from the Cape Gazette, 5/28/18, by Phillip Moore:
CNN's Ralph Begleiter speaks to local group about media and politics
Former CNN world affairs correspondent gives presentation at LWVSC Annual Dinner
The way people learn about the world is changing, and technology and social media are a big part of that change.
That was the message of CNN world affairs correspondent Ralph Begleiter as he delivered the keynote speech at the annual dinner of the League of Women Voters May 21 at Fish On in Lewes. Begleiter is also a founding director of University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication.
"Over the past decade or so, we have seen some major changes in the way people perceive and receive news, given the rise of social media and digital outlets," Begleiter said.
He said a media earthquake has occurred that has changed the technology of journalism, the business of journalism and the news, raising questions about how to define news in today's information environment.
Begleiter showed statistics tracking the increase in digital subscriptions to newspapers such as the New York Times, while the number of print subscriptions to newspapers has declined. That decline has resulted in layoffs in newsrooms that make a difference in the quality of the content, he said.
While newspapers have seen a rise in digital subscriptions, television and network news have also seen a rise in viewership, which results in shifts in advertising that also affect the quality of newsrooms.
Begleiter also took aim at social media sites, noting, "With social and digital media, there are no requirements or regulations for what someone can post. Everyone is a publisher each time they post something."
He pointed out that individual posts "lack a balanced judgement that focuses on all sides of an argument. Being that there are standards, journalism has lost its appeal, and we now feel the 'pulse' of news through apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram."
Begleiter also touched on the recent revelations about social media companies, noting, "Given the recent investigation regarding privacy invasion on certain networks such as Facebook, we have seen social media outlets hire a staff to filter or screen content and help better protect our privacy and the accuracy of news."
League readies Vote411 website
The league also unveiled a website expected to be available in July that will allow people in Sussex County to input their address and view an accurate sample ballot for upcoming elections, a option not yet available throughout the state.
"We have worked hard to put this together hoping to spread accurate information on each candidate that you may or may not vote for in upcoming elections," said league President Martha Redmond.
"Not only will you be able to view the candidate's information, there are questions that we posed to them that were directly answered and input onto the site by each person running for positions in your area, " she said. "We feel that this will help educate voters and provide real information specifically to those who are new to voting or want more information."
"The site vote411.org will be active July 16 and is part of our goal to inform, educate and engage," Redmond said.
For more information on the LWVSC, go to my.lwv.org/delaware/sussex-county-delaware.