Mayra Davis
by on December 20, 2021

Social media is rapidly changing the landscape of news consumption. People are switching from electronic to digital and social media to get Lahore news today. There are approximately 46 million active social media users in Pakistan. This is close to 21% of the entire population in the country. The number of social media users is increasing rapidly with every passing day. During the last year, 9 million new users in Pakistan joined social media.

According to Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-20, today 33% of households in the country have gained internet access. These figures allude to the fact that the popularity of social media is rapidly increasing in the country. Owing to the emergence of social media in the country, online news consumption has increased.

Social media is no longer just a platform to stay connected with friends; now it is also a place where audiences get news content. People have been forced to come to terms with this 24-hour news cycle. Social media gives individuals easy access to news whenever they want, but also serves as a platform for anyone who wants to share his opinion and present it as fact.

In this context, social media has replaced “serious” news with what is trending or viral. A study has found that readers, on average, spend a maximum of 57 seconds on online news articles. This shows that news consumers are more likely to be interested in the title of an article and not in reading the entirety of the article.

This social media takeover of the news has led to the prevalence of misinformation in the country. Some people have launched their own news outlets over social media that spread fake news. Unfortunately, the popularity of these news outlets is beginning to be compared to more reliable sources for news like “City 42” or “24 News HD”.

Another important thing to also take note of is the algorithms used on different search engines that track the patterns of a user’s internet activity and use that information to constantly redirect the user to sites they are interested in. This causes people to become prone to reading the one side of Lahore news today and they become less inclined to read multiple sides to one story and often settle with a biased news source.

Politicians use social media platforms to inform the masses about their policies on a regular basis. Political parties post their official stance about various issues on social media. Thus social media enable them to directly address the public bypassing traditional news media altogether. Currently, there are not many restrictions on what politicians can say on social media, so it leaves them open to saying anything.

Moreover, social media enables celebrities to interact with their fans directly. They have millions of followers over different social media platforms. Cricketers and showbiz stars keep updating their fans about their future endeavors. Therefore, social media is eclipsing the importance of electronic media not only for political news updates but also for sports and entertainment news. All this is undermining the significance of electronic media as the primary source of news in the country.

Now that social media apps and websites are constantly replacing more traditional news sources like newspapers and TV broadcasting, the future of electronic media looks bleak in Pakistan. However, there is a silver lining for news channels. They can also make use of social media to maintain their popularity. Several Lahore specific news channels including City 42 and Lahore Rang have millions of followers over Twitter and YouTube. Moreover, social media can be handy for journalists to disseminate information.

In a nutshell, social media has revolutionized the modes of consuming Lahore news today. One thing individuals can do to ensure they are consuming the most reliable news possible is Identify credible sources of information—and then support those organizations as their primary sources of information and news. Once the mission and motivations of media outlets are known, it becomes possible to hold them accountable to present the most accurate information possible.

Posted in: business, news
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