Is social media changing the way news is reported?

Most of us now check our Twitter and Facebook accounts before we open a newspaper or turn on the television. For younger generations paper newspapers may even seem like a relic from the past. This has had an undeniably huge impact on the way that we consume the news. News is now available instantaneously and from many different sources.

The rise of Twitter

During the Arab revolutions in 2011, social media came to the forefront as the primary way we consume our news. Twitter was used by members of the protest movement to communicate with one another and the outside world. Because these networks used to co-ordinate the protests, it became not only a tool to distribute the news but also a means to make it as well. This gave people in the Western world instant access to what was taking place on the ground media

The personalisation of news

Perhaps just as important as how we learn about international news from social networks, is the way that we use these networks to obtain personalized news about our friends and family. Whether people are having a wedding, a funeral or simply want to reach out to their personal network, social media is the way that we keep in contact and distribute news. Never before have people being able to distribute their personal news to wide audience so easily. The news is thus become more relevant to us as individuals because of social networking and also redefining what we mean by “news”.

Lack of editing

While the benefits of social networks to gather news are well documented there are also some dangers to this new form of news distribution. In the past news was edited before it was distributed to a wider audience. There is also a danger of news becoming more partisan as it is easier for people to absorb news from only the sources that they want to.

In conclusion

Social media has irrevocably changed the world of news media. Well these changes are mostly for the better, there is also some danger that news may become unbalanced or biased as we can choose to block out alternative view points.

Does the media coverage of payday loans have an effect on their popularity?

There is no immediate answer to the question posed by the title, but it is certainly true that anything in the news is brought to public attention on a wide scale. Recently, widespread news coverage has been given to the proposal that tighter regulations be applied to payday loan procedures.payday loans

Payday loans have been around for a while now and are becoming increasingly popular as well as other alternatives to payday loansalternatives to payday loans. This could well be due to increased media coverage, or possibly to difficulties in obtaining bank loans. Compared with taking out a bank loan these loans are quick and easy and flexible. This seems a great solution but is also part of the problem. These instant procedures are considered a little too quick and easy and stronger regulation is needed.

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), who will take over as the new regulator for consumer credit in April of next year, has proposed adding obligatory risk warnings on all publicity or promotional material for payday loans. Obviously the risks involved in this type of loan are those inherent in any financial transaction and tight regulation is necessary. They would also like to see better "affordability" criteria applied.

Although at first glance this does not seem to be good publicity for the sector, it is still publicity, and information for the public. People in an emergency financial situation could well opt for this type of loan directly as a result of it being in the news. This is generally the effect of media coverage of anything, and payday loans are no exception.

Upon closer examination of the FCA proposal, the news is actually good. Stiffer regulatory criteria means better protection of the public. Unfortunately, there are some substandard companies out there and the FCA does well to issue warnings and require responsible behaviour on all sides. However, most companies respect the inherent concept of the category: they lend money to people who have a temporary financial emergency and, importantly, a regular payday.

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How has media changed in the last decade?

The media has not only changed markedly in the last decade, but it’s also changed greatly regarding how we access it.

Around a decade ago newspapers started to become increasingly under pressure from the ease with which news could be accessed online – and, what’s more, it was also free. As it was a case of adapt or die, major newspapers and broadcasting companies realised the need to have a strong online presence. Most have managed to adapt successfully, and have skilfully used the net to promote themselves and provide good online content. Media news

Portable devices have also radically changed the way that we can access information and entertainment, as radio and TV can now be viewed on hand-held devices such as tablets and smartphones. Portable devices have become so popular so quickly that it’s predicted that as early as 2014 more people will access the internet on a portable device than on a desktop computer.

Social media also means that a news story can break more quickly than ever before. Whereas in the past news stories were broken by radio, TV or newspapers, social media means that individuals can now add immediacy to a report on a major incident anywhere in the world, and bring the incident quickly to the attention of major broadcasting corporations and publications. More and more news coverage of major events is also being shot by members of the public, and then broadcast by news stations, as opposed to only using material shot by their own camera crews.

Though print versions of newspapers have declined, mainly through the internet, some of the best free news content is, ironically, still available on the websites of British newspapers such as The Guardian, The Telegraph and Daily Mail. Some other British newspapers, including The Times, are gambling on charging for their content – to make up for any possible loss in print sales.