The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines news as new information that is reported in traditional platforms such as newspapers or television news programs. However, social media sites are increasingly used to share news. While new media platforms share the same role of informing readers as traditional media platforms, both can vary in terms of how effective news is presented. To directly compare how news is presented on traditional media vs. new media, I looked up articles regarding the release of the movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on the NY Times and Buzzfeed. While the same content was discussed, the different platforms varied greatly in terms of the presentation and style of information.
One major difference is that the NY Times focused on the depth of information, including facts that supported arguments. It also discussed details about the domestic distribution data, the timing of the release date, and incentives to watch the movie. Quotes from highly influential sources in the cinema industry, such as Warner’s Executive Vice President of Domestic Distribution, were included to contribute to the credentials of the news source. The NY Times also used outside sources to gain diverse perspectives on the subject matter, such as media analysts who tracked mentions on social media. On the other hand, the Buzzfeed article focused more on the breadth of information and did not go into detail about the information presented. Besides a brief recap of highlights of how the movie performed, there were very few specifics about introduced topics. Buzzfeed focused on comparing the movie to other relevant movies, rather than going into detail about how the movie performed. A short excerpt was included on an estimation of how the top 10 box office movies would perform. However, no reasoning behind their theory was included, and the information was left unsupported.
Another significant difference between the two media sources was the style of the articles. The NY Times only included one visual, and was very dense in terms of words. The article was formatted into paragraphs, which included specific numbers and quantitative data. The style of the Buzzfeed article was opposite in the sense that very few words were used to discuss the release of the movie. It included rich media, such as multiple color-coded graphs that allowed readers to interpret data quickly.
I think that the NY Times article covers the issue more effectively because more information was provided overall. According to Digimind, the social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company, traditional media receives 44% more mentions and is shared more than new media sources. Traditional media is a more sufficient means of providing information because the platforms used allows for more information. Readers expect articles that come from more traditional sources, such as the NY Times, to have an adequate amount of information as well as include credible sources to support arguments. Traditional media is also speculated and read more than new media because it is a more established source of information. The Buzzfeed article covers the issue less effectively because social media is a place to discover breaking news rather than providing in-depth details about news. The social media article gave a quick overview of the information through graphs in order to communicate the message quickly. According to the Pew Research Center, 77,992,000 digital users utilize Buzzfeed and other new media as a source for directing them to traditional sources with more details.
In conclusion, while different mediums may cover similar issues, they present the information in ways that resonate with the readers and platforms that are used. Readers refer to the different sources for different motivations.
Barnes, B. (2016). For ‘Batman v Superman,’ a Supersized Box Office. The NY Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/movies/for-batman-v-superman-a-supersized-box-office.html?_r=0
Malinova, K. (2015). Battle of Social vs. Traditional News: Digimind Social Declares a Winner. Digimind. Retrieved from http://digimind.com/blog/social-media/old-new-media-battle/
Suh, M. (2015). Top Digital News Entities. The Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org/chart/top-digital-news-entities/
Vary, B. (2016). “Batman v Superman” Sets Box Office Records For Both Superheroes. BuzzFeed. Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/batman-v-superman-box-office#.joEexjAmX