Photos of journalists enthusiastically running and racing after attending the trial of Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, attracted my attention. They were running as if they’re in a marathon in order to inform their newsrooms of the news and publish it since cellular phones were prohibited inside the court.
This scene brings up an old renewed question about the role of “traditional” journalism compared with the so-called individual journalism on social media networks. Who defeated who?
Activists on Twitter, Facebook and other similar networks brag that they’re the fastest and the “most graceful” in hunting news and making scoops in search for more followers and enlarging and fattening their social media accounts to then sell this “fat” to advertisers or rather to governmental and semi-governmental parties.
Who is the party with the trusted news? Some individual no matter how “good” he is or a registered media institution governed by laws and that has a board of directors and a general assembly and perhaps stocks in the stock exchange?
Who is the party with the trusted news? Some individual no matter how “good” he is or a registered media institution governed by laws and that has a board of directors and a general assembly and perhaps stocks in the stock exchange?Mashari Althaydi
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch once said that Facebook, which has the lion’s share of advertising activity via the internet besides Google, must pay fees to publishers if it wants to promote authentic and accurate news via its social network. This came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he will prioritize the articles and videos of news institutions based on users’ polls about the authenticity of news websites.
Truth is it’s not possible to compare – if we are to talk seriously – between the responsibility of an individual, who may have nothing to do with journalism and media and whose capital is the increase in the hormone of activity and continuous gossip on social media and a media institution.
This is based on all the considerations we just mentioned. Of course this angers those who won in the social media market – the market praises those who won in it – however what’s sad is seeing governmental institutions scrambling over some people who have no real journalistic worth so they can promote their news and “accomplishments” for financial compensation of course.
This made some young journalists focus on promoting themselves on Snapchat, Twitter..etc. at the expense of working hard and making effort in favor of their media institutions. They have thus engaged in a fatal cycle of pettiness.
We will remain before this scene for some time before what is right prevails as at the end of the day, only what’s right prevails.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy