Thursday, November 29, 2012

MassMedia: International Journalism: The CNN Effect & the Social Media Effect

In his book, Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends, Thomas McPhail defines the CNN effect as "the process by which the coverage of a foreign event by CNN causes that event to be a primary concern for its audience, which in turn forces the [U.S.] federal government to act."  See video clip.

One could add to this process how the  U.S. government may influence foreign governments/peoples through direct action (e.g., war) or through sanctions.

Does CNN still have this influence on foreign policy?  Any other news networks, U.S. or otherwise, have this influence?  Any other form of media now has this influence?  Think: Arab Spring (see first 2 minutes).  Think: Kony2012 (see short clip).  What role does social media play in shaping foreign policy?  How's that process work?

The "social media effect" is defined here as the process by which the coverage of an event on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. causes that event to be a primary concern for its audiences around the world, which in turn forces foreign governments to act, thus further influencing the event.

See clip below for more the idea of social media effect.

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  1. The social media effect is becoming a popular topic all over the world. As long as there are social networks, this will always be a problem because people are continually posting things on these networks. We don't necessarily need the media to tell us what's going on.Someone will post a video or something on social media networks and it will quickly spead and eventually everyone would know what was going on.

  2. While that is true, I believe that people are becoming more skeptical about what they read and are beginning to look for credible sources for information.

  3. I agree with Cierra that social media is becoming (or has become) the dominant medium for establishing the relevance of events. But, this medium is hampered by the limitation of not providing detailed or objective coverage of these events.

  4. Although the attention bought to world events highlight what is of importance in shaping foreign policy, there still must be am in-depth investigation of those events before any determination on policy can be initiated.


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