Sign in/sign up

Social media as news novelty is a disastrous relic that needs to end

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
We’re in the thick of quite the horror show when it comes to chaos, conspiracies and disinformation on social media. Add the loudest voices in the world doing more to fuel the problem than calm it and it’s hard to know how any of this ends.
Right alongside this is, of course, the local fight to force social media and search to pay for access to news media. That’s its own debate, but there’s no question that social media is front and centre in how the world is being shaped and represented in the media ecosystem today.
What blows my mind is that Australian media still treats social media formats as something to be mocked, feared or shrugged at. It’s OK for media professionals to giggle and say they “don’t get it”. TikTok is still a weird thing the kids are doing, regardless of the fact it’s got hundreds of millions of active users.
It should be analysed. It should be criticised. But it’s tiring to watch social media trends treated like the novelty news item at the end of a bulletin while these media forms are reshaping the world we live in.
Is it a form of jealousy? Or a suggestion that if they are acknowledged as peers in the media ecosystem we might lose yet more of the audiences that remain in traditional environments?
Australian media has always been the worst at accepting cross-pollination as a net positive. Other countries hold telethons (well, does anyone really hold a telethon anymore?) and charity events that cross the streams across broadcast networks. Late-night talk shows in America promote shows from other networks in the name of healthy competition and having stars pop up wherever they might help create good content.
Good. Content. Every time people sneer or look down at TikTok they also dismiss some incredible work done by genuinely talented creators who are reaching audiences that publishers and broadcasters lost years ago. For every dodgy influencer there are many more who are using memes to actually hold political power to account or to inform and report on the issues of our day.
And then there's the viral spread of conspiracies and disinformation through these channels. Sadly these exist in traditional media too, but by treating social media as that 'other' to be pointed at from the outside and treated like a weird object outside ‘the real world’ we continue to fail to use the best qualities of traditional reporting to help people read more deeply on what is happening within those ecosystems.
I was going to say “imagine having a court system but never having anyone report on how courts work, simply that people walk into this strange building and sometimes they don’t come back out the front door again and we’re not sure why”. But then I realised that beat reporters have been slashed and the quality of court reporting has been under threat for years.
It’s hard in the thick of the deep, deep cuts in reporting to wish there was better specialist reporting on the things influencing how society works today the most.
These things are part of the cause of what’s gone wrong for traditional media – not through direct theft of revenue or readership, but also because traditional bosses have failed spectacularly to build better business models. But that makes it more frustrating to see such a blind spot in how producers and publishers and editors treat these categories of the digital world.
Every aspect of what good reporting on these issues could be. The business stories. The social stories. The arts stories. The technology stories. They’re just so consistently viewed from the outside while more and more of the world is being shaped on the inside.
Yes, I have no answer. No, I don’t spend much time inside TikTok either. But if we’re not wrestling with these questions of how to look at this part of the world more clearly then we’re not doing our jobs.

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory

Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Media News

Permission to speak honestly

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on


We work in an industry where a search for the seed of truth is at the heart of informing readers. What is really happening behind the glossy pictures and polished speech?
This is something that journalists strive to find in their work, but it’s also something they struggle to do themselves when the media industry is in such a precarious position.
“How’s work?”
“Great. Busy, but, yeah, things are going well!”
I’ve heard a variation of this theme many times when I’m catching up with colleagues. Even with good friends. It takes a while for people to get comfortable and let the protective veneer slip back to say what’s really happening. Typically, it’s too much work, not enough support, the eternal sense that jobs could be cut or outlets closed with little notice. Because the bosses are usually telling the editorial teams that “everything is great” until it suddenly isn’t.

Savvides takes charge of SBS

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The SBS network has selected George Savvides as the new chairman of the board. 

He had spent the past month as interim chair following Dr Bulent Hass Dellal’s exit after two terms lasting a total of ten years. His previous management roles include managing director of Medibank and Medibank Private, and chairing World Vision Australia.

Savvides joined the SBS board in 2017 and had led its remuneration committee, then later moved up to deputy chairman. He also works in the SBS community advisory committee.

“Over 45 years, SBS has played a vital role in informing and shaping Australia, not only meeting the needs of multicultural communities and our First Nations people, but helping all Australians explore and celebrate our diversity. It is a truly unique organisation, supporting economic and civil participation, and striving to inspire all Australians to experience the benefits of social inclusion,” said Savvides of his appointment.

“SBS’s role for t

Snow falls anew on Triple M Brisbane

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Graeme Snow has signed up with Triple M Brisbane as its new executive producer for The Big Breakfast with Marto, Margaux and Nick Cody.

