What is More Effective in Student Representation: Information Field of Social Networks or Traditional Mass Media Communication?

Natalia S. Sakharova 1 * , Tatjana V. Ezhova 1, Elena A. Ganaeva 2, Liubov G. Pak 3, Ilgiz M. Sinagatullin 4, Svetlana G. Kashina 5, Olga V. Popova 6

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The relevance of this article is to study a qualitatively new type of communication structures - social networks in the Internet, as a special information channel, the important properties of which are: the speed of information flow, convergence, multimedia nature. All this requires special consideration of the formation of students’ ideas about social reality in the new conditions. The purpose of the research is to analyze the information field of social networks in comparison with traditional mass media communication means in the student representation. Identification of specific features and patterns inherent in the Internet as a whole and social networks as its creation. Research methods: as a research method, we used the method of content analysis, which has sufficient diagnostic capabilities to study social networks on the Internet. Research results: the article considers the concepts of the information agenda and public arenas. Social networks as a means of mass communication are considered. The article analyzes the daily news formation in traditional mass communication media and in the social network. The features of the daily news formation in social networks through the eyes of students are revealed. The novelty and originality of the study lies in the fact that the levels of mass media (traditional and new) are highlighted. It is shown that the mass communication media, in the view of students, use the achievements of industrial society and are characterized by limited time and space, low bandwidth, insufficient breadth of coverage, universality. Students highlight important properties of social networks: the speed of information flow, unlimited time and space, convergence, multimedia nature and personalization. First the factors affecting the features of the daily news’ organization in social networks are identified: a larger number of news compared to the TV channel; the difference in the categories of news posted in social networks and on TV; differences in the content of the agenda of the communities themselves; discussion with users of the social networking news among the categories, which are less represented on TV; the distribution in the network by ordinary users of only the most interesting news (viral reproduction). It is shown that under the guise of news on the studied television channel, the audience, in the view of students, receives outdated information while in social networks community members receive information at the speed of the events themselves. It was revealed that from the point of view of students, the number of news covering the events that took place on the eve of the event is approximately the same in the communities and on the TV channel. The phenomenon of citizen journalism in the representation of students is considered (social networks have a significant impact on the quality of journalism and its image in the eyes of Internet users). It is revealed that the interest of the student audience significantly differs in social networks from those topics of news that are shown on television. It is determined that from the point of view of students, the daily news in the social network communities contain significantly more negative news than on the TV channel, and less positive and neutral messages. It is shown that the daily news in social networks is formed spontaneously rather than purposefully installed. It is determined that the daily news in the networks more correspond to the needs of the student audience. Practical significance: marketers, image-makers, experts in the field of political technologies to verify the presence or absence of interest in a service or product, a public figure or a politician, can use the data obtained in this work. The findings can also be used in management psychology and social psychology.


social networks information agenda news Internet student youth


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article


Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 10, Issue 2, Article No: e202009

Published Online: 17 Mar 2020

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