Traditional Media Under the Social Microscope
When Ms Goldspink-Lord posted on the 7 News Facebook page about the “pain and harassment” she suffered as a result of the actions of a Channel 7 reporter and camera crew, the social media community was quick to share her outrage. Within hours thousands of people had posted messages of support for Ms Goldspink Lord and there was a rising tide of anger building against Channel 7.
But as a traditional media outlet, how should you respond when faced with a community backlast over the behaviour of a company employee? The simple answer is to apologise and do it quickly. Unfortunately, Channel 7 opted for a different path, deleting Ms Goldspink’s post from its Facebook page and seeking to dismiss the whole ugly incident as an “error”.
In a statement by Director of News at 7 Sydney, Chris Willis, it was claimed that “Ms Goldspink-Lord’s comments were removed from our site in error.” He went on to argue that, “our reporters and camera crews know that grieving families have to be approached with sensitivity and compassion” but it would appear that did not happen in this case.
Channel 7 is not the first corporate to delete posts from social media platforms when things start turning against them and each time the result is the same – the social community triumphs. Traditional media and other corporates need to accept the price to pay for playing in the social media space is openness, transparency and honestly. Traditional media outlets might still control mass media publishing channels but every member of the social media community operates their own niche distribution channel and has the ability to deliver highly targeted and effective messages when it counts.
Our thoughts are with Ms Goldspink-Lord and her family and we hope in the future that “sensitivity and compassion” are not just words on the Channel 7 Facebook page but actions displayed by its reporters and camera crews.