For my second assignment for Social Media as Culture I’m thinking (broadly) of social television viewing and transmedia storytelling. See slides for more about that:
But rather serendipitously, today I came across something I could use in relation to TV and social media, the power shift and real world effects.
What’s set off the idea in my head was the recent fiasco with RTE, Ireland’s state broadcaster, and the coverage of the press conference at which the prime minister and minister for finance confirmed the request for a loan from the EU and the IMF.
On Sunday the 21st, when Taoiseach Brian Cowen was to address the nation at 7pm, RTE was still broadcasting Fair City and Reeling in the Years (2005 edition; the boom years – a bit insensitive given the evening that was in it) without word of if and when the so-called 7pm announcement would air. Obviously, uproar ensued on Twitter, with people switching to BBC and Sky to get coverage.
When the press conference did eventually start and (independent broadcaster) TV3′s Vincent Brown started posing some awkward questions to Cowen (did he agree that he was a liability to the country and he should step down etc. etc.), RTE cut the feed, a decent ten minutes ahead of when the 9 o’ clock news would have been scheduled to air, and went to the studio for analysis. Convenient?
Naturally, on Twitter people were retweeting a call to lodge complaints against the broadcaster, distributing the relevant email addresses (for both RTE and the BAI). Long story short, not long after, RTE released an apology and a clip of the full conference online.
I just caught wind of RTE’s Facebook today (thanks Lui). The page, which is “moderated” by “Christina and Claire from Corporate Marketing” between 9am and 5pm, has seen an influx of negative comments related to the perceived protection of the government, through-the-roof salaries while the nation faces cuts and the lack of answers from “Christina and Claire”, even in business hours. The only reaction from RTE’s side seems to be the deletion of comments that have profanities etc.
It brings to mind the Nestle fiasco back in March, where the moderator of that Facebook page took to insulting the “fans” and deleting comments from and blocking those with an edited Kit Kat logo as their profile picture (the picture said Nestle “Killer” instead, to highlight the threat of deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations). There was backfire on the page, not only because of the whole environmental aspect but also how clueless the person behind the Facebook page seemed to be; they broke all the rules. The result of that, combined with a campaign from Greenpeace, led to Nestle promising to cut down [pun unintended] on the deforestation.
I’m going to follow this a bit more, seems like it might be interesting from my assignment’s point of view – seeing what real world effect the Facebook and Twitter backlash has on RTE. Also, I’d like to see just how RTE handle being criticized via new media, because all along they had the “power”, being a national broadcaster to millions, and now the power is in the hands of the viewers.
- The Pilgrim Mother
- B City Collective
- We Are What We Tweet