Friday, August 06, 2010

Is it a media revolution?

The fascination the public, the media and others have with the "revolution" taking place in communications raises an important question -- is it really a revolution?

Let's consider Twitter. This morning I listened as a member of the Texas Tech faculty discussed how selected local television stations across the country are using Twitter to "interact" with their audience. Among her findings -- the most common use of Twitter by these stations is to report news stories relating to crime or law enforcement.

In short, Twitter is an opportunity for news stations to promote their on-air product and offers inconsistent chances for interaction with the audience.

Granted, one finding from one study does not debunk the idea that what is taking place within the media is not a revolution. But if we are to accept that there is a revolution taking place, then the question that results is when did it begin?

Good luck coming up with an answer to that one.

Technology has evolved, and as it has it has provided increased opportunities for the public to become a more relevant part of identifying and being part of news gathering and dissemination (among many other things). But does evolution beget revolution?

The answer is not easy to determine, but it might be necessary to consider the ramifications of what any answer is as we press ahead with the media "revolution" notion. I'm not saying there is not a revolution. What I am saying is how confident can we be that in fact there is one.

Moreover, if there is a revolution, it needs to have an ending. Good luck guessing when that will be.

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