He joined following a recent recruitment search and will start working on 27 July.

Snow came after three years with FOX Sports Queensland, and prior to that he was EP for former Triple M Brisbane breakfast shows The Cage and The Grill Team Brisbane.

“My time at Fox Sports was truly a fairy tale, from creating a human NRL trophy, to helping Fletch and Hindy survive four days in a bubble tent outside of Suncorp Stadium to being in the ring carrying the Australian flag for the Horn v Mundine fight, I had a ball. COVID19 brought this time to an end, and if it didn’t, the ducks wouldn’t have aligned for this position,” said Snow.

“Returning to Triple M really does feel like coming home. Anyone who has been lucky enough to work there will tell you that it really is like a massive family.”

SEN taps Riewoldt

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) has welcomed Richmond Tigers AFL star Jack Riewoldt on board for a new weekly one-hour show on SEN1116, under the club’s partnership with Swinburne University of Technology.

Premiering at 6PM AEST on 13 July, Jack Riewoldt’s Tiger Time will feature Riewoldt’s thoughts on the current season including taking a look at the Tigers’ performance in the previous round. He will also talk with Richmond alumni and fans. 

The show will run for ten weeks.

“It’s been weird not having fans at our games this season, but I’m sure I’ll hear the Tiger Army loud and clear on Monday nights on SEN. I’m looking forward to chewing the fat with some special guests and chatting with listeners who I expect will have plenty to say each week! Hopefully we can turn on some good footy despite the difficult circumstances of this season and keep the conversation nice!” said Riewoldt.

Which-50 bought by Boardroom.Media

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Digital content portal Which-50 has been officially acquired by multimedia outfit Boardroom.Media. 

Which-50 editor-in-chief Andrew Birmingham said the purchase agreement was signed late last week. 

The brand and website will be retained as its staff is integrated within the Boardroom organizational structure. 

“We will keep writing the stories we have always written. We will also utilise the Boardroom Media capabilities and incorporate video and other multimedia into our coverage,” explained Birmingham.

“Another change the Which-50 audience should expect is to see a wider range of perspectives in stories. Traditionally we would interview chief digital officers, or CMOs or CIOs in our stories, or founders if they are an emerging business. With the expanded focus expect also to see more perspectives from CEOs, CFOs, HR, risk managers. We always wanted to do this in the past, but lacked the scale to do so.”

The acquisition came months into a pa

Knowing who journalists write for

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on


Following on from the question of having your contact buckets in order last week, and bouncing off Redrup’s 5 Minutes yesterday, there’s an important issue that constantly crops up in discussions with other journalists about what goes wrong in PR pitches.
“Why are you pitching me this? I would never write about this.”
The ‘me’ in that sentence is critical. We know why you’re pitching it. It’s your job.
But if you treat everyone in your contact bucket as exactly the same – a generic list that tells your client you contacted THIS MANY journalists – then you get a reputation as a timewaster that starts to get filtered into our own special bucket… the ‘Ignore’ list.
Journalists are under the pump. Overworked. Underpaid. Time poor. And when I say that I don’t want to discount that PR teams are also under a lot of pressure to move fast and hit targets. But, like those

3MP radio back on the air

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The ACE Radio Network has officially reactivated Victoria regional station 3MP.

The network stated that the new 3MP will be an Easy Music station catering to the Mornington Peninsula over 1377AM. It will also be available on Melbourne DAB+, iHeartRadio, and CRA’s RadioApp. 

SEN granted ACE Radio the licence. 

Launching out of Frankston in July 1976, the original station, 3MP Classic Hits, was changed when the Pacific Star Network rebranded it as Classic Rock Radio in 2016.

ACE Radio announcer Emily Canning kicked off the broadcast on Friday night. 

John Vertigan and Julie Strini are hosting The Easy Breakfast, followed by Canning from 9AM to 3PM. Cathy Jubb is on drive and primetime duties from 3PM to 9PM, while Dave Drinkell goes on the late-night run.

More News latest

Moore to leave WPP AUNZ
WPP AUNZ’s Kieran Moore is standing down.

Haystac lands Springfree Trampoline account
Haystac is now representing Springfree Trampoline.

Slack taps new APAC comms manager
Slack has enlisted a new APAC communications head.

RED Havas earns Hydralyte account
Hydralyte has tapped RED Havas for representation.

AKQA/Switched On merger complete
The merger of AKQA and Switched On is done.