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Social Media and Traditional News Media

Social media platforms have transformed how people communicate in today’s world. Information can easily reach any corner of the globe by just having a smartphone and internet connection. This is contrary to the past, where people depended on traditional media to receive and send information. Several social media platforms have been developed from the time internet technology came into existence, and they include Facebook, Twitter, and many others. Nowadays, social media perform almost all functions of the traditional news media in the United States and other countries across the world. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the role of the social media platforms and the traditional news in contemporary American society and the integrity associated with spreading news.

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Role of Social Media in Contemporary American Society

Social media platforms play several roles in society today that seemed unimaginable decades back. Firstly, networking platforms have become central tools for passing information quickly to many people. This has helped in promoting community safety from global threats that have been on the rise. For instance, social media platforms have become instrumental in spreading awareness and coordinating responses in the presence of societal problems such as outbreaks of disease, terrorism attacks, and natural disasters (Vermeer et al., 2020). Nevertheless, social media platforms have been at the forefront in helping to fight social and political injustices in the United States. On several occasions, social media has shown police brutality that resulted in the loss of life.

The common problem surrounding social media platforms is the accuracy of the information being shared. Given that social media platforms are open-source, they should ensure that the shared contents are accurate and factual to prevent the spread of false information. During Trump’s tenure as the president, 16,000 of his tweets were deleted and banned from the platform to prevent spreading false information (Stjernfelt & Lauritzen, 2020). Another good example is misinformation and misconception about COVID-19 on social media. Their duty is to flag and delete such information from their platform.

Role of Traditional News Media in Contemporary American Society

The traditional news media, such as radio, print media, and television, has been a reliable source of information for American citizens for many decades. The news media influences people to buy or sell through their business news, advertisements, and programs. In the political sphere, traditional media has been at the forefront of promoting democracy, spreading reliable information that helps voters make the right decisions. This explains why the traditional news media are responsible for providing factual and accurate information to the public.

For instance, in the 2020 general election, the news media largely influenced the winning of President Joe Biden by bringing to light the lies that were being orchestrated in Trump’s government (Stjernfelt & Lauritzen, 2020). Many people were swayed to vote for Biden due to lies of Trump’s administration that were made transparent by the news media. Research conducted by Strycharz et al. (2018) between 2014 and 2015 shows that media coverage of closing prices of three companies, namely Shell, ING, and Philips, largely influenced stock price fluctuations. This influences the decision-making process of investors and stakeholders of whether to buy or sell stakes of a particular company.


In spreading information, both social media platforms and traditional news media play significant roles since each platform is used differently on various occasions. Social media platforms offer anyone a chance to spread information. The only challenge is that most of the information shared on social media is unreliable. On the other hand, traditional news media are trusted by Americans for their trustworthy information, cementing their role in American society.


Stjernfelt, F., & Lauritzen, A. M. (2020). Your Post Has Been Removed: Tech Giants and Freedom of Speech, 287. Web.

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Strycharz, J., Strauss, N., & Trilling, D. (2018). The role of media coverage in explaining stock market fluctuations: Insights for strategic financial communication. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(1), 67-85. Web.

Vermeer, S., Trilling, D., Kruikemeier, S., & de Vreese, C. (2020). Online news user journeys: The role of social media, news websites, and topics. Digital Journalism, 8(9), 1114-1141. Web.

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