Karl du Fresne is a good writer, I enjoy his work.
Yesterday he wrote about the news and in particular the thoughts of Mike O’Donnell and news.
O’Donnell suggests that by the time of the next general election, social media may have rendered the evening television news bulletin extinct. His theory seems to be that consumers of news (a ghastly phrase) will no longer be prepared to wait until 6pm for their fix, but will update themselves constantly throughout the day by accessing news on their smartphones and tablets.
People have the capability to do that now. But do the vast number who still get their news from newspapers, TV and radio really have such a voracious appetite for information that in future they will demand it in (to use another ghastly phrase) “real time”?
I somehow doubt it, and I wonder whether people like O’Donnell have been misled by their own enthusiasm for the digital revolution and their missionary desire to promote its supposed benefits.
du Fresne is both right and dead wrong.
Same with O’Donnell.
People do want news real time, and they don’t care if the quality is poor, they are happy for it to evolve in the course of the life of the story. Mostly though the medium for consuming news will not be via social media…that will simply be the conduit through which you are informed that news exists.
Social media is vastly over-rated and in New Zealand the so-called Twittersphere is in reality a very small world….populated by vocal lefties and tragics who feel the need to comment one everything but ad zero value to the discourse. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should.
On top of that the Twitter warriors who try to mount campaigns and bully, threaten and intimidate overstate their actual reach.
During the whole Dirty Politics saga which was designed to cause maximum pressure on me and my associates, but also designed to subvert an election, I was called by people asking me if I had seen this or that mentioned on Twitter. I almost never had seen. I don’t live with my head inside my phone. Frankly Twitter is a waste of time. Again, the general election result proved that.
If you had listened to the agitators and plotter and the guilty on Twitter then my demise was hoped for, in reality as well as metaphorically, but it failed to materialise. Twitter and social media was supposed to deliver the left an election victory. It failed.
It failed because there is an incredibly small number of people using Twitter, and they only ever talk to each other. They essentially form a group that produces confirmation bias. But when you are wrong and you only talk to people who meet with your ideas of proper political beliefs then all you do is chat agreeing with each other. Read more »