Comment Paper – 5: new media is not a remedy


English: a man during the 2011 Egyptian protes...First of all, it is obvious that alternative media has different attributes than old media. The main difference of the new media tools from traditional media is its audience. Anita Dunn, former White House communication director for President Barack Obama emphasizes this fact and gives advice to the elite “The days of monologue have ended. If you are not engaged in dialogue — and this is true for any institution, universities, and retail, everyone— if you don’t invite people to talk to you, they have a lot of places they can go and talk about you.” (Sullivan, 2008) We can clearly see that social networks have specific users because of their specific functions. Glynn (2011) in her article about a profile of news use on social networking sites asked a question “Will women be significantly more likely to use Facebook for news than men? (Glynn, 2012, p. 115)” In the question the researcher defines the difference between how genders use social network.  A communication scholar should not neglect the audience difference in the research.

Secondly, Atkinson’s definition describes alternative media as a revolution tool which should change the power structure. I think media should be a medium to transfer the information, not to be considered as a “weapon” against the elite (Dylko, 2011). I agree with Morozov’s (2009) opinion that even authoritarian regimes can adopt the alternative media tool to influence online political discussion (Dylko, 2011, p. 3). For example, in Kazakhstan officials are more involved in new media and propagate ruler parties’ idea. New media as a tool can be used by elite and non-elite.

In conclusion, I think people use and contribute to alternative media to be informed about a particular event or story. By generating content, the user has more rights than the receiver concerning where and how to consume the news.

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