Social media and youth traditional media engagement within democracy.

Introduction

The fairly recent convergence of traditional media and social media has irrevocably changed the accessibility and ease of political discourse and engagement in western society. Since 2008, traditional media organisations have begun to adopt and employ social media tools in order to support their political objectives (Sauter & Bruns 2013). Although new media has been perceived as a threat to the broadcast media industry in Australia, research shows that the convergence of the two entities generally serves to positively impact the political engagement of Australians. Furthermore, the increasing presence of social media is evidently boosting engagement statistics of a younger demographic of Australians under thirty. These concepts will be discussed with reference to evidence and statistics and applied to the case study of ABC’s ‘Q&A’ which integrated a live on-screen twitter feed in 2010 to the television program.