I lost my president yesterday!It was bedtime and my laptop was on sleep mode. The Hewlett-Packard was gracefully perched on its habitual spot, close to my bedside, for early morning Facebook and Twitter ’rounds’ – the kind surgical interns do very early in the morning on Grey’s Anatomy. You shouldnt be suprised since I have admitted being a media studies junkie anyway. So back to my story…
I fall asleep, and not too long afterwards my cell phone rings. It is my housemate from her room downstairs (has technology made us lazy? YES).
“Have you heard the news, Yar’adua is dead” she yells.
“What? where did you hear that from, facebook or twitter?” I grouchily manage to yell back, since for some reason I just knew she would not be watching the TV at that moment.
Now let us break down this exchange. Never mind that we used the verb “hear” not “read” to qualify our access to the news. The basic assumption here is that news gotten online is almost as real as the TV medium, you tend to forget you actually READ the news, even where you read and (or) watched.
But what was most appealing to my ever-ready-media-analytical mind, amidst the sorrow of the loss, was the fact that social media (twitter & facebook) was abuzz with this breaking news and instant reactions to it, while mainstream media such as TV was ….may I say losing out. If the coming of T.V promised instant message broadcast … new media is delivering an even more instant platform for messages.
As T.V houses gave one line breaking news bulletins and struggled to put together content to form a story, contact analysts to comment and all the stuff that goes on in the news room (which will have to be aired the following day); the internet was reeling with news and reactions… reporters dropped spot-of-the-moment findings, like ” I am still trying to get the information minister to confirm this report”…..
I cannot but sense the approach of a new phase in news-casting. There is an on-going battle between social media (internet) and Television. Convergence of these media provides a promising front. How will this marriage work? TV stations can use social media to break the news and lure the audience away from their PCs to the front of the TV set that has been idling away in the living-room for ages.
It is just a thought… perhaps I may churn a more scholarly post later… for all the book lovers.
I lost my President yesterday…. but I just had to ask this question, ‘who is the broadcaster in this new age?’