The Twittersphere, Politics & MasterChef

In this digital age, Twitter and other forms of social media are increasingly playing a more significant role in society especially in the context of the elections. This is demonstrated through Axel Bruns and Jean Burgess’s ‘#ausvotes: How Twitter covered the 2010 Australian federal election’ as well as in Saayan Chattopadhyay’s article ‘Online Journalism and election reporting in India’. Both articles show that social media does facilitate discussion and debate but they have limited impact on the elections themselves. In India for instance, netizens who are mostly urban youth who have access to the Internet, seem more interested in the results of the election than the process itself. However, Chattopadhyay argues that ‘social media have in the last few years become increasingly important in the Indian news’ (Chattopadhyay, 2012, p. 340).

 

Where Chattopadhyay examines social media as a whole, Bruns and Burgess focus on ‘How Twitter covered the 2010 Australian Federal Election’. In their argument, they state that Twitter ‘is still in its infancy’ (Bruns and Burgress, 2011, p. 53) that it is still a developing social medium. However during the elections it did provide a platform to disseminate information and it offered sustained commentary on political issues. Hence, Twitter can be used for a range of purposes such as ‘conversational interaction’ and for collaboration (Honey, C, 2009, p. 1).

 

Social media has provided similar benefits and pitfalls for the culinary world, for example I will discuss the hit cooking show MasterChef which has its own Twitter account- @MasterChef_Aust. Its target audience are its TV viewers and food lovers alike, judging by the many tweets that promote the program, its contestants, recipes and sponsors. I believe this parallels what Twitter does for politics in terms of how it connects like minded individuals, how it provides the latest coverage of events as they happen and encourages discussion amongst netizens. Although, Twitter is still in its early years, it has been proven to be a great social tool that disseminates information rapidly whilst fostering the interconnectedness as well as interaction of all its users.

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