Posted by: bahughes13 | November 28, 2011

In the media we trust (or not…)

This week’s reading list stresses me out. It’s not just that I am a Facebook stalker (because I watch but never post.) Nor does it entirely have to do with the fact that I shut down my Twitter account right after setting it up because some stranger tried to follow me and I freaked out. My stress comes from the fact that I feel as though I am sitting in a teeny tiny little lifeboat in the middle of the social media ocean.

Most of the time I just fake it. Other times I rationalize it all and convince myself that the really important things in life cannot be reduced to 140 characters. Then, there are moments when I know I really have to try to figure it out so I don’t end up as one of the “media illiterate” that others like to tweet about. At least I think they are tweeting about me, but since I don’t actually follow any of them, my information is not necessarily first hand.

Beyond my technology fears, there are two reasons I haven’t tried to become literate:  1) I really don’t care about watching videos of singing cats, and 2) I don’t trust what I read to be accurate. Trust is key for me, and I am not alone according to this Pew study: http://www.people-press.org/2011/09/22/press-widely-criticized-but-trusted-more-than-other-institutions/

Mainstream media and new media are both going to have to evolve to address the trust issue. I just have no idea what that evolution will look like.

 

Discussion Questions:

1) Has anyone ever studied what I will call “link fatigue?” Reading this week’s articles seemed easy enough until I kept getting lost in the multitude of embedded links that lead the reader to an ever-expanding pool of information. I wonder if there is a psychological limit to how far people are willing to go?

 

2) How do we as public relations or marketing professionals best (both practically and ethically) take advantage of the changing landscape of journalism?

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