evgeniyakolpakova

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Eurovision 2012 Winner: Social Media “Euphoria”

Saturday 26th of May, the Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was held in Baku in Azerbaijan. During the world`s most popular music competition, that attracts millions of television viewers, the Swedish singer, Loreen, performed the winning song “Euphoria”. For many weeks Sweden has been a favorite across Europe and its position was reinforced during the semi-final last Thursday. Juries and television viewers awarded Loreen a total of 372 points that placed the singer far ahead of her competitors:

How to explain this tremendous success of the Swedish singer? Without any doubt, Loreen deserved this victory. She got to the top of this year`s Eurovision contest because of her incredible performance, strong and beautiful voice and fascinating dance, leaving many viewers breathless. But was it the only key to her victory? Indeed, before bringing her “euphoria” to the stage, the Swedish star achieved an “euphoric” success in the social media, that certainly increased her chances to win. Loreen was one of the few Eurovision participants who used social media strategically to promote her song and engage with her fans. On her official Facebook page, she managed to grow the community of 100000 fans before the contest:

Moreover, she organized a strategic social media campaign in order to connect with her fans all over the world. She proposed them to use the Instagram application to upload a photo where they are portraying the lyrics of her song in a creative way. The best photos will be used in the official music video for her song “Euphoria”:

The Instagram campaign helped Loreen to cultivate her fans and to collaborate with them before the Eurovision contest. The campaign was also launched on Loreen`s official Twitter account:

Three weeks before the contest Loreen promoted the hashtag #Loreen12p on her Facebook page that was used by her fans in social media:

The hashtag was also promoted on her official website loreen.se where she asked her fans for support before the contest. She even offered them the possibility to download the official Loreen wallpapers to their smartphones and tablets:

This active social media campaign helped Loreen to become a favorite for Baku Eurovision contest several months in advance. Besides Twitter and Facebook success, Loreen was very popular on Youtube having already few millions of views:

She stayed engaged with her fans till the last moment before going out on the stage. Few minutes before her performance, Loreen “sent her love to her fans” posting a video on social networks:

And her fan`s support was not in vain: Loreen became a winner of the Eurovision 2012 Song Contest. Just after her victory, the social media “euphoria” started:

Definitely, the use of social media helped Loreen to create a massive, engaged fan community to vote for her performance during the contest: one of the keys to success in the music industry nowadays.

By Evgeniya Kolpakova

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Facebook privacy settings: opportunity or challenge for journalism?

Are you a 21st century journalist? If yes, than you most probably feel at ease while surfing in the Internet universe to report on Twitter or on your Facebook page. And for sure you are aware of the fact that journalism is not the same anymore: the power of Internet and the explosion in social media have a great impact on the way journalists work, search for news and chase scoops and exclusive interviews. Social networks happen to be a new source for telling stories. If in the past, the media would have turned to family or friends to find personal information of people, nowadays the growth of social networking sites as Facebook has made it much easier to get the necessary details. Moreover, it`s digital, so it is easy to copy and replicate across the web.

Opportunity…

Indeed, social media is becoming a part of the toolkit of some reporters. Digital Journalism Study 2011 found that more than 35 percent of respondents said they used Facebook to source new story angles:

Thus, Facebook seems to be a great source to find new undiscovered stories, ideas and eyewitnesses. It`s very often that news stories around the world are breaking first on platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Moreover, with time the nature of Facebook privacy settings changes in a way that its users have less privacy. While Facebook’s new settings seem to be a betrayal of trust between the networking site and its users, the use of these new policies can be a surprising advantage for journalists searching for scoop. Let`s see what was private on Facebook before and what is private now:

If we study more in detail The Facebook Privacy Policy, it clearly disclaims responsibility for breaches of privacy of its users. The social networking site places the responsibility for privacy firmly on their users by allowing users to determine who can see what information they list on their profile. The Internet blurred the lines between public and private, and allowed journalists to easily access personal data of users on Facebook.Digital media scholar and journalism educator Alfred Hermida said about social networks: “This content is both private and public at the same time. It is private in the sense that it was intended for a specific audience of friends. But it is also publicly available online. This is a new ethical area for journalists.”

But…

The issue that becomes more and more important: So if almost all this personal information is available on Facebook, what is private then?

The UK Press Complaints Commission (The PCC) has released findings of its research concerning attitudes toward social networking and privacy issue. It found that 78% would change information they publish about themselves online if they thought the material would later be reproduced in the mainstream media.
Surprisingly, it appears that still few people think about the personal details they publish online:

Challenge as well…

The use of Facebook is not only the opportunity to search for new stories, but it also represents a new ethical issue for journalists. What are the limits in using personal information published online? Some events covered by media can show us that the need to ask these questions becomes a necessity in our digital age. The Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 can be an example of a real digital door-stepping.Many reporters trawled Facebook for people affected by the tragedy to search for exclusive details online.

This search for news and exclusive stories on the social networking sites throws up many issues about journalism ethics in a digital age. It also raises questions about a notion of privacy. What information can journalists publish and report on?

Clearly, there is a need to reassess journalism ethics in the age when the meaning of private and public is increasingly blurred online. Obviously, journalists should take into account the context in which personal information and photos are published in social media. Many media organizations have already established rules concerning the use by journalists of personal information on social networks. For instance, the BBC Editorial Policy Board set out editorial guidelines in terms of use of personal photos: “The ease of availability of a picture does not remove our responsibility to assess the sensitivities in using it. Simply because material may have been put into the public domain may not always give the media the right to exploit its existence”.

Indeed, even if journalists are reporting on social media content that is in the public domain, there are situations where private information retains its private nature, even after it has entered the public domain. There are other questions that journalists should ask themselves before publishing:
Is there a public interest to publish personal information?
Is it valid information, can we trust it?
Does the material breaches any other laws, particularly defamation or copyright laws?

The limits between private and public online being blurred, there is a big challenge for journalism of 21st century in terms of ethical behavior.

What do you think about this issue? What would you publish or not if you use Facebook as a source for your story? And would you do it? Facebook, could it be a journalistic tool for you?

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