tv Cross Talk RT January 17, 2014 2:29am-3:01am EST
worth may sound pretty rich to you or me but the expensive game of us politics these guys can't even afford the costs related to getting the work electoral campaigns are a big money affair serves no surprise that people like you or me can't get into the law making business without selling at least a little piece of our souls to someone who has very deep pockets so again the problem isn't that congressmen are wealthy it is that many of them have to get constant financing in order to maintain their positions and as you average folks know once you're in debt they've got you by the throat well that's just my opinion . hello and welcome to crossfire all things considered i'm peter lavelle controlling
the media agenda as social media expands in scope and influence how are we to assess what is really news you tube twitter and facebook entertain and inform hundreds of millions of people every day however the same are used to promote hoaxes in mass propaganda pursuits is it inevitable that conventional media is doomed to follow the whims of those claiming to hijack the internet. to cross not the influence of social media i'm joined by my guests rachel clarke in london she is a social media and digital consultant also in london we have david cushman he works at the social partners and is author of the ten principles of open business and in new york we cross in bradenton he is a media culture and communications professor at the new york university all right cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it david if i go to you first in london what is the relation.
between conventional media and social media because i have the impression that social media is now leading conventional media well you only have to look at the newspaper certainly here in london and you'll see very very often the case that people are or news media is following the agenda set by trends that are emerging from. platforms like twitter. now whether that's the most relevant news to the individuals threats for me the bigger question of what's happening with me because news has traditionally been occurring the lowest skews very low a lowest common denominator. or way of reporting the facts of the world i think what social media are unable to is to really focus on many issues of interest that we care about and therefore what becomes our standard of news varies depending on what we're interested in who we're connected to so i think whilst mainstream media is still in this game of what are most people talking about there's this long term
effect coronado's we're. actually the majority of people are doing which is talking about things that are on the mainstream news agenda and they are finding that better reporters and better covered by the fact that we can all be a publisher now ok rachel would you react to that because is it better because i'm on a lot of because of my nature of my job and i'm sure because of the nature of your job i'm on a lot of social media and you know it's a day doesn't pass that i don't come across a bogus story yesterday yesterday was going around that the leader of north korea had been assassinated knowledge of course what did i do i went into action and i was looking what information is out there and nothing except for twitter said it and so did might my quote unquote some of my friends media friends said it on facebook ok i'm not i'm very skeptical because i'm wondering what is news that's why i want to do this program because are we talking about news or we did talking about someone's fantasy sometimes you're talking about but i mean. the advantage of
such a leader and a lot of journalists they use in the way is to find a breaking story now and there's a five year anniversary of the plane landing on the number a story in the new york river what you've got there is something that broke their twitter and then got picked up by by national news what you've also got is a lot of rumors get spread and they get picked up by people who are digital literate and i don't want to do it because it's fun because they believe it all it's just it's it seems a good thing to do what you've got there is media picking up who may not be fully digital into it themselves deciding to run away with it that we've had a huge number of stories that have been created deliberately by brands or by media people as hoaxes that have been picked up and run as true by media so across both the general public and the media needs to be a better understanding of how these stories are spread ok fine i mean i agree with rachel a lot of people do it for fun but there are there is a malicious reasons also we can look what's going on in syria because of the lack of journalists on the ground this is
a playground for propaganda and i'm not taking any sides here ok but the fact of the matter is you can get a whole lot of different interpretations coming out of syria simultaneously and i think it's pretty fair to say that a lot of them have agendas we could judge them if they were good or positive but they are agendas they want to see certain things they want us to think certain things about that really truly dreadful conflict there. i just wanted i was unsure if there was if there was a further question to it but no i think i think that's emphatically the case and one of the difficult things for us to remember is that war has always been the province of lies you know there's greek mythic structure about war and the sort of birth of legends and storytelling it's always been a space for propaganda for black propaganda for false flag operations but what's happening now is precisely that those are accessible outside of the conflict zone in a way that they've never been before and it becomes a much more difficult to trace attribution and this i think sort of connects in
