Monday, September 5, 2016

Why you should stop complaining about "the media": You're the media.

A friend posts a protest against CNN, which she thinks has done a lousy job of covering the North Dakota oil pipeline protests. In response,  I suggested that she's part of the solution — and so are you, if you have a Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat account. (This is slightly edited.)
One last thing to consider that I don't think most people have: You're part of the media ecosystem now. Scratch that: You're part of the media distribution system now. 
Which means: You don't think people are hearing enough about the pipeline protests in North Dakota? Well, you've heard about it. And you have a Facebook page! Post an article about the protests from a source you consider reliable — and there are plenty of reliable sources that have reported on it — and post your link, perhaps a few links, and add your own perspective. If your friends agree to its importance, they can and will amplify it further. 
We increasingly see examples where social media amplification prompts legacy and mainstream media to visit a topic at greater length. Protesting that a story hasn't been covered might get attention, but probably what's more effective in getting attention from big news outlets is showing them that a story matters to a sizable-enough audience to warrant a portion of their resources and time.
You're the media now. If you've heard about a story, that means someone has reported it. Spread the word. You're a vital part of the chain now.

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