The Internet and smartphones have completely disrupted the world of information, in the broadest sense, allowing any citizen to become a producer and broadcaster of information. As a result, digitized "social media", initially simple tools of free expression, have quickly become relevant tools for disseminating information, reacting to it and mobilizing citizens.
In the digital age, all official media have developed their applications, website, blog, facebook page, twitter, etc. but the media landscape must nowadays take into account the presence of "non-professional information professionals", sometimes influential, who use these new free digital tools. However, ethical rules do not apply to all in the same way.
Is the citizen well informed? How to find your way around? How to address the ethical issue? What about fake-news? How should Local Authorities position themselves? Are we moving towards an e-democracy? Is it a utopia?
Journalism is a specific profession that requires specific skills and requirements. But the search for and dissemination of information, which is a much broader activity, also concerns other actors: economic, political, social, cultural or simply citizens.
In the end, in the public's mind, it is no longer at all obvious to distinguish information signed by a professional journalist from a blog maintained by a citizen, who only expresses his own opinions.
In addition to all this, it is very easy to film very local events: "live video streaming". Almost uncontrollable, it is becoming a favourite, albeit ephemeral, source of information for young people in particular. The public, and young people in particular, will watch these images no matter what. If the media do not broadcast them, viewers will watch videos of Lambda citizens, who act as spectators. Both their lack of experience and the absence of distance from live filmed events place the burden of analysis on the viewer. But, does he or she have the discernment to analyze and interpret the information correctly?
Even if conventional journalism seems to be losing its monopoly on the dissemination of information, the exercise of gathering, staging, decoding and debating new information will undoubtedly remain an essential ingredient of any living democracy.
We are only at the beginning, but the movement seems irreversible. Through this observation, local and regional authorities, expressions of this citizenship and embodiment of democracy, must devise innovative and sometimes complex strategies to successfully communicate and exchange with their populations.
- What will be the role of local media?
- What articulation between professionals and spontaneous producers of information? ?
- How to set up a strategy and communication tools in local authorities to meet these new digital and instantaneous challenges?