Social media changes the news media

Posted on September 21, 2012

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THE Internet changes the landscape of how people use and consume information.

The pace of change in the digital economy is so fast, the media has to keep up and adapt, said Ramon Isberto, head of PLDT and Smart communications.

He presented his insights during a presentation in the quarterly meeting of the Cebu Citizens- Press Council yesterday.

There are three things to watch out for, he said:

“Anything that can go online, will. It will happen faster or sooner than you think. And much of what goes online will go mobile, too.”

The change is driven by smartphones and devices, widespread use of broadband, and cloud-based services like Facebook and Twitter.

The digital environment has transformed communication industries, said Isberto.

It has changed the music business, movies and TV, newspapers, telecommunications and even the retail business.

Isberto said the Internet as a source of news and information has overtaken radio and print media which include newspapers and tabloids while television consistenly remained the most popular media source for the past four years, based on data from the Nielsen Media Index.

“Internet users are growing every year,” he said with 30 million in the Philippines, of which almost all or 95 percent use social media like Facebook.

The average time spent online is 19.6 hours a month and going up.

Most online users are 15 to 24 years old, said Isberto.

Isberto said newspapers may be declining in circulation but readership on line is growing through e-books.

SOFT COPY. JV Rufino, Inquirer Director for Mobile shows the publications offered online by the Inquirer Group in its Digital Edition News stand after the filmshowing of Page One: Inside New York Times’ at the Marcelo Fernan Press Center Theater. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

In a post-film show forum at the Marcelo Fernan Cebu Press Center, Javier Vicente “JV” Rufino, director for Inquirer Mobile, said the downtrend of newspaper copies is there but “print will never die; newspapers will become a high-end value product.”

Both Isberto and Rufino said adapting to the changing landscape is crucial for traditional mass mass media to continue serving the public.

After the film showing of the 2011 documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times” Rufino showed the range of publications offered online by Inquirer Group in its Digital Edition Newsstand.It offers the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cebu Daily News and other magazines and even e-books available through smartphones, tablets and laptops.

“For P30 per day, you can have access to more than 30 publications of the Inquirer Group,” Rufino said.

He also showed the new Inquirer Tab, which uses Huawei Android tablets with a built-in Inquirer application for the Digital Newstand although the service is also available for Apple, Nokia, Blackberry and Android devices. One Inquirer tablet was raffled off during the event and won by USJR student Nina Patrese Luceno.

Nina Luceno (right) Mass Communication student of University of San Jose Recoletos pose with CDN Publisher Eileen Mangubat and Inquirer Director for Mobile after winning the raffle for the Inquirer tablet. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Cebu Daily News publisher and acting editor in chief Eileen Mangubat said that while platforms change, stories still have to be gathered and written well.

“The newsroom processes will continue. Stories still have to undergo vetting and facts need to be verified,” she added.

Publisher Eileen Mangubat and Inquirer Director for mobile address the students after the film showing of Page One: Inside the New York Times at the Marcelo Fernan Press Center theater (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

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