New media is a term that encompasses the emergence of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies. Mainstream media includes nation wide television, radio networks, mass-circulation newspapers, and magazines. Social media includes popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In authoritarian regimes new technology and social media websites such have enabled social activists to recruit others to their cause, expose corruption and shine the light on human rights abuses. The internet has also become an important tool for activists to network and recruit advocacy from NGOs. Mainstream media like CNN, Fox, MSNBC amongst other television networks provide almost 24 hour news coverage and therefore have become significant distributors of information in society. Social movements come and go, represent various political beliefs, aim to achieve their objectives by infl...
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...olitical and social activist focus on networking because they strongly believe that it will contribute to their missions and campaigns. Domestic activists have to gain international support and bring attention to their issues and need to seriously think about how to improve legitimacy of mainstream media. Successful leaders of social movements, remember to communicate with their supporters via countless new communication technologies and are aware that our current generation relies on the click of a mouse or the press of a button on a television remote in order to obtain information that will eventually mould their general political opinion.
Therefore, media coverage must be part of all activist’s agenda and strategy as the nature of media coverage strongly influences how social activists are perceived in the public eye and can make or break a social movement.
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