Who’s talking about whom?

In discussions with people who view the media climate as being a binary between big media and bloggers, many times the exclamation rises, “Well, if MSM didn’t exist what would bloggers talk about? All they do is talk about ‘real media’ stories.”

But how the tables have turned.

The last couple of weeks across the US and Australia has seen a great rise in MSM’s coverage of ‘normal’ citizens production of content on new media channels. Blogs, yes. But beyond that, social media is rising to take over. There seems to be stories in MSM covering content produced on Twitter, Ustream, 12seconds every single day.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s front page online today features a home invasion with details simply drawn from Twitter and UStream. Yes, when you open it you end up in the tech section – but it is firstly listed on the front page.

The New York Times had a great piece recently on how traditional media ‘personalities’ were taking up Twitter.

But all MSM reports have been very much along the lines of “we don’t know how this inane stuff involves so many people, but hey, it does.” MSM reporters are challenged by social media. They know it’s a space they need to be in, and report about, but they’re not really confident with doing either of those things.

Real life celebrities such as Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry and (ex-model) Kathy Ireland are getting into Web 2.0 and actually talking directly to real, ordinary people. MSM is suddenly no longer needed to give a broadcast audience celebrity gossip. Why bother when I can watch Demi’s recent photo shoot for Helena Rubenstein courtesy of her husband’s Qik stream? It’s authentic. It’s credible. It’s straight from them!

So tell me again. Who’s talking about whom?

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