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Effect of YouTube on news media - Essay Example

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There is a big list of flaws and weaknesses that are attributed to the news media. However, the flaw that is mentioned time and again is the…
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Effect of YouTube on News Media of the Name of the Concerned Professor
May 29, 2011
Effect of YouTube on News Media
Since decades, mass media and communication experts have been decrying the limitations and flaws of the conventional news media. There is a big list of flaws and weaknesses that are attributed to the news media. However, the flaw that is mentioned time and again is the non-democratic nature of news media. The traditional news media have to a great extent catered to the agenda and tactics of those who owned them, either directly or indirectly. In that context, the influx of new media with the development of new websites such as YouTube is often welcomed as the step in the right direction. It is true that the new media is to a great extent democratic in its approach; still, there is no denying the fact that the new media is as vulnerable to doubtful news manipulation and sensationalism as the traditional news media.
As per the surveys conducted in 2007, YouTube is the most visited website in the world, shadowed by only a few new media giants like Google.com, Yahoo.com and Baidu.com (Christensen, 2007, p. 36). Websites like YouTube have definitely democratized the process of news dissemination in the sense that they allow anyone to upload the news content without being censored, monitored, controlled or manipulated. However, YouTube is as much exposed to being exploited by the unscrupulous sources to broadcast falsified and objectionable content.
YouTube amply allows the sources affiliated to unrestrained sensationalism to play with the viewer discretion and emotions. One of the most infamous examples in this context is that of ‘lonelygirl15’, a teenage blogger by the name of Bree, whose video clip revelations about the troubles and tribulations of growing up in modern times attracted gargantuan internet traffic of more than 37 million viewers on YouTube (Christensen, 2007, p. 37). To begin with the phenomenon signified the power of the new media, allowing a teenager with a webcam and a computer, sans media background being able to make millions of people around the world listen to what she had to say (Christensen, 2007, p. 37). However, it was in 2006 it was revealed that ‘lonelygirl15’ was the creation of two California based filmmakers (Christensen, 2007, p. 37). The final word was that though the falsity of the ‘lonelygirl15’ was revealed, the video clippings had astonishingly succeeded in creating a huge fan following for the internet celebrity, which could have been practically translated into favorable business ventures and endeavors. Thus YouTube has conclusively democratized the news media, yet it is not fool proof and beyond doubt when it comes to matters of credibility and raw sensationalism (Gordon-Murnane, 2008, p. 20).
The role of the news media, whether old or new, is to present reality to the viewers from a specific perspective. Still, there is no denying the fact that no form of media could act as a substitute for viewer discretion, education and activism. YouTube’s accessibility to a wide range of people also means that it is open to exploitation and manipulation by a larger number of people.
Reference List
Christensen, Christian (2007). YouTube: the Evolution of Media. Australian Screen
Education, 45, 36-40.
Gordon-Murnane, Laura (2008), The 51st State: the State of Online. Searcher, 16.7,
18-21. Read More
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