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Is Social media replacing Traditional

A Desk Research Paper for La Trobe University

By Sanjana Chopra
La Trobe University

1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Central Argument of the issue
4. Conclusion

This purpose of this paper is to research if social media is replacing traditional media in terms of
people getting news and brand communications. It also talks about the changes that have been
noticed due to emerging social media trends for brand communication. The emergence of social
media has made it possible for people to communicate with people living in other parts of the world.
Social media have enabled consumers to communicate with each other to share views about a
specific product or service. The result of this study shows that traditional media, as well as social
media, has a great impact on brand communications and intelligence sharing across the world.
Whereas, traditional media are considered to be a more credible source of news and for creating
brand awareness.

The media landscape has gone under major transformations over decades. As strategic
communicators, it is a great question whether to follow traditional public relation practices or to
adopt new ones. The practices followed from the past in public relations are building strong relations
with journalists so that one can sell stories on behalf of their client and get featured in mainstream
publications. The 21st century is witnessing an explosion of Internet-based messages transmitted
through social media networks and microblogs
.They are replacing traditional media as the buzz
about these new marketing opportunities is unlimited. It is not just public relation practitioners, but
also marketers who feel they are losing control on brand management.
Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange
information and ideas in virtual communities and networks
.Social media has established itself as a
mass phenomenon with a large demographic distribution: 75 percent of the US internet users use
social media
. The viral diffusion of information through social media has a far greater capacity to
reach the public than "short tail" - media such as TV, radio, and print advertisements
. The platform
has enabled millions of people across the country to interact. According to PR Academic Grunig, Two
Way Asymmetrical and Symmetrical PR is where internet allows a dialogue to open up between
companies and their stakeholders
As far as scope is concerned both social and traditional media provide scale and enable everyone to
reach a global audience. In terms of the cost factor either government or private entities own
traditional media; social media tools, on the other hand, are available to anyone at no cost.
An article in The Herald Sun holds more value and is more influential media outlet in Melbourne. The
circulation and online reach is more than any other newspaper in Australia. However, its impact in
this fast moving world is questionable. Even traditional media can reach out to more people through
social media rather than generating periodic programs.

Mangold, W.G. and Faulds, D.J. (2009), "Social media: the new hybrid element of the
promotion mix"Business horizons, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp. 357 365

Social media - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Miller, C.C. (2009), "Who's driving Twitter's popularity? Not teens", New York Times, 25 August.

Keller, K.L. (2009), "Building strong brands in a modern marketing communication
environment", Journal of Marketing Communication, Vol. 15 Nos 2/3, pp. 139-55.

Grunig, J.E. (1984). Models of Public Relations and Communication. Excellence in Public
Relations and Communication Managemetn, pp.285-290

Moreover, consumers are turning away from traditional media such as TV, radio, or magazines and
are using social media to search for information. They regard social media as the most trusted
source of information rather than traditional tools of communications used by companies
However, despite the fact that social media has become an important source of data, newspapers
are still considered as the most trusted source of information and a big chunk of people still get their
news from papers, TV or radio. The question arises, Are more people turning to social media for
news? Moreover, can one trust the news that one gets from social media?
According to a survey, over 50% people know about breaking new via social media rather than
traditional. The best example for this is Robin Williamss death as many people got to know about it
from Facebook and Twitter. 46% people get their news online at least three times a week.
Moreover, as of 2012 online news revenues has surpassed print news revenues
According to ACMA (Australian Communication and Media Authority), among internet users,
broadcast television remains the most important media activity undertaken by 69 per cent in the
past month (free-to-air television 65 percent and subscription television 26 per cent). Listening to
the radio was also an important activity (54 per cent). Australians spent less time watching
broadcast television and listening to broadcast radio by Australian broadcasters in 2010 than in
1991. Since 1991, average daily time spent on these activities has declined by approximately 20
minutes for radio and 10 minutes for television

Foux, G. (2006), "Consumer-generated media: get your customers involved", Brand Strategy,
No. 202, pp. 38-9.

How Social Media is Replacing Traditional Journalism as a News Source

ACMA (2011). Digital AustraliansExpectations about media content in a converging media
environment. Qualitative and quantitative research report, pp.1-2

Central Arguments of the issue
FOR Social Media is the median of the contemporary world. It is the platform that is used by
people and journalists to share everything happening around the world; including news alerts,
events such as musical concerts and award ceremonies, their favourite sports scores and results, job
vacancies and even weddings and obituaries. The posts are further supported by adding pictures and
videos; making Social Media the standard for sharing new stories in the modern world.
Social media is a cost effective way of promoting or spreading information as you can access social
networks, blogs, and website free of cost. Also posting news or any piece of information doesnt cost
anything. A great example of this is Greenpeace campaign to stop whaling in Japan. With help of
Reddit and other social media platforms Greenpeace was able to spread the social cause across the
world and raised funds.
The television, the radio, the newspaper (printed) is already becoming out of date, since most
people watch and read the same news stories with the help of Social Media. The rise of internet
usage is another factor for this kind of a trend and also the time spent by users in social media sites
such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus adds to that.
The traditional media can be replaced in future but will not immediately. However, social media is
growing everyday as it is popular, easy to access, which has changed consumer behaviour.
Traditional media sources will have to find new ways to keep up with this fast growing market. Many
newspapers, TV shows have integrated social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter to
reach out to people all over the world.
AGAINST Traditional media cannot be replaced as there are certain group of people especially the
old generation who are still not familiar with internet. They still like to use watch television, read
newspaper and listen to radio to get their daily dose of news. Old habits die hard is a true saying in
this case.
Scott Pelley, a news anchor at CBS mentions that Twitter, Facebook and Reddit are not real
journalism. They are just gossip pages whereas journalism was invented as an antidote to gossip. He
agrees that the new generation used to passing along new information as they learn it. But it needs
to have some guidelines regarding the role of social media and journalism.

Scotts Pelley. Clark: Social media is no replacement for traditional media
The arguments show that each part for and against have their own strong beliefs. It is clear that
social media is replacing traditional media but it will still take a few more years as traditional media
cannot be easily replaced. Moreover, traditional media is trying to integrate with social media to
keep them going in the market.
The emotional buttons that came out strongly in the argument were Social Contact as people get
connected with friends easily through social media. It is also true that the story shared by a friend or
family member is considered more credible than any other. Also, Honour came out high as people
who do not have knowledge about Internet and its aspects they are still loyal to traditional media
and rely on it for news and information.
Saving could also be another factor as traditional media involves a cost to it whereas social media is
free of cost. And lastly independence as there is a need for individuality where people can write or
post whatever they like without any barriers and obligations.