Just like that: I have a blog.
My name is Rachel, and I am currently working towards a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication through Troy University. I am excited for the opportunity to discuss emerging media through a blog because it provides an opportunity to explore another tool in the digital age. This summer I am interning in the Human Resources department for Shoe Carnival, Inc. as an assistant to the Corporate Recruiter. My primary duties include developing a pool of qualified candidates by reviewing resumes and conducting pre-screen interviews, and recommending the strongest candidates to hiring managers. The most significant factor throughout the hiring process is communication. Relevant written information presented on a resume along with the quality of a phone conversation determine an applicant’s chance at getting the job.
The world of strategic communication and emerging media is constantly expanding. There are so many trends, topics, and cause-and-effect discussions that arise when diving into how emerging media affects today’s world. The purpose of this blog is to contribute to the conversation. Each week I will post on topics relating to strategic communication and emerging media. I will provide sources from articles, journals, and videos in order to comment on the ever pressing digital age, and what it means for society. If there is a hot topic in this field that evokes questions and discussions, I will be blogging about it.
If you are interested in following my weekly updates or would like to join in on the discussion, feel free to bookmark this page at https://rmscib.wordpress.com
Why a blog? Why communication? Emerging media is changing many of the ways we reach out to one another. in 2012 42 million blogs were published in WordPress and 329 million people claimed they viewed a blog. Blogs are becoming increasingly popular due to accessibility and the lack of restriction on length for posting compared to other online sites. Businesses can share information with their consumers, and people can use blogs to express whatever they want and put it in the mercy of millions of strangers on the Internet. Some may find posting on the Web terrifying, while others are too busy updating all of their other apps that put their information into cyberspace.
Digital media has offered hundreds of platforms to keep individuals connected, but are they really communicating?
George Bernard Shaw’s quote is like a punch in the stomach. How many times have I or my peers texted, posted, or shared something without getting the intended message across? I can think of numerous situations in which miscommunication actually amplified what would have otherwise been a small problem. There is a sort of block that comes with digital conversations as opposed to face-to-face or phone conversations. Web-based content is open to interpretation in terms of how the reader establishes tone based on the writer’s word choice or use of punctuation. It is my hope that as I continue with the Strategic Communication program I will learn strategies that I can share on this page in order to improve communication as a whole.
This discussion of digital media raises an essential question: Are traditional media dying?
Traditional media includes television, newspapers, magazines, and radio. Today more people are discovering that for every form of traditional media, there is a digital media format. Online radio, online television, and online news are topping the charts with high consumer demands. With so many options for instant news, one may be quick to think there is no hope for traditional media. However, when the Internet is in a frenzy over the next big story, there is a need for the credibility of traditional media. Traditional media are not giving up the fight just yet, rather they are picking up a new strategy to stay relevant.
I want to start this topic with a personal experience from the beginning of this week. The world was faced with the news of the tragic death of actor Robin Williams. The first word I received about this news was a text message from a friend on Monday evening. Once I read it, I immediately pulled up my Google app on my cell phone and typed “Robin Williams.” Only one article came up stating that the actor was found dead. I refreshed the search results and the article was gone. I refreshed again and there were four articles all claiming he had passed away. My mom was in the room with me, and when I told her the news she grabbed the remote and turned the television to CNN. We waited about ten minutes and sure enough: breaking news announcing his death.
When I think about that sequence of events, I realize how much of an impact digital media has as a source of information. A text message, to a Google search, to an online article was the path I took to confirm the news was true. My mom chose to go straight to television. Each of us had our own method of finding the most credible source, and it is interesting to observe the mediums we chose. There is significance in the fact that my mom is part of a different generation and that she chose television over digital media.
A Pew study found that while television news sources have consistently been the most widespread, only 34% of viewers were younger than 30. In fact, 29% of people under the age of 25 did not receive any news (traditional or digital) in a single day. My mom is in the majority age group of those who prefer to get their news from television sources and generation needs traditional media. When finding out about Robin Williams , she still thought to turn to the TV even though she has an iPad, and I read her details from an online article. I stopped searching for confirmation of his death at the article, while she went one extra step to one more, faithful source. Watching CNN turned into an hour long event as we watched the details come together, and I realized I had put my phone down in order to focus on the reporter’s information. Suddenly, television news became my credible source and was what I used for material when continuing the conversation with my friend.
The 18-25 age group, commonly referred to as Millennials, is the turning point for traditional media. Another study in 2012 showed that 33% of Americans under the age of 30 used social media to get their news. When interviewing Americans who are active on social media, 36% (a 17% increase) stated they received news from social networks.
Whether users are active on social networking or not, the graphic above shows more people are exposed to some form of news on a social networking site. However, a study by USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism reported 51% of users of social media users recognized that a only very small portion of news posted on sites such as Facebook or Twitter is completely reliable. This recognition is important because these users must turn to another news source to find the most accurate details. A survey by Knowledge Networks claimed “60 percent of people said they turn to an established outlet as their “second source” to learn more.” Established outlets such as CNN or the New York Times are still valuable news sources, showing that traditional media are oftentimes useful for accuracy checks.
Statistics have shown the beating traditional media has received in the last five years, yet traditional media are not totally obsolete. Newspapers are now charging for online, digital content. An online newspaper offers the same printed content as a physical newspaper. People who read online newspapers know they are reading a newspaper and can distinguish newspaper articles from other web articles. Some argue that a newspaper is still a newspaper even if it is online. So far, there is not a frontrunner in online news that started completely online. When nationwide or global events occur, long-running news sources such as the New York Times, CNN and Fox News are used both offline and online because they have established credibility.
In what appears to be a completely digital world, traditional media are not yet “dying.” Media are re-inventing their original content and purpose into a form that Millennials will appreciate.