Pages

28.8.10

EDL, Bradford and Social Media

Just spent a few hours reviewing the events in Bradford with the English Defence League. Obviously I wasn't with them I was just looking at what was going on with them in West Yorkshire's second city.
That the the EDL were allowed to protest in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country – Bradford has a huge Asian population - was travesty. However, reviewing the conversation on the web it’s heartening to see that the bulk of the social media platforms are being manned by people who clearly deplore what’s going on and are resorting to Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, podcasts etc to register their disgust.
A few EDL members are also using the same tools. I saw one Tweet by a bigot boasting how he had punched a paki! However, the bulk of the conversation appears to be lead by people who deplore the EDL.
What has been heartening for me is that the EDL-meme has been captured by social media. I say this because I have just pulled together a presentation entitled What Is Social Media Now? Which I hope to use for new business pitches but also at a few conferences and BarCamps I will be attending shortly.
My main point is that social media IS THE MEDIA. Today there has been little coverage of the events in Bradford on mainstream media – either on the nearest radio stations at BBC Leeds, Real Radio or others.
Most of the first-hand accounts I have picked up have been on Twitter (Twitterfall is particularly good for this), blogs, flickr and YouTube.
Social media works – and the EDL can f**k off.

3 comments:

Kevin said...

I quite agree. I was about to write a very similar blog, but will give it a miss now.

I would add two things:

1. The media coverage today was a disgrace. I was caught in the edge of a riot at Forster Square station (and part of the retail park) which never even made the news, because it happened a few too many feet from the cameras. This could have been enhanced greatly if the media had monitored twitter a bit better or even had their own social reporters out there. All the reporters I saw were in suits and behind the lines, maybe they should have been running with the protesters.

This coverage could have been good for the people who were just doing their shopping, who had no idea what they were caught up in.

The second point I'd make would be that the anti-EDL side did not organise their use of social media - lots of different hash tags, nothing at the UAF celebration to bring it all together. Maybe they could have had their own feeds to supply the traditional media

Kevin said...

I quite agree. I was about to write a very similar blog, but will give it a miss now.

I would add two things:

1. The media coverage today was a disgrace. I was caught in the edge of a riot at Forster Square station (and part of the retail park) which never even made the news, because it happened a few too many feet from the cameras. This could have been enhanced greatly if the media had monitored twitter a bit better or even had their own social reporters out there. All the reporters I saw were in suits and behind the lines, maybe they should have been running with the protesters.

This coverage could have been good for the people who were just doing their shopping, who had no idea what they were caught up in.

The second point I'd make would be that the anti-EDL side did not organise their use of social media - lots of different hash tags, nothing at the UAF celebration to bring it all together. Maybe they could have had their own feeds to supply the traditional media

Ian Green said...

I agree. As a former journalist I understand why reporters always run with the pack. But you're right the most interesting stories are never at the centre of events and journalists can sometimes be a bit lazy about getting where the real action is.
However, they do get a lot of grief and violence sometimes when they do engage directly in the events before them.