Manuel Castell’s prediction

periodistadigital1What really captured my interest in this module has been being able to critically analyse and think week by week how the new media world is changing. As Manuel Castell (2007,2011) argues “the diffusion of the Internet, mobile communication, digital media and a variety of tools of social software; have prompted the development of horizontal networks of interactive communications that connect local and global at a chosen time”. He also says that we are indeed in a new communications era, whose backbone is made of computer networks, whose language is digital and whose senders are globally distributed and globally interactive.

As a PR and media student, it sounds very scary that a system that has been working for decades is changing very quick, leaving behind traditional media like Newspapers. Do we need news anymore? We have Twitter now and citizens retransmitting what happens in every part of the world. Can social media cover journalism? or thinking the other way, how will news have a future without social media? In addition, nowadays we are getting our news through the back door, in platforms like Twitter, and not through the main door, which would be the newspaper websites. These changes affect us directly as media practitioners creating challenges to keep us adaptive to a changing media market.

I believe that media changes are all welcome as soon as there is still the choice for everybody to choose which method to use. I invite you to read Manuel Castell’s theory as it gives a lot of answers to these questions

Elena Munoz



Want to know everything about PR? Pay a subscription

PR week is the handbook for public relations. It is a paid trade Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 20.24.00magazine for the public relations industry that offers a mix of breaking news, industry views and in-depth analysis. It covers everything from big business issues to everyday life in the comms industry. It contains up to the minute information that expert analysis put into context, industry profiles and investigations, and the latest careers information, with a job search section.

Westminster University pays the subscription every month, so I get free unlimited access to the magazine as a PR student. However people need to pay a subscription of £33 a quarter or £49 if you choose premium. This means that the magazine costs around £200 a year. When people access the website without having an account it will limit the access to only 3 articles. Then the subscription page comes up.

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If PR week was shared with fewer restrictions under a Creative Commons license then this content would not be possible. There are a lot of journalists and expert PR analysts that make the investigations and put the information on the website. There is also people working for the job section and updating it every minute. Who or what would pay the work of these people? Also if the magazine was free to everybody it wouldn’t have such a good quality. Reading PR week every morning is a must for PR practitioners, and this requires quality, that requires paying professionals.

However there would be some advantages about getting PR Week free for everybody. It is valuable information that people should be aware of. The more society reads, the better future we will have. Also there are people that cannot afford paying for news, like students. This way they would have limited access and could use the content for their own knowledge development.

Do you agree? Do you think we should pay for the content?

Elena Munoz

Very easy to find me online!

I am quite visible and easy to find online. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat…The other day I typed in my name in Google and I found in the images section all my Instagram pictures. So yes, I am very visible.

I would say Facebook is my private platform. In Facebook I normally post my opinions, locations, the travels I do, family pictures, pictures about nights out with friends and so on. I have my privacy settings on so that only my friends can see what I post because is very personal and I don’t want strangers to be able to see everything I do and think.

Regarding Instagram, I don’t have my information private because I don’t put personal comments, or tag friends. Is all about visual and sharing the creativity of pictures. I have chosen to share it with everybody because I like the free movement of pictures and enjoy seeing other people’s as well.

I also have Twitter but I only use it to see what politicians, journalists and important people write about. Also I get to read the news very easily. My Twitter account is also public and the kind of information I share is comments about businesses because they can see they are mentioned and maybe do something about it.

Regarding the other platforms, I do have profiles mostly to understand how they work as a PR practitioner in a future. PR and social media are very close nowadays.

I think that the information is under control as I can delete it whenever I want. Do you agree? I also don’t do anything wrong so there is no reason why somebody would get in and watch my information. Social media platforms are careful about keeping our information safe. However, we need to be careful too with what we share, there is always a limit. What would you say this limit is?


Elena Munoz

Busuu Online Community


Busuu is the largest worldwide social community for independent language learning. Through an online website and an app, it offers access to audio-visual content and exercises in 12 languages. Busuu offers all four language learning skills : Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing from beginner to advanced level. The content is offered in a free version and a premium version, so they can get to different audiences with different incomes. In addition, Busuu offers chats with native speakers from all over the world. This way people get to know other people and they are able to talk in the languages they are learning making new friends.

Busuu has levels of language knowledge so everytime the user achieves a new level, the app awards them with an accolade, as an acknowledgement of their progress to keep the users motivated. This virtual community was launched in 2008 and has 12million users already.

I think that the Busuu method is highly beneficial because it gives you the chance of learning a new language. Also, they are the only language platform in the world that allows users to talk to native speakers in a very easy way. In addition, they provide personalised feedback on exercises to facilitate understanding. However, learning a new language by yourself can be very hard as you need to be very constant and responsible to do it everyday during your free time, if not is impossible. Do you think so? Do you feel confident enough to learn a language by yourselves?

I invite you to have a look and try to learn a new language for free! It will always look good in your CV’s.


Elena Munoz


Audience participation in Tripadvisor

I couldn’t think of any better example of audience participation than Tripadvisor. It is said that Tripadvisor is the world´s largest travel site where millions of users offer advice about restaurants, hotels…etc. It was created in February 2000 and operates sites in 47 countries and in 28 languages.  Tripadvisor is a website, where people create profiles to evaluate the restaurants and hotels they´ve been, creating this way an average number that shows the quality of the place. The profile of the restaurant or hotel is created by comments of people. It also offers forums, personalized surveys, hotel price comparison and city tours. This way if you are thinking of going to Thailand for example, you can log in on Tripadvisor and search any accommodation to see if they are rated (by how many reviews) as terrible, poor, average, very good or excellent.

The website´s content is generated by 320 million reviews from travelers and locals all over the world. How many of you trust people´s experience? In my opinion it is