some ways to the points that have been made earlier about part of the challenge is precisely not even just to verify things but to figure out who benefits by the spreading of those stories david you know i work in conventional media i work in television and i'll tell you what television is very expensive these days to make i sometimes wonder if the conventional media. because i know producers very well that are watching twitter watching facebook because they want to get a big story they want to break a story and there's that tendency to going to go with it don't take my chance but is that's not responsible media and i'm not going to point fingers because i think it happens everywhere but it's it's because of the business model and it's because of the temptation to take a chance. well i think that's ever been the case i'm an ex newspaper memo self and i think we were comfortable being fed news by p.r. for a long time it was a cheap way in which you could create newspapers and those who the other way to
cheat where you just take what other people to sign but what i think we have to apply in all cases is something that is becoming a really important twenty first century skill which is our ability to see through the lies and what you might call a cracked filter ability to spot what's true and what's not raised little alarms of ourselves and then go and check among our peers and among our own trusted sources i think it's. certainly the case that there are. a natural state of human beings so we needn't worry too much we're really good at calling out the lawyer in front of us who are really good at knowing you know is cooperating human beings what. you can trust and what someone you can trust and i think the same is applied online i don't just start retreating the most scandalous room i see the first thing i'm going to do is check it out with a few other sources who i would trust the most not necessarily over the news media organization but it's going to be other people that i've built up
a sense of trust in over a long period of time and that's how i think we validate if newspapers if media in general is too quick to cut out that level of filtering then it's at risk of falling into the same trap as anyone else who would share as easily but do you think i mean we're supposed to be responsible in media but again to kind of stress the fact the on the temptation to say all this sounds interesting it's plausible and to run with it because you know it is a competition here now i mean everyone's competing for eyeballs and everybody's competing for clicks here and it seems to me the conventional media is it me waiting social media more and more and i really worry about that from a journalistic point of view because there isn't a week or day that comes and goes by that you say site we got it wrong because they jumped the gun in the past you didn't jump the gun so quickly. in the past you have to have multiple sources and i strongly believe that the best journalists will still do that but you're right the business models of such that if you're not
getting the story first you're not getting the advertising you not getting the eyeballs and they're full how are you presuming working as a news organization twenty four new power news organizations need twenty four hour news and that is a challenge the filters have gone both in an editorial basis because they're too quick to publish you'll see exactly the same behavior from everybody clicking the latest rumor because it's news and i also want to be first yes i mean i don't want to press you on syria because i don't expect you to be an expert on syria but i mean one of the interesting things to me is this what rachel had to say is that you know we're twenty four seven television you've got to put something on and you know our producer says why i came across this and i think this guy is poor less reliable have worked with him before and these pictures are all my goodness you know we got to show their games it's the temptation to keep up with social media to get the clicks to get the eyeballs because you know what the hell is going on in syria and in a producer will say well i got this video the temptation is to put it on oh absolutely
and you can see like that that's a broad mandate across the contemporary new space like the need to the need on the part of for example major blogging centric agencies and social media news agencies that you have a mandate every single person on the floor has to generate x. number of stories per day whether or not they can find good material to make those stories with and furthermore the cross checking itself to speak to some of the earlier points becomes more complex because these social media platforms including things like twitter but also wikis blogs you tube and so on can actually create like a self-sustaining system where each story can reference something else you can build a hoax that has its own context that has its own back up stories that has its own corroborating details none of which are true but which in the twenty four hour news cycle makes it much more difficult to actually figure out what's going on rachel
you want to jump in there before we go to the break good living ok let me get rachel want to jump in there and go ahead. i think one of the things that as a journalist we were back to serious than what david was saying was about respected sources so if you are in a situation where you're not quite sure what the realty of what you're seeing is often you know to fall back to are the middlemen who you trust in the fall that passes the trust on or you can have a series of dealings with this person and you build that trust the same way you can look for for trusted sources yourself as a journalist you should be looking for trusted sources in social media to try and work out whether that's a way to trigger a story or you know rachel rachel you're right but you know what that's a lot of hard work isn't it that's what journalism is supposed to be isn't it. should that's what there is going to be it's are part of the way that we're getting the story ok and i'm going to go to a quick break here we'll be right back after a short break we'll continue our discussion on social media staying with our team.
welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter labelle to remind you that we're discussing the influence of social media on conventional media. came right before the break david you want to jump in there in london gold go right ahead thank you it's just a thought that a few years back when i was traveling on a train i first heard news of the bombings in one buy and what struck me about it apart from the fact that i saw the few tweets and then i went and had a look at a new source to see if it was actually being validated anywhere else here and it wasn't quite yet the but a good fifteen twenty minutes lag what interested me was that there was so many different views of the same truth a merchant and it became a tapestry of different versions of the same story and i think social media in many
weight does a different job from traditional media traditional media has kind of taken the stories one view of the truth it's usually represented by the man in front of the with a microphone standing in front of the scene behind him and that's your view of what's going on with social media you get the view from the loads and loads of other people who are actively in. some of you might have to apply your filters to some of those might be complete lies but actually in total if we can find a ways to aggregating all of these thoughts from finding our view of it from all of the different views from the perspectives we're having provided to us then we might get something that's a little closer to the reality of what's in front of us rather than one person for it it's very interesting if i can go to you in new york i remember when mr snowden showed up in moscow and i was in st petersburg and there their twitter was on fire and just a kind of echo what david had to say is that there were so many different points of view and david with the caviar speaking to finn right now with caviar that there is
an opinion attached to it as well this is different than what we get in conventional media at least the opinion isn't so obvious most of the time unless you're watching fox news or something but finn it's very true what david just said there is that you get you know a lot of different to get a lot of facts but they're spun instantly spun when you look at social media and this is what i think also pushes conventional media to repeat some things again what we're calling what rachel i did say trusted sources you trust this person you might trust their opinion phin go ahead. i think that that's absolutely true and it's very much something like a challenge for twenty first century journalism to grapple with is the fact that the circulation of facts is now very much something that takes place immediately in the context of opinion you know you don't read tweet something because it exists you read something because it's compelling because it makes you angry because it makes you sad because it delights you and that inflection and your take on it
informs the way that that circulates so exactly when to put this tapestry of alternate versions alternate interpretations of what's happening and i think that is quite possibly something we will not be able to change we will not be able to go back to a period if there ever was one of a kind of overarching objective scientific journalism so now the question is can we can we manage can we filter for public sentiment for this kind of chaos of interpretation to get something approximating the truth and it's very interesting rachel we can change gears i mean i working i don't know if dance is ok i saw the burning woman ok and i don't know if to laugh or to be bewildered but you know what that's what the person who made that wanted me to do is to watch it. does it really for a lot of people it doesn't matter if it's true or not it's a hoax but they want to watch it anyway i mean this is what i find really bewildering because you know some people say this is news but it doesn't matter
because it's entertaining in this is what social media alternately i think the core of it is is to entertain people again this kind of invasion into conventional media space go ahead rachel. yeah the video was interesting because it was entertainment and it was being deceived as an entertainment there's this slightly unfortunate woman who had an accident caught on a fire and people treated it to share out because it was funny when it came out that it was faked it was done by a t.v. show most people said it's even more entertainment. again when you're doing that you're breaking down that barrier between what's truth and what's entertainment in a way that then leads people to often mistrust again journalistic sources because that was repeated all over the news despite the fact that the clues potentially there that this was fake rachel if i can stay with you that video continues to get hits we all know the truth behind it or if you're interested you can find the truth
i mean that this is the kind of dilemma i see is that you know you know it's ends up being intertainment in this is what is driving it because we all said the third time you want the eyeballs and you want the clicks and you get the get both you have to lighten it up and you have to go cheap i would say and having stories like that unfortunately it's advertising dollars to it yeah it is it is and it's been used instead of advertising now you've got different people watching that video you've got people who absolutely know it's fake know the history of it watching anyway because it's said to tame and it's a stunt it's funny you know people who stumble on it go look at this and i probably quickly getting for this is now i'm still fake and they don't mind anymore it's that interesting balance when you move from. thought to be real to not going to be fake but then you get the mistrust and there's been a number of advertising videos have been done where everybody sitting there it's not real it's not real it's fake and you see that more and more often what he's noticed what he's actually real videos often i perceived as fake put a stop i didn't mistrust of the media mistrust of news news organizations do you do
you see in new york do you see the lowering of the editorial bar slowly but surely because the two media are fused together because social media is such an important source and i can tell you i don't know very many producers in television that are overpaid to be honest with you and social media is just their little assistant that they go depend on so much for now and you know and you see this cross-fertilization or i don't see conventional media going into social media but you see what i'm trying to say. oh absolutely yes and there is there is a there is totally been a gradual shift in the degree of sort of sophistication and the standard set in the editorial process however one of the questions that this raises which is a really interesting thing to think about is what we might have as alternative
