Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final Project

Technology is completely re-sculpting the way in which consumers receive news.

You are sitting at home, on the couch, after a hard days work and are ready to hear about what happened in the world today. But, instead of hearing about the murder-suicide of the Kansas City Chiefs player your local news station is sharing a segment on the newly crowned high school spelling bee champion, which is less than thrillin. You shut off the TV, take out your smart phone, open one app, and before you know it you learn about that horrible incident with the Chiefs player faster then you can spell s-e-l-e-c-t-i-o-n.

Technology has provided people with the ability to choose what they want to consume, in regards to receiving news, rather then simply just being provided with news. 

For example, when an individual sits down in front of the TV, listening to the news, as referred to above, this individual has no control over what he or she is consuming. At the same time, what is being broadcasted may not even be a topic of interest to certain audience members. Now, with smart phones, the audience no longer sits in idle waiting to be given news because news can be received virtually anywhere. Instead, smart phones are providing individuals with multiple sources to consume from. “People are now selecting…what they want to watch.” Says Mara Schiavocampo, a digital correspondent for NBC Nightly News, “so you also have more engaged viewers.” With the ability to choose what is being consumed audience members are much more engaged with what they are viewing because, obviously, this is what they wanted to view or they would have not selected that specific piece in the first place. 

 “People are consuming so much video and so much audio,” Says Walt Mossberg, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, “sucking down tremendous amounts of data, 40 to 50 times normal, on this device.”

From Mossberg it is easy to see that the use of these devices has significantly increased in the last few years. Constantly having this “hand held computer”(Mossberg) at our disposal has, not only changed the way in which news is consumed, but has made us even more connected to each other through various social media sources. Watch the full interview between Mossberg and Schiavocampo here

Social Media provides a new kind of interaction between consumers.

Social Media, and more specifically Twitter, are completely changing the way individuals are receiving their information. It seems that within seconds of an event occurring there will be some sort of news on Twitter for the public to access. What makes this process even more immediate is that everything can be done directly from a smart phone. Now, more then ever, people are able to communicate on certain issues at a mass level.

Interactions between users that social media networks provide to the general public seem to producing an audience that is much more informed.

Elia Powers, a professor at the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, explains this further by stating, “The audience that exists now has a better means of communicating with others. People are now talking to different people and learning about different perspectives…people are more informed and more able to find other people who have similar interests.”

Elia Powers explains how audiences are better informed through social media

To clarify, essentially, the interaction that takes place, through social media networks, causes an individual to become better educated on a specific topic, from learning the viewpoints and opinions of other users, which they otherwise never would have ascertained. For example, if an important event occurs, most of the time, this specific event will start to “trend” on Twitter. Twitter users are able to click on this trend and are immediately exposed to website links, opinions, and general information provided by other users about a specific occurrence.

Social Media has provided news organizations with the ability to gather a greater audience.

With this sudden change the audience is provided with much more participation when it comes to events, such as sports, award shows, ECT. It would seem that with this newfound participation that the number of audience members would grow. And according to Elia Powers this is exactly the case. Powers states, “News organizations use social media now, not only to find new audiences, but also to promote their existing content to existing audiences. So you can both extend your brand and also give people the same content in another form.”

Technology and social media are affecting us in ways we may or may not realize. In today’s day and age we are provided with the tools to consume massive amounts of information in extremely efficient ways, amazingly on a tools that are not bigger then the size of a hand. It is interesting to think that in the near future fathers will no longer be stereotyped in the morning by reading a news paper at the kitchen table, but rather, checking their iPhone.

Closing this post is an interview between myself and Scot Pollins, a Business major at the University of Maryland, Scot’s question was tailored more towards whether or not he thinks that social media is producing a larger audience in professional sports.


  1. Your very top heading of "Final Project" is not informative about the rest of your post as it is supposed to be. Having said that your sub-headings are pretty good and provide a decent amount of information. I liked the very beginning of your blog where you describe what might lead a person to switch their news outlets from things such as the radio or TV to a smartphone. Overall I like the conversational tone of your blog though I think at certain points it becomes too informal. When it comes to what I learned from your post, though I did what you mentioned myself, I never really thought much of it or thought about how this may affect a company. It is really interesting to think about how easy the internet and smartphones make it for us to connect to the information we care about. When it comes to your expert clip your hands are a bit shaky but the audio and video quality overall is excellent. The video is also short sweet and to the point which is good. When it comes to your other media clip, the audioboo clip is clear and it works well with your blog overall. Lastly while I think you jump topics a little towards the end your blog did make me think about a couple things I did not before and I also find your tweets graph very interesting. Overall good job with your E-portfolio!

  2. The title of your project is obviously something you did not put much value towards but it could definitely be changed for the better. Otherwise, you effectively used sub-headers within the post and successfully structured it to ensure flow and organization. Your expert interview was incorporated well within the context of the blog, and you gave a sufficient explanation. The sound quality and lighting in the video is well done, and aside from a bit of shakyness, I'd say the video quality is perfect. Your one visual is well placed, however more visual aid would have been welcomed. I like the way you portray twitter and other social media as legitimate news outlets and give credibility to the average American. I learned that many news organizations actually use these types of social media sites as the source for breaking news and how much quicker it can be to gather information that way. Aside from some common grammar mistakes, the format of the post is smooth and easy on the eye. The audioboo clip has clear sound quality and is on topic with the rest of your blog. Overall I found your E-portfolio posting to be informative and enlightening on the topic of how social media is changing news. With a bit more editing it could have been even better, but still great job!