The Role of the Amateur/Individual – New Challenges in Screen Media

In the past few years there has been an incredible development in the world of technology. I am not just talking about the progress of the Internet and all its social platforms, I am also referring to the huge amount of new tools and softwares that have became available and affordable for amateurs as well as for professionals. All this has contribute to blur the limits between producer and consumer in the field of the Screen Media.

As I have said, the limits have been blurred and thanks to this a lot of unknown people with an outstanding talent have been able to show their work to the world. That is what happened with a young Swiss musician called Adrian Von Ziegler, who started his YouTube Channel has a hobby and now has a community of over 500.000 fans that are completely in love with his music.

It is true, however, that not every single story is a story of success for there are a lot of people who tried and never succeeded, some because of the lack of talent but because of the lack of sacrifice and perseverance. It might seem simple on the outside, but there is a lot of work behind every story of success.

This development in the world of technology has contributed to create relatively new figure in de Screen Media panorama, I am talking about the “blogger”. Nowadays professional cameras are at the reach of everyone, and also editing softwares like the ones offered by adobe. All of this together with a bit of creativity and working spirit has led those bloggers not only to create an online community around their figures, but also to become referents in the fields they are working, in other words, to become famous. And due to this, to become opinion leaders.

That could be the case of Olivia Emily and ReeRee Phillips, both extremely famous within the gothic subculture, one with the blog and the other with her YouTube channel. They both have become in a couple of years what we could consider public figures, and they both have adopted the roll of being a role model, of marking fashion and make up guides, and ultimately of creating opinion trends.

However, we must take into account that there is another side in the coin. Why were they successful when others failed? What is it that has made them special and popular? How can someone who hasn’t study fashion design, music or whatever became that popular in that particular field? All these are questions that should be taken into account while thinking about this subject, but unfortunately I have no answer for them.

As a conclusion I would like to state that, for me, this huge development in technology that has given the amateur the possibility to both create and consume Screen Media has a more important positive side. It has allowed artists, musicians, filmmakers, etcetera, to show their work and talent to the world when they had no other way to do it.

The Role of the Professional – Engaging the Public through Popular Screen Media

With the popularisation of Social Media and all the different kinds of Social Media, professionals – politicians, activists, media producers, etc. – have been given a new way to approach the public, a new way to approach us the normal citizens. Some could say that this is the best approach, since we spent most of our time in Social and Digital platforms, but it also sets out a risk to take.

In this post I would like to write about what is known to me, and the better example I can think of is related to Spanish politicians, even more after the huge problems we faced on the last elections. Last year in Spain we spent months without a government and within that time most of our politicians decided that they should try a different approach to their possible future supporters, the young people. Due to this they all became very active in their social networks, mostly on Twitter, using an overfriendly tone that was not suitable at all for their position. Thanks to this – some would say wrong – decision they had to endure an incredibly insane amount of memes about themselves and also to deal with the constant and tireless attacks of trolls.

TV advertisement of a Spanish Politic group trying to engage with the hipster community.


From my point of view that was not the correct way neither of using their social media nor of trying to approach to their public. I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but at least in Spain people love to troll politicians, public people or companies that are active in their Social Networks, and that is the reason of the increasing importance of the figure of the community manager in Spain. A community manager is a professional in Digital Media. Not only are they responsible of creating and online community and promoting the product online, but also of dealing with trolls and mean people. And in Spain they are doing amazingly well taking humour as their weapon. We have reach a point where companies offer insane amounts of money to the best community managers in order to work for them. Surprisingly this way of dealing with trolls and haters has helped at the same time to the promotional task, for the online communities have grown considerably and the knowledge of the companies or products has also increased.

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  • Roi: I’ve opened one of the two pizzas I ordered and it was just the base, not ingredients or anything. Who do I phone?

  • Telepizza España: Did you opened the box upside down?
  • Roi: Yes, but it wasn’t yours, it was from @dominos that are much more yummy.
  • Telepizza España: As expected. Our customers would never open it upside down.


As a conclusion I would like to say that Digital Media could offer professionals a lot of possibilities of reaching and engaging with the public. Almost everyone is in one Digital Platform or another so it is the best way to reach the biggest amount of people possible. However not everything is easy and good for they are exposing themselves to the public and to the trolls and haters. For all of these, as far as I am concern public figures and companies should invest their money in hiring a Community Manager to take care of their social media and create an online community, as well as to avoid unwanted comments or attacks.

 

Citizen Journalism

Through history we humans have always had the curiosity and necessity to ear stories. It doesn’t really matter whether they are real stories or fictional stories; we just need to follow the narrative structure of those stories that remind us of our own lives. But with the pass of time and the development of technology we have been able to access an almost unlimited amount of information. And it is thanks to that that the figure of the “informative story teller” was created, giving place to the birth of the journalist work.

As time keeps passing and technology developing we have reach a point where not only can we access to real-time information about anything around the world, but also we can create that information and share it with the world. This has been a huge revolution on the way we think about news nowadays, for not only professional journalists can offer it but anyone with a mobile phone who is at the right place on the right moment.

We can say that citizen journalism, as it is called, is reshaping the world, just as Brian Conley relates about his personal experience on his TED Talk. Now we don’t have to wait to get a newspaper or to see the news on TV to know what has happened, sometimes we don’t even have to google it, for it just pops up on our Social Media feed.

One of the first examples of citizen journalism I can think of happened on September de 11 of 2001, when the terrible attack on the Twin Towers took place. At least in Spain, the first videos that were displayed on the news were sent by bystanders who just happened to be there on that dreadful moment.

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You can watch the video here

Since that moment forward we can say that citizen journalism has been rising. Nowadays almost everyone has access to a digital camera to take pictures or videos and to a computer to write. Furthermore, the huge development of the digital world, and I am not only talking about Social Media Accounts, I am also referring to all those blogs and websites that are dedicated exclusively to citizen journalism such as Ground Report or All Voices.

About the usefulness of citizen journalism I must say that it can be tricky. It is true that overtime there have been terrorist attacks of natural disasters whose knowledge has been spread thank to it allowing us to react to it as soon as possible. But we mustn’t forget about all those sites of false news that can lead us to confusion.

As a conclusion I would like to state that citizen journalism is a powerful tool on our hands, but we must think critically about the news we read and contrast the information before believing it.

 

Is Social Media progressive or dangerous in 2017?

We are currently living on a constant changing society and we have to struggle every day to keep up with it. Regarding to this, our way of communication is one of the things that is changing at the highest pace thanks to the Social Media. Whether this is progressive or dangerous it is still to be discussed.

On one hand we cannot deny that Social Media has brought a revolution to our way of communicating with others. We can talk with people living on the other side of the world at real time; we can even watch each other faces despite of the distance. However, that amazing way of communication is not the only thing Social Media has brought us as it has become, over the last few years, into one of the most important places to get information. By this I mean that news fly so fast through platforms like Facebook or Twitter allowing us to know what is happening in the rest of the world without having to watch the news on TV or buy a newspaper.

On the other hand, Social Media also has quite a dangerous side. Not only are they platforms that allow anonymity, so that anyone can hide their identity, but they can also lead to misinformation. Talking about the anonymity it is utterly alarming the amount of fake accounts of people pretending to be who they are not to whatever purpose, unfortunately it is even more alarming the increasing cases of sexual abusers who start over the Social Media. Regarding to the misinformation, I must state that through Social Media we could be tempted to pay attention only to the kind of news that are more in accordance with our way of thinking, which can led us to a manipulate knowledge of the reality around us.

Finally I would like to talk about the great importance that Social Media got during the unfortunate latest terrorist attacks. Thanks to those platforms people were able to communicate with their loved ones, they were able to ask for help and even to show to the world what was happening. It was thanks to Social Media that we were able to react to it as soon as possible.

All that been said I would like to clarify that for me Social Media are neither progressive nor dangerous, they are just an inanimate tool. It is not the tool that has the will, but the intention with which we use it. So it is we, humans, who can be progressive or dangerous on the use of Social Media and for good or for bad each individual is unique and his or her true intentions cannot be revealed.