models for supporting journalism other than advertising because of course there are reasons why you want to have breaking stories the attention is always terrific you can win prizes and so on but part of that is also to drive the ad revenue that pays the salaries and keeps the lights on for the work of doing journalism so the question then becomes is it possible to have journalism without advertising is it a state supported model is it a model like pierre omidyar is doing with glenn greenwald on the snowden documents where they're building essentially a company that does journalism and also sells products related to its journalism is it going to be something completely different entirely crowdsource like are there ways to make this work that don't lead to the problems that you describe gay video in looking at a lot of the big debate what kind of images you should put on screen at least in the television here and it seems like it's war in more gory in the in the in the argument is that you know we're desensitizing audiences i would argue that
audiences are already desensitized quite a bit already and so you know it's voyeurism this is what people seem to be interested in. well i think that's one small element i think you'd be pandering to some fairly based standards if you just followed that route i'm not entirely sure that again it's the role of media i think where media and social media come together quite nicely we're not really touching on it yet although we did hear from the reference to crowdsourcing just now i think it's not just an entertainment for it's not just a broadcast former think of social here is a way in which people are broadcasting videos and thoughts except what we have to also think there is the way it opens a door to people on the ground so i'm thinking more about the way the guardian operates where it now has a network of trusted sources that it can turn to to have boots on the ground in more places to have a verifiable source that isn't actually on their standard payroll but their scaling
their ability and their skill to reach further in the world no scaling their ability to have a trusted source there and then you have the other piece which is where turning to their readers because they have a relationship of trust with them to help them to interrogate vast numbers of documents for example we've seen something like the expensive scandals of a few years ago and you could imagine would be applied to any of the kind of vast releases of documents and data that we might save in the coming years so i think there's another way to think about this relationship between the media and social media doesn't have to necessarily be this rush to a lowest common denominator of anyone can broadcast anything therefore so should. rachel would you like to weigh in that it would keep which should we show you what you we should not show because i saw you one other program and it was hotly debated there what's your assessment of what conventional media should show a viewer i'm reluctant to go as far as some of the media going at the moment i mean
that the conversations you have earlier is that really rick the videos yet now after that conviction should shift the mainstream media. show videos of the death of should they show the videos of of the people with blood on their hands at six o'clock. my my preference would be no the stuff is out there but don't shove it in the face something in a mainstream media program where you've got a whole bunch of people who don't really want to see that someone to let them be able to find it and that may be available through other channels but what you've got is mainstream media often editorially as well it's on the net anyway we'll put it out there and i think that is is partly that the chase for who's got the door now you know. i would i would tend to agree with you but then again there's the competition who's going to get the eyeballs and who's going to get the click and i think there's this slippery slope right now will say what the hell words do it
because we want them to come to us. yeah but for to be shown people being killed i don't think that there are different ways of being able to show that and still get the story out ok david only have your last word here what's the future is going to be a good marriage between the two media but i think we're in the early days of this and we're still working out what the new institutions of the web are going to turn out to be good journalism started off with newspapers except through it was a very very poor craft indeed in which my was full of storytelling in the worst kind of made up storytelling look at victorian papers in london and there was very little truth in them so i think we might be going through a bit of a shakedown period we might look at look back on these period and say well this was the wall where they are now good morning they can do it's a toilet many things have run out of time many thanks to my guests today in london and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here ducky see you next time and remember across titles.
empty. in november they bombed the warehouses with this it was the main storage place for all the food in the city people would be eating the earth because it had small traces of sugar in it i tried to eat it as well but i couldn't. look at it was incredibly heavy bombing. it was a direct hit on that very shelter and everyone was buried underneath. all of them with dead. people.
pleasure to have you with us here on t.v. today i'm sure. there is so little self reflection on the part of both the american public and the american decision makers i wonder why is that we our. country of three hundred fifteen million people very self-absorbed we are. isolated from the world by two large oceans. we're trying to think of foreign policy is something we do to other people rather than that that's something we participate in.
president obama is set to deliver a speech on the n.s.a. surveillance method says many question whether the government is. is ready to limit the agency's spined reach. russia spearhead the final diplomatic push to ensure all sides get a say at next week's international peace conference on syria. and the u.k. foreign secretary william hague as normal to try and convince scotland not to go it alone with an independence referendum eight months away.