Last Tuesday I did not have a chance to watch the live broadcast of SOTU. Later on that night when I got home I had a look on twitter, then read the Facebook comments of my friends which where complemented by articles from the New York Times to the Onion and Politico. Next morning I watched the speech on YouTube, read individual blogs and visited international news sources mostly from the EU.
Following this online journey…naturally I had a story to tell about the State of the Union as captured by the people!
As a foreigner I am not going to touch on the points POTUS made and how those were addressed, criticized or praised by the media, but would like to touch upon the media technology shift. Inevitably the internet plays an integral part of our daily updates and overall communication as described above. This is the trend upon which both of the Obama presidential campaigns capitalized and succeeded. The oxymoron is that this interactive, simultaneous, instant and mass information sharing can also be mutually counteractive when utilized by parties of conflicting interests.
Most of the big news agencies facilitated live debates to monitor the citizen pulse, but at the same time individuals became journalists themselves and set the tone for their followers and networks. Communication nodes in social networks nowadays play a role in forming political opinion, and in some cases they may even prevail as the average citizen has a very predictable offline/online path when it comes to information updates: citizens choose to skim through their social media networks, review a newspaper that aligns with their beliefs, or watch theTV news that best reflect their beliefs.
Starting by the fact that objective journalism is hard to find, regardless of the wording and the frames used by news agencies, the nature of journalism and information communication is no longer one-way. It has already started to become broader to include the public voice. This is the voice that politicians need to be aware of and this is the standard by which battles will be defined as victories or defeats in the future.