Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Digital natives and the dominance of social media in Korea

I'm teaching an undergraduate course this spring semester at SUNY Korea on the topic of Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D).   On Monday I asked the class how many of them had heard about typhoon Pam, which devastated the island nation of Vanuatu and was heavily covered over the weekend by CNN, the BBC and all the mainstream media here in Korea.  Only one out of six students was aware of the disaster.   This result did not surprise me, because I've asked similar questions in class before.  Today's generation of "digital natives," for the most part, do not follow mainstream news media, choosing instead to rely on their social networks for information about what's going on in the world around them.
This reality has not been lost on Korea's politicians, who are using digital and social media this year in the run up to the April by-elections for the national assembly.  The Arirang TV video embedded here offers an interesting update.

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