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The double-edged sword of media can cut the one who doesn't know how to use it

The civilization developed the newspaper in the 18th century and the radio and television in the 20th century [1]. These media methods have been playing a significant role in the society and they can be called as the traditional media methods.

TV, newspaper, and radio are the biggest and most trusted methods within the majority of people. On the earlier days what was broadcasted on the radio or TV was taken as a full truth. It was quite rare that people would question what was delivered to them through these platforms.

But with the advance in technology and the possibilities in business and politics, commercial TV channels and newspapers were born. That made it possible for the broadcasted information to be in favor of the media source. That can be questionable and often doesn't show the full truth.

New media platforms, wider audiences

On the other hand, on the 21st century, which we can call the Internet era, has also brought new ways and methods to deliver information much faster and to wider audiences due to social media. Information broadcasted on the social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds to minutes.

This also brings challenges to the integrity of the information. Almost anyone who has an internet connection and a supporting device can have access to the social media and he/she can say, write, and share all that he/she wants. This makes it more difficult for the public to discriminate if the information provided is true or false [2].

We know now that there is no problem finding a method to deliver a message. The challenge for those of us who are researchers, professionals, and industry experts, is determining which platform is the most appropriate to use and to whom the information should be addressed.

The next question is, who or which media should present the information? And how should it be presented?

Storytelling as a key

Information should be presented by someone with good presentation skills, charisma, and enough knowledge about the message that he/she is trying to convey, and he/she needs to tell it through storytelling.

People tend to remember stories for longer [3], so it's a good idea to use generalization terms, considering that not all information recipients are familiar with or experts on the subject matter.

Presenting research must be done by a personality. When presenting, one needs to be himself, and if one fails to tell a good story it may gain a negative impact on one's own research or the presented product. Trying to avoid going into the details is a good idea when possible unless asked otherwise [4].

On the other hand, the art of telling a good story is a talent that requires skill. That means not everybody can tell a good story.

The story should be told by someone who knows how to tell stories. It should also have some personal flavors and be well presented. The story should be short and truthful. If the story contains fake information, the outcome may be disastrous for the presented research or product.


Double-edged sword

It is said that the media is a double-edged sword. When used correctly, it can help one kill the enemy, but when used incorrectly, it could cause the user to kill himself.

We live in a dynamic world right now and there are a lot of rapidly happening events around us. These events capture the attention of the media and citizens. The media will focus primarily on phenomenal events, particularly if there is a bad event.

As such, attention to science, technology and business will not be high on the media agenda. Keeping a close and good relationship with journalists is a good way of making one's own story heard, and perhaps publish it quite nimbly [4].

Anwar Sagar, Doctoral Student, Tampere University

[1] Wikipedia: History of journalism.

[4] Matti Apunen: Lecture

Photo: WiX, Unsplash

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