Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Participation –the particular quality of social media

Assignment 3

Name: Xiao Luo

SID: 450108053

Tutorial: Thursday 6pm-9pm (Cherry)

Hinton and Hjorth (2013) use the world ‘participation’ to summary the unique quality of social media. Compared with the mass media before, the biggest difference of social media is a participated platform. There are various participated forms of agency on social media from user generated content (UGC) to user created content (UCC) (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). Public response, such as comment and clicking like, is one form of participation. The users of social media can not only read and share information but also create content. An increasingly number of people use social media to show their life and express their thinking. Social media users, as producers and audience, communicating with each other promote dissemination of information and growth of participated cultural.

User Created Content (UCC)

The internet has been embedded in human’s life and a large amount of information online is created by users. The rising participated cultural and the development of technology offer motivation, possibility and convenient to produce content on social media. For instance, the use of smartphones with high-quality cameras not only change the way that we record and memorialize events (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013) but also enable us to record the moment and produce content online anytime and anywhere. A large number of social media existence are due to user created content (UCC), such as YouTube and Facebook. Social media offer a platform for humans to communicate and creativity while the communication and creativity make social media existence and unique.

Citizen Journalism-a challenge to traditional journalists and news media

Participated media and user created content (UCC) can lead to some negative effects. Hinton and Hjorth (2013) argue that the participation and production by social media users is a challenge to journalists and news media. When the social media users begin to reporting about events, they become citizen journalists. According to Hinton and Hjorth (2013), citizen journalists are the people who report an event independently and do not work for a media outlet. The rising of participated cultural and pursuing attention, fans and identity may motivate users to produce more content. The emerging of internet-enabled smartphone enables people to report an event when it occurs with photos and videos. The content can be recorded and shared online immediately when an event occurs, which is more efficiently than traditional media outlets. This is a challenge to traditional journalism, especially to the newspaper. Advertising is the main revenue of newspaper, but the revenue decrease significantly because “advertisers follow user attention online” (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). Besides, the phenomenon of citizen journalists has led to the emerging of various sites online which is based on the feature of participation and user created content (UCC). The users of the sites are encouraged to submit news stories and to comment on the stories.

Additionally, compared with professional journalists, citizen journalists lack of professional knowledge and training. Hinton and Hjorth (2013) point that citizen journalists do not have the skills of obtaining and distinguish information and they may not do an interview well. It is more difficult for citizen journalists to report objectively and avoid bias without the knowledge of  the moral code of journalists. Fake news and news that lack of value is experienced a significant increase online with the emerging of participated social media and citizen journalists.

A useful marketing tool for entertainment television program


From a perspective of social TV, social media with the particular quality of participation provides a platform for television to engage the audience. One one hand, social media challenge the traditional journalist and news media with the emerging of user created content (UCC) and citizen journalists, leading to the growth of face news. On the other hand, social media connected with television, support entertainment programs engage the audience. Although many scholars predict the death of traditional media, Proulx and Shepatin (2012) argue that “the Internet did not kill television, but become the best friend of its.” The web and social media converge with television influence the way audience experience entertainment program. In terms of television, social media is not only a communicated platform but also a propaganda platform. Television can utilize it promote its program and communicate with its audience so that it can know and attract their audience, and improve their program. Television viewing audiences express their feelings by tweeting on twitter and posting on Facebook. Social media, as a real-time “backchannel”, change the conversation from once-isolated rooms to an open, opt-in and coviewing event (Proulx and Shepatin, 2012).


An Australian documentary reality TV series Go Back to Where You Came From and the use of the hashtag# GoBackSBS on Twitter is a good example to show how social media such as Twitter to support cultural productions of television, help engage the audience, create communication and shape their opinions (Sauter and Bruns, 2014). There has been a hot debate on refugee issues and asylum seekers in Australian. Go Back to Where You Came From consists of three seasons from 2011 to 2015 and aired on SBS. In each season of the reality show, there are six Australians who holds different opinions about the debate around asylum seekers taking an asylum seekers journey that lasts for 25 days within and outside Australia to gain a first-hand experience of asylum seekers. It aims to help audience gain better understanding of asylum seekers and engage the nation talking (SBS, 2012a). SBS promoted Twitter-based engagement with the reality TV series and initiated the hashtag #GoBackSBS and stimulate the TV series via the @SBSNews Twitter account to attract the audience and promote the nation talking. On the premiere night of Go Back to Where You Came From, the show was the number one trending topic on twitter. Therefore, twitter provides a significant platform for SBS to engage its audience.


Social media users can not only read and share information but also comment and create contend on social media with the emerging of web 2.0 and smartphone. Some users even became amateur journalists to report events. However, this participated quality of social media leads to the growth of fake news. In this semester, our group chose to do the social media campaign Be The filter to help reduce fake news and maintain the environment of social media. Our campaign aims to guide users to read, share and create content online with ethics, responsibility and critical thinking. The campaign plans to utilize participated quality of social media and user created content (UCC) to help resolve the issues result from the particular feature of social media- participation. Our group initiates a series of hashtags to encourage the audience to share and create related content to obtain our goals.


Participation is the particular quality of social media. There are various forms of participation from user generated content (UGC) to user created content (UCC). Social media users can not only read and share information but also produce content, leading to the emerging of citizen journalists. This particular quality of social media has advantage and disadvantage effects. On one hand, it is a challenge to traditional journalism and news media and leads to the growth of fake news. On the other hand, social media can support television to promote its program and engage audience. By analyzing the participated quality of social media and its advantage and disadvantage. I hope social media can utilize its advantages to avoid disadcantages and to improve itself.


1. Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. Sage.

2. Proulx, M., & Shepatin, S. (2012). Social TV: how marketers can reach and engage audiences by connecting television to the web, social media, and mobile. John Wiley & Sons.

3. Sauter, T., & Bruns, A. (2014). Tweeting the TV Event, creating ‘Public Sphericules’: AD HOC Engagement with SBS’s Go Back to Where You Came from—Season 2. Media International Australia152(1), 5-15.

4. SBS, 2012a, ‘Go Back to Where You Came From Series 2 – About the Show’, au/goback/about.


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