Art critic, journalist
Living in an environment which is generous with information is both joyful and complicated. We have to apply multiple filters to the news flow, in order to understand if the news is connected to reality or with us personally.
This connection is often checked and redefined by network authorities (for example as the media so too individuals).
This year’s Tvapatum Media Conference has called for the study of influential media platforms and people’s efforts to communicate with the audience, inspire them and provide feedback, and after all, engage with the audience.
And since in a polarized society the media is also polarized, it is important for the media not to increase their audience, but to create their own community, “In social networks, there are more wars than discussions. We see that the audience is fed up and tired of wars and wants to participate in inclusive, engaging discussions. We, for example, are trying to build relationships with the audience by creating events using the hashtag #connecting.”
Górnicky proposed that the media does not limit itself to virtual connections, but to make news products in offline designs, exhibitions, expeditions, festivals and performances as they unite people.
The expectations and fears of the audience are met by a team of journalists seeking solutions. As a result, a smaller but more cherished audience is created.
The producer of investigative platform Propublica, Claudia Milne from the UK, talked about how to make the audience a partner, “This should not be a deal (you for me, me for you), but it’s just a partnership that starts with the digital space, but it definitely continues through real interactions. I won’t work to start and end the interaction only in social media.”
That is why investigative websites only benefit when they work on a piece of material both before the investigation as well as after. And that “after” is the most interesting, since the reporters have always gone, knocked on people’s doors and asked questions. It’s just that now, these questions can be given digitally. But we always will need to knock on doors.
Of course, the question of “why are we trying to collect an audience,” can have a simple answer, for the sake of money. For journalists in the virtual world, there are different types of scams.
New York publisher and editor Ilan Greenberg, considers social networks as a “dangerous landscape for journalists,” where ethical issues can easily hurt the journalist’s reputation.
“Virtual followers are serious social capital. That capital can tilt, distort the public opinion, mobilize people. There are no more traditional stars, there are influential people in the digital world, those that go viral. And it’s a fact that journalists are not the most influential in social networks.”
It is difficult for a journalist to become an independent digital person if they represent a news outlet. “Media companies often invade journalists’ personal space, as capitalism enters our life,” he said and advised to remember that the influential person is always the person who emphasizes their personality.
Belarusian journalist and media critic Franak Viacorka lists a number of people with a real digital influence on those who are not from large and powerful platforms, but who are microbloggers and people who have developed a specific topic and have created a well-targeted audience.
“Bloggers and social activists cannot have a macro effect, but they are more influential in their community,” he said.
Designer, author of multimedia projects, Ksenia Diodorova from Russia, described the media goal as follows, “It’s not a fight for an audience but for the audience. And trust is built first of all with social engagement. The number of views is an illusion. It is better to collect those emotions you want to share in a box, then just think about who you should open that box with and how. I recommend not to delete the author from within yourself in order to prepare a neutral project, but on the contrary, pamper the author in you.
The media field is more dependent on the audience than the audience. And it’s like a real addiction to drugs.
The race for the audience reaches the result when a dialog is established between the transmitter and the information consumer.
Chely Esguerra, counselor of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that involving the community is an important tool for studying problems and allocating aid.
Russian filmmaker Anton Outkine is convinced that Russia’s most important issue is human rights activism and wants to capture intense films to make the information more accurate for the audience and for it to be necessary for citizens.
The motivation for necessity, after all, is exactly the motivation for which it will be valued by the audience.
Instead of focusing on rushed and hot news, the media may submit content that requires diving deep and sympathy. Natalia Antelava, a Georgian journalist, is a supporter for long, full and beautifully packaged stories since it is demanding to touch the emotions of the people, to put an end to the trap of the present.
The extremely informative environment also makes the audience indignant and indifferent to the feeling of compassion and resentment. And who needs a fed up and inactive audience? Perhaps only authoritarian states.
In any case, the media company and the person who benefits from the communication with different parts of the audience builds not on quantitative criteria, but from knowledge. This is the main problem on the Internet in an open age when there is no monopoly to create news, but instead, it is a rumor.
Digital transmitters are mediators. A transfer is experience, knowledge and fun. And they also realize that they can only convey what they really worry about and get concerned about, and not an order.