James Breiner analyzed on Media Shift how our daily use of social media and smart phones have significantly transformed the way we consume news. In contrast to reading the newspaper or tuning in to the morning news during breakfast, most people instantly turn their attention to their phones. News media organizations are now faced to balance their power, or lose it, with the platforms their content is distributed on.
Snapchat, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Apple have taken on the responsibility of becoming news platforms to compete with traditional news outlets, and they are winning. Each is gaining revenue and a loyal audience to send targeted advertisements to. The “Frightful Five” platforms will continue to dominate our culture as news organizations and traditional media lose their influence. These platforms are also positioned to monopolize digital advertising and take up all the space for smaller, independent digital publications.
News publishers must accept that they can no longer fully control the distribution of their content in order to keep gaining revenue. There is concern that publishers will hand their content over to outlets, such as Facebook, which would lead them to help Facebook gain revenue and audience when in reality, Facebook may not actually care about journalism, but it has become the trusted source for news instead of the publisher. Therefore, our flow of information has changed and publishers are not the Fourth Estate, representing the public’s interests.
This evolution has changed where we spend our time and place our trust. Therefore, as consumers we need to be cautious and think critically when gathering accurate information from new mediums. On the other hand, publishers must adjust to the transformations in the way stories are created and shared in our rapidly changing, globalized world in order to be successful. However, all businesses in addition to publishers must utilize social media and media outlets to best reach a variety of audiences across the globe, form a connection with their followers, and spread their message, products, and services effectively. The “Frightful Five” will not be disappearing any time soon; they have become a part of our daily lives and culture.