How getting updates online has forever changed the way we consume news
It’s quite fascinating how we are constantly being fed with news and stories from around the world every minute and every second of our lives. The social media has enabled us to such an extent that we have access to any kind of news from any part of the world at any given moment of the day, especially when you’re seated over a pot.
So how has this architecture of newsfeed and stories changed in recent times and how has it affected our way of consuming news? Why don’t we first take a look at some conventional ways of news broadcasting and discuss their relevance in today’s times? We bring you the latest breaking news in India.
When Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing in Europe in 1440, we’re pretty sure he had no idea the magnitude of changes his invention would bring to the world. He paved the way for the Age of Enlightenment, the Renaissance and the scientific revolution. Even though printing press remained the main source of mass communication and made use of improvements and technological advances like the transition from mechanized to digital presses, the advent of World Wide Web remains to be a drastic innovation. While Gutenberg made it possible to produce several copies of a single content, the Web made sure the content was available to all without any qualms. Wanna stay in touch with the latest trending news article? Befazool Charcha is the answer!
Before we dive into the world of internet and how it has reformed our way of seeing a piece of news, why don’t we freshen up our grasp of news broadcast? Earlier, the news broadcast and newspaper had the same fundamental way of spreading the news: News and fact gathering to check its authenticity. When that happened, it was telecasted to lakhs of household watching their TVs at night or reading their newspapers early in the morning with a cup of tea. People across the country relied upon and trusted this news to have the highest of accuracy. It presented the general public with a common set of facts upon which they could have discussions and debates. At this point, the news wasn’t a way to earn money or make profits.
Getting back to the internet today. Now, we have access to so much information that it would take rebirths to go through all of them. All this information is shared and accessible. The problem now is of curation and prioritization. The level of content creation is so much that we have a tough time deciding what to read and when. Top and trending stories are Befazool’s speciality.
Surprisingly, there are some series of monopolies being created in the market that the above-mentioned problem is being taken care of. GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) control a significant way of how we consume content. Creating a walled garden, filtering and personalizing our experiences, catering to our specific taste and showing us targeted advertising. You can find more latest healthy lifestyle articles here.
Unlike earlier when the whole country watched the same news and imbibed on the same facts, GAFA is now serving tailor content to each user based on their online behaviour. This may not seem like such a big problem but there are some questionable reasons to be wary about. Is it justified to serve people with content that they desire? Are people supposed to enjoy reading the news? Are certain common points of reference important for society?
In the past few years, we have seen the effects of audience targeting. People are relying on social media to get most of their news and it shows on their feed. They choose to read content that agrees with their viewpoint. And this has lead to polarization between people with opposite views. We don’t have to tell you dangerous that situation can be.
With the web staying on 24*7, a story today is more than what you just see on the news channels. A story can break in any part of the world and will reach across the globe in a matter of seconds. That deletes the purpose of news outlets to report stories. Nowadays, a story has the same chances of breaking on Twitter or Facebook than on some news site. And being armed with smartphones, anyone can be a reporter. They can switch on the camera, upload it on their feed and type the whole story in it. But that also increases the chances of misrepresenting the facts, intentionally or unintentionally. This may lead to unwelcome situations that may escalate and till the time dust settles and facts come out, it would be too late.
This along with the onset of fake news trend makes social media a dodgy place for news consumption. Certain fake news may be placed alongside news from a well-established news media giving it an impression to be true. It is extremely hard to distinguish fake news and that worsens the situation. People forward such news or stories or headlines to others in their contact list without checking the facts spreading a vicious web of fake news.
Facebook and many other social media have come to realize the delicacy of the situation and are working on curbing such fake news. But authenticity on the web and since we are talking about news is something that is far to be fully solved. With so much of content being generated every second, verifying the authenticity of news is more important than ever before.
The traditional publishing techniques are facing upscale challenges- technology, changing reader behaviours and the speed of content generation without authentication. And each of these challenges makes you think about the role of publishing and the news media advancing. The question now is how can the trust of people be gained back for the news media? How can authentication be done for all the content being generated?