– Advertisement – Solomon A. Ware Sr. By Solomon A. Ware Sr. When comparing social media and traditional media, it is a good idea to know just what you’re piling up. The category of traditional media is a rather large one. One is likely to be exposed to many outlets every day. If one turns on the TV at home, listen to the radio in the car, or read a magazine, he/she is experiencing marketing through traditional media channels.Newspapers in the morning and every billboard that you drive by on the way to work are all traditional media working their way into one’s day-to-day life. They’re everywhere, doing their best to influence us with flashy ads and sales-heavy copy. But are they doing a good enough job? Are they influencing you in a way that builds trust with their product or service? Or are they just bombarding you repeatedly with the same message? Do social media do a better job than traditional media? Let’s find out.Gone are the days in Liberia when products and destinations are reviewed from a neutral journalist’s perspective, but instead today’s social influencer are explicitly voicing their opinions and feedback, coercing a loyal following to copy whatever they recommend.The Effect of Social Media in Liberia When pondering the benefits of social media in relation to traditional media, it is important to consider the effect social media have on marketing as a whole. The world of marketing has changed in a dramatic and far-reaching way and social media actors have played a significant role in that transition.Perhaps the biggest effect of social media on traditional media and content is that now everyone feels like he or she has a voice. Whether through Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, social media has provided a public forum for anyone who has an opinion. While this has created an overwhelmingly saturated social atmosphere, this has also led to a genuine wave of voices and influencer on social outlook.In present day Liberia, the social media is proving to be a useful tool for marketers to search, track and analyze conversation and trends. Most PR professionals are now using social media monitoring tools up front, utilizing social media data to influence PR strategies, as well as report on competitors and public sentiment and engagements.Nowadays, most public events are screened live on Facebook, a move that is viewed by many as eroding interest in the traditional media.This, in my opinion, the social media is enhancing the traditional media. There are many ways by which social media has enhanced traditional media, and in fact the two go hand-in-hand now. For example many of the broadcast institutions in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia are now creating social media platforms, a particular case with OK Liberia, FM 99.5, considering how social media can be incorporated in order for a more creative and ultimately successful campaign, and keep a finger on the pulse of the changing media industry and how social plays into it.This Broadcast House regularly posts major headlines from its everyday news stories on it Facebook page and allows the audience to participate by explicitly voicing opinions and feedbacks. Also major programs being aired on this radio are also screened live with audio but not video as in the case with Television.The Misuse of the Social Media The notion of gate keeping on social media requires a different conceptualization than the actual meaning of the word. In the traditional gate keeping literature, the gatekeeper is someone who discretely guards gates, determining which news does reach the audience and which does not. In a strict following of this definition, it can be argued that there will not be any gatekeepers in the social media, because the redundancy of channels “undermines the idea that there are discrete gates through, which political information passes.”If there are no “gates,” there can be no “gatekeepers.” Social Media is beneficial when it is used right. It is NOT for insulting people or sharing nude photos. It’s for knowing where people are, what people do, what they think, and what’s happening now to their life.Many young Liberians both at home and abroad, using fake profiles, make the social media as a place to display their unsavory behaviors in hopes of becoming famous instantly. On the other hand, there are people who are just natural but they’re famous because of their talents. However, when the social media is used wrongly, the benefit will fade out and the disadvantage will come.We have heard about several crimes committed through the use of social media, particularly Facebook. The crimes are just not a physical crime, like theft, or some kind of homicide, but the sharing of nude photos of individuals, and showing pornography to the society and other cyber crimes, which has the proclivity to threaten the law and humanity and also give an opportunity for crime to happen furthermore.The Accuracy and Trust of the Social Media Traditional media uses cannons to fire its messages hoping to get to anyone who will listen (read, watch, etc.). Social media has the ability to target with laser precision. On the other hand social media marketing uses content to cultivate trust over time. Traditional marketing forces an opinion on a buyer in hopes that it will stick if repeated frequently enough.Therefore, given the rapidly changing media structure, the widespread use of social media, especially the Internet is rapidly becoming a new force in broadcast organizations around the world. It has changed the way for them to reach, understand and influence their audiences as never before.However, there are several concerns about the social media such as on-line safety, privacy, credibility of source and so on. Traditional broadcast media is still playing a strong effect upon the public. We still need these media to disseminate useful information in rural areas.It is because many rural areas in Liberia do not have Internet connectivity due to a combination of constraints, absence of infrastructures and prohibitive costs. Hence, we still need to use traditional broadcast media such as radio to reach those rural communities.Inarguably, though the emergence of social media has helped to improve government transparency and accountability. With the rise of social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, government agencies have joined in the trend by creating social media accounts.Furthermore, most owners of radio and television stations in Liberia have combined the traditional broadcast media (Radio and television) and social media (Internet), to support their objective of informing, educating and entertaining their audiences.About the author:Solomon A. Ware (SAW) is a Liberian journalist and Graduate student International Relations Email/contact: [email protected], 0886584779 or 0777469793 Liberia:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Government organisation, in a notice published in one of the daily newspapers on Saturday, said the document was recently submitted to the EPA by India-based consultant RITES Limited.“In accordance with the EPA Act Chapter 20:05, the Environmental Protection (Amendment) Act 2005, and the Environmental Protection Regulations 2000, members of the public are hereby invited, within 60 days of the publication of this notice, to review the report and make written submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency, as they consider appropriate.”Connector – 1 takes off from 4.955 km on Main Alignment on RHS and joins with the existing Aubrey Barker Road; Connector – 2 takes off from 7.705 km on Main Alignment on RHS and joins with the existing Haag Bosch Road; Connector – 3 takes off from 10.145 km on Main Alignment on RHS and joins with the existing Mocha Arcadia Road and Connector – 4 takes off from 14.885 km on Main Alignment and joins on RHS with the existing Great Diamond Road (This image was attached to the Draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment)The document can be viewed and downloaded from the agency’s website or purchased from the EPA’s office at Ganges Street, Sophia, Greater Georgetown, upon request.Back in 2016, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had signed a US$50 million loan with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India for the construction of the bypass road, which will provide an alternative route connecting the East Coast of Demerara at Ogle to the East Bank at Diamond.The preliminary cost of the project was pegged at US$104 million. However, when he presented the 2019 budget last year, the Finance Minister revealed that the projected cost had spiked to some US$120 million and as such, Guyana would either have to approach its bilateral partner for more funds or just await revenues from the nascent oil and gas sector.However, former Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam had told this publication back in June that his Government could come up with the additional funds, but there would have to be a formal proposal from the Guyana Government.Since the Indian Government is funding the project, it is required that contracts be awarded to companies from that country and as such, a 10-month design consultancy project was awarded to RITES Limited. The consultants have already submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) outlining the draft final design of the bypass road.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson told the National Assembly in May that the project was turning out to be of a much bigger scale than previously envisioned.“What was previously envisaged when the loan was taken was a single road linking house lot developments, [but] what has been designed and is being reviewed at the moment is a dual carriageway, which is not just for linking house lots; it is actually an additional new entryway into the city. So, it’s new bypass road [design], so, therefore, it is vastly improved than what was initially perceived,” Patterson had told the Committee of Supply as he successfully sought additional funds.The Minister requested an additional $67.41 million to cover payments for consultancy services provided by the Indian firm as well as to carry out preparatory works on the route earmarked for the new bypass road.He explained that along the area identified for the new road link, there was a “swampy” section and part of the monies sought would be injected into clearing that area.When the final design is approved by Government, the project will go to tender for a contractor, which will also be an Indian firm.The Diamond-Ogle bypass project will see some 26 kilometres of road constructed, linking two of the country’s main thoroughfares. This new road link will also be connected to key communities in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – all on the East Bank – and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown.Environmental ImpactsWhen it comes to the Environmental Impacts, it was noted that construction works will require large quantities of water which will be supplied “mainly from nearby streams”.On the other hand, it was also noted that “Potential impacts to soil could result from the development of the roads, site clearing and access road diversion and construction can potentially result in soil loss through increased soil erosion. Roads and other transport lines in the terrain may result in increased soil erosion. If site clearing activities coincide with the rainy season, heavy rainfall may increase erosion on roads and surrounding areas”.Dust emissions from the road will also be a concern as was highlighted in the assessment but to reduce the impacts on air quality, speed limits will be instituted and water will be sprinkled to keep the dust levels down.