru are saying, an example would be Yemen with the percentage of internet users much less than many other Arabs country yet they have been demonstrating even before the so-called “Arab Spring” the world is changing toward more individualism even though we are supposed to be connected, interdependent and linked.

    • It’s true, social media had a good part of being the spark of the “Arab Spring”, I recall an incident that happened before the Egyptian revolution, where an activist has used AudioBoo (same as Twitter but uses voice then altering it to a text) to report that he was being arrested by police officers because he was protesting against the regime. We’re still part of the collective though we are individualists in our acts and spaces

Freedom to Speak, Respectfully.

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