Welcome to a new political era

The 2016 U.S. presidential election has just been concluded and the world saw Republican candidate Donald Trump win over rival and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but the outcome shocked many because Clinton won the popular vote and Trump’s election-related statements within and outside social media garnered controversies. The world is now asking how Trump won. Did Facebook and Twitter help him win? The U.S. president-elect thinks so.

With social media having its role in the elections, it is now evolving from a communication tool to a news and information platform. Media analysts also ponder on the idea of predicting election results through social media after posts and tweets were used in forecasting results of both the European Union membership referendum in Great Britain and the U.S. election. The U.S. elections also cast a different light on social media because instead of enabling democratic discourse, people seemed to use it in spreading more negativity. Facebook also received a lot of flak on its handling of fake news appearing in its News Feed, but its CEO Mark Zuckerberg denies the company’s influence in American politics because he sees the website as a medium for sharing information.

The elections also have ramifications in journalism: there are reports of journalists fearing for their safety after receiving hate messages and threats over social media; journalism’s delivery system seems to be flawed given examples of how disjointed the current media landscape is; and journalistic standards collapse when networks begin choosing revenue and ratings over credibility and facts.

Here are other stories of interest:

Image: “American bald eagle” by Getty Images. Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license

Ditto is a seasonal collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.

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Media ethics in focus

Ethical standards for media practitioners are among our key themes this issue, amid two events that shook the world in the last fortnight – the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 in the Ukraine and the exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. When media organizations compete against one another in a frenzy to satisfy the public’s desire to quickly know what is happening in the world, some practice standards – information verification, for instance – may be overlooked. A case in point would be why the media reportage on MH-17 was wrong at first on the number of AIDS researchers – supposedly 100 – who were on the plane.  Why did a journalist who went through some luggage items while covering the crash site feel compelled to apologize for his “error of judgment”?

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Connecting the dots: Why doesn’t the public trust the press anymore? | Poynter.

Craig Silverman explores possible reasons to the public’s declining confidence in the press.

Journalism that acts as the voice of God, that doesn’t listen, that doesn’t admit failings, that often punishes others for showing vulnerability does not build connection with the public.

via Connecting the dots: Why doesn’t the public trust the press anymore? | Poynter..