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Social Media and the News, Or: How Social Media is Disrupting the Business and Practice of Journalism (Society and the Internet Lecture Series, Part 6)

Date & Time:
16:00:00 - 17:30:00,
Tuesday 15 November, 2011


The rise of social networks like Facebook and Twitter allied to the ubiquity of connected mobile phones have combined to create powerful new networks in which information can be created and shared instantly, without the involvement of traditional media gatekeepers like newspapers and broadcasters.

From the Arab spring to phone hacking, the super injunctions and the London riots, the range and pace of information is putting governments, lawyers and media organisations on the back foot.

As mainstream media loses its monopoly of both the creation of news and its distribution, we are entering a new age where professional and amateur version of events vie for attention, where editors and reporters need to work harder than ever to gain and maintain trust.

News organisations are often no longer the first to publish the news, but research suggests that their agendas and discussions continue to shape conversations around major news stories. News correspondents and columnists are gaining new authority and influence through their expert use of social media. Some are becoming ‘network nodes’ attracting significant audiences of their own, independently of their parent brands.

But as newsrooms begin to get to grips with social media, it is only now that boardrooms are getting to grips with the potential disruption to business models. They are struggling to square the circle between using these new powerful open networks to drive traffic and engagement whilst maximising commercial revenues on their own websites.

This lecture is part of a public series on “Society and the Internet”, run by the OII. The series will continue in Hilary (spring) term.

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  • Name: Dr Nic Newman
  • Affiliation: Visiting Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University
    of Oxford
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