Reuters has launched a new online multimedia project to gauge what they call ‘The Trump Effect’. By working with interactive graphics, a news archive and opinion polls its goal is to measure the impact that President Trump’s administration policies have on American society.
The decision to make such a tool stems from the wish to cut out the noise surrounding political news and to enable the public to see for themselves what the real impact of Trump’s policies is (Allsop, 2017). It is then up to the readers to decide how they truly feel about these policies.
The launching and felt need for such a tool can be seen as an example of ‘convergence culture’ (Jenkins, 2006 in Lewis, 2012: pp. 847), which highlights the development of breaking down dividing lines between media creation and media consumption.
Lewis mentions the “enduring impediment to journalists’ capacity to change their perceptions and practice in the digital age” (Lewis, 2012: pp. 845). However, the willingness to create a platform that incorporates rather than excludes participation from the public, in this instance mainly by incorporating opinion polls, proves Lewis wrong in this instance. In my opinion, a lot has changed since 2012, when Lewis wrote this article. Media platforms are acknowledging the need for change and are actively searching for ways to include consumers in a way that is constructive for both journalism and the public itself. As such, they move away from the stance that the public needs journalism for independence and truth-telling (Lewis, 2012) and open up ways for consumers to enrich such goals that were previously seen as exclusive to the field of journalism.
Allsop, J. (2017). Reuters sets out ambitious plan to measure ‘the Trump Effect’. Retrieved from: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/reuters-trump.php on September 30, 2017.
Lewis, S.C. (2012). The tension between professional control and open participation. Information, Communication & Society, 15:6, pp. 836-866.