post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-5084,single-format-standard,select-core-1.6,pitch-theme-ver-3.5,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,smooth_scroll,grid_1300,vertical_menu_with_scroll,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.7.0,vc_responsive

Social Media – the reporters of the modern age

Social Media – the reporters of the modern age

With the flood waters slowing releasing their hold on Brisbane, the city is very slowly stirring back to life. Not only has the event been life changing for young Brisbanites who never saw the fury of the 1974 flood, it’s been a momentous leap forward in the communication sector. Facebook and Twitter faced their biggest test yet – used as a call for help, to access information, to share the experience through video and photography, and connect with loved ones on the other side of the world.

For many years I refused to see the benefits of these social media sites, but the flood of 2011 has truly opened my eyes to the amazing capacity, and speed, at which we can now communicate. Visually, it’s been an incredible experience – with video footage of the Toowoomba flash flood spreading with lightning speed – seen on Facebook hours before it was shown on any other information and news channels. The Queensland Police Service embraced Facebook, using it like a notice board, and regularly posting information about press conference times, flood conditions and streaming live video. Facebook has become the ultimate channel of information from which even the news is now accessing its main stories and visuals.

But this raises a whole new set of questions that I think will become very prominent over the next few years when we fully begin to grasp just how much Facebook has changed from being a distracting smoko break, to the biggest media giant since News Corporation. As I found myself searching Facebook for flood information and graphics, I began to realise that the eyewitness account seems to have found more prominence and value, than a fumbling, put-on-the-spot news reader trying to ‘wing it’ with breaking news. The public has essentially become the reporters, photojournalists and film makers of the modern age – and for free.

How, then, do the creative industries expect their work to be valued in any monetary capacity if everyone can ultimately be the photographer, the reporter, the film maker… for free. In the race to be the first to report, when does the quality of the craft disappear to compensate for the speed at which it’s delivered to a hungry public? What does this continued evolution in communication mean for those whose careers are based on roles that could now become obsolete?

Yours where you see it first,


Tanya Heading About the author
No Comments

Post a Comment