Social Media, Alternative News and Nationhood

In such an environment, citizens all over the world -armed with facilities –affordancesof social media, have entered the scene with varied viewpoints, including the ones that may not be entertained by MSM. All notions of objectivity and objectively researched news apart, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow many to argue for their viewpoint via providing links to pdfs, YouTube videos, other tweets and Facebook pages.  The result is a cyber-dialogue that critiques the shortcomings, oversights, and sub-standard journalistic procedures of mainstream media, as it bypasses it.  Various ideas as shared on these platforms interact with each other to keep the mainstream media on its toes. 

The narratives of globalization, and one world-one culture, which were both hailed and critiqued, have become diffused.  The cry-call today is of ‘nationalism’ and ‘sovereignty’.  However, the change is both fast and without a pattern.  Mainstream news-media can only report on events, and occasionally furnish a detailed feature story, interviews with experts or in some cases devote a series of news articles on one issue.

While many can be labeled as ‘trolls’ (definition remains unclear and relative)— use of social media for many is goal-directed. Many from non-journalistic background claim that their expression is aimedtowards and in service of the common man’. 

This phenomenon of using social media to present information and ideas that may not be entertained by the state or are considered politically (in) correct(regardless of their relevance),  are a continuous ongoing dialogue that has become loud enough to find its way back to the mainstream media.  Social media influencers are often invited or talks, and consulted for their opinion.

Current studies on news must focus on this change, that is generated by pressure from social media influencers, and how it impacts the decisions in a newsroom as MSM decides on highlighting aspects that cannot be ignored -especially the ones relating to national identities, definition of nations, place of culture and changing demographics.

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