James Mayes

Social media, celebrity and humanitarian disaster.

In Personal, Social Media, Twitter on August 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

Spent a day largely on the road yesterday, visiting clients, meeting partners – you know how it goes.  During the course of my travels, I tuned in to a number of different radio stations to catch up on traditional news, as opposed to my usual online reading.  One of the first things I heard in the morning was the DEC appeal for aid in relation to the Pakistan flood disaster.

Throughout the rest of the day, I listened to news programmes on four different stations (two commercial, two public service) and in each case, the lead story was Naomi Campbell’s evidence to the Charles Taylor war crimes trial in the Hague. It’s been three years since the Prosecution opened its case and it’s had little coverage recently – so I find myself disappointed that traditional media can ignore the story for so long, then propel it to the headlines simply on the strength of a supermodel’s subpoena. It led me to consider if my intake might have been different had I been online for the day, instead of on the road?  Whether the humanitarian disaster in Pakistan might have taken precedence?

I’ve run a quick comparison, courtesy of TwitterStats:

It suggests that yes, Naomi received spike on Twitter too, more so than the floods, but not to the extent of the traditional media. The obsession with celebrity news in this day and age is for disappointing (to me, anyway) but also well-documented – I’ll leave that for others to comment on. Personally, I had hoped to find a stronger bias towards “real news” on Twitter, as it would have made for a far more gratifying post. Instead, it’s opened my eyes a little to the use that Twitter does get outside my particular sphere.

In writing this piece, I’d like to think two things will happen. Firstly, it forms a small part of the war against celebrity obsession. Second, it encourages someone – anyone – to learn more about the flooding and help in whatever way seems appropriate to them.

Comments, as always, are welcome here.  I don’t moderate and I try to respond whenever possible.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SocRecFeed, James Mayes. James Mayes said: Social media, celebrity and humanitarian disaster.: http://wp.me/pPmPM-22 […]

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