Striking a balance between social and traditional media

Is what journalists and media figures write on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites subject to the standards of writing an article, commentary or news piece in a traditional media outlet? This has been discussed and argued over for years. We are all trying to come up with an answer according to our experiences and surroundings.

We often follow up on how a certain comment on Facebook stirs political and media uproar, or how a certain tweet costs the tweeter his or her job, or subjects him or her to a libel campaign that is sometimes harsher than the original tweet.

What we write in these spaces creates much debate, and sometimes costs us a friend or a job. Stances are thus either careful and fawning or brave and defiant.

Insults vs information

The problem is the huge overlap between what is private and public, and the expansion of space for insults and hatred at the expense of meaningful ideas. Unfortunately, verbal arguments sometimes drag us into angry debates.

The problem is the huge overlap between what is private and public, and the expansion of space for insults and hatred at the expense of meaningful ideas

Diana Moukalled

The problem on social networking sites is how many users are inclined to resort to libel rather than try to achieve real change.

It is through these sites that people violate others’ privacy, but these same sites allow people to express themselves, so relations and stances get mixed up. How are we supposed to distinguish the writing style on Twitter and Facebook from that of traditional journalism?

The thoughts we express on social media are free from political and funding restraints. However, they sometimes lead to reactions that lead to fights that can be brutal, especially over politics, religion and personal freedoms.

Some comments can be very rude and incite violence. Social networking sites influence social, political and personal life – this is not an opinion but a fact.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on July. 11, 2016
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Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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