With a Facebook penetration rate of 65%, Taiwan has increasing their reliability on digital media (social media) to influence and stimulate political dialogue and decision making. The transition from traditional media to new media has been a challenge for most.
Focusing on media education, the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong, and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei invited Dr. Alfred Hermida to host and participate in a series of events focused on the digital age, which were co-organized by local and external partners including, KBS (Korea Broadcasting System), Korea Press Foundation, National Cheng Chi University (NCCU), and Canadian Chamber of Commerce and British Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Hermida is the Director and associate professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia, a founding news editor of the BBC News website in 1997 and the author of, “Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters” which won the 2015 National Business Book award in Canada.
The series of events included training programs, lectures, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for journalists, editors, and students.
Dr. Hermida delivered several presentation, one included the topic “Social Storytelling: Why public service broadcasting matters in a social media era” for an audience of over 150 people attending on-site and 2,000 online at the Korea Broadcasting System. Working with the Excellence News Award Foundation, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei invited major digital and civic media to discuss the opportunities and challenges in the current media environment. The Embassy in Seoul and Korea Press Foundation co-hosted a panel discussion with Dr. Hermida on “What journalists need to know in a social media era.” Following the discussion, Dr. Hermida spoke with a group of scholars, journalists and a producer interested in civic journalism about the idea of integrating social media into a democratic process
In addition to exposing participants to this civic journalism and social media initiative, each of these events provided the opportunity for an interactive discussion through Q & As. Throughout the series of event Dr. Hermida’s emphasized that there has been no change in the demand for “accurate, informative and trustworthy” news but “what has changed are the technologies, conditions and spaces through which news is consumed.”
Canada recognizes the important role the media play in keeping the public dialogue vibrant and continues to support such initiatives.