Battle of the
Media Platforms by Journey Green
Nov. 8, 2021
“DING DING DING! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!” In today's battle, we will be discussing journalists on cable services vs. the spread of information by the average person on social media. Which will come out on top of where news is the best consumed?
Round 1 - Accessibility
According to a recent study conducted by Pew Research, 8 out of 10 Americans get their news from social media or view news on their cell phone. You might ask, “Why is that?”The simple answer would be that it’s portable and always in our hands. Our smartphones are in our grasps during errands, exercising, or even at school. It's practically impossible doing anything without our phones. The spread of COVID-19 has only increased smartphone use. Many restaurants have even become more digital because of the virus, including the usage of QR codes to replace menus! Even checking into your doctor's appointments can be done virtually now. The requirement to have a smartphone to conduct our everyday lives is why we're glued to our phones. Cable services on the other hand you are required to have a television which would be pretty heavy to have with you at all times of the day. So there is no doubt that social media news is far more accessible than cable services. Social media by far wins this round.
Round 2 - Delivery
Many people might prefer to get their news from social media because they feel the stories are more personal and real. Unlike traditional news media where the information has been cleaned up and made more presentable, a lot of the news found on social media feels more raw and honest. In a panel hosted by Black News Channel, a question was posed on how journalists can refrain from being too emotional while delivering news. Charles Blow, the host of Prime, stated in response "We are not activists; we are journalists." The role of journalists is to gather together various sources and make sure that all the perspectives are represented. Cable news anchors usually suppress their personal feelings about the stories they cover, which is a good thing, however, it could also frustrate viewers because it's hard to see their emotions behind the message. "Cable News has a bit of a different audience, particularly older and established in their career," says Black News Channel’s Nayyera Haq. Genuine cable services seem to cater to more of an older audience versus social media, so the story development might be a bit more complex on cable services. When it comes to delivery, this comes down to preference, making this round a tie.
Final Round - Credibility
"IT HAS TO BE REAL IT'S ON THE INTERNET!" As journalists, it can often be difficult to stop the spread of rumors and falsified information because of social media. Those on social media have nothing stopping them, especially now that people can conduct a news story on social media with just the press of a button. When it comes to social media information is spread extremely quickly, whether it’s right or wrong. Nevertheless, cable services can work hand-in-hand with social media. The Journalists in the BNC panel later mentioned that they use social media often to cover stories. Social media gives cable services trending topics to focus on. As a journalist, it is also your job to know your audience. Since social media is often biased,
it can be rather tricky to determine what is true because facts often overlap with opinions. Cable services have more access to sources to ensure accuracy and that all sides are well represented. As a result, cable news is often viewed as more credible, making it the winner of this round.
Time to check the scoreboard! It seems that we have come to a tie you can decide. Where do you think the news is the best consumed?