The other day, Moammar Qaddafi was killed, and over the next week or so, NATO will end its operations in Libya. NATO Commander Admiral James Stavridis stated the following on his Facebook Page:
An extraordinary 24 hours in Libya. As SACEUR, I will be recommending conclusion of this mission to the North Atlantic Council of NATO in a few hours. A good day for NATO. A great day for the people of Libya.
The fact that major announcements are happening on Social Networking Sites are really exciting. This joins a string of other announcements that have had political consequences. Newt Gingrich became the first Presidential Candidate to announce his candidacy via Twitter, and President Obama has held town hall meetings on YouTube. These events signal that social media is being embraced by politics and politicians.
Social media offers politicians the opportunities to campaign and organize in a fashion that once seemed impossible. Message amplification is a big plus from social media, and much appreciated by its users. However, it begs me to ask whether traditional media will see a decline because of the use of social networking sites?
My answer is no. Traditional media, such as newspapers and TV News are still necessary. There are too many times where there are rumors that circulate, and those rumors become trending topics. For example, it seems like every so often that Jackie Chan has to prove he’s not dead.
I see the media’s new role as the same it has always attempted to serve, to be a watchdog and “keep them honest”. However, in a world where there is an Internet media, traditional media will just need to keep up and maintain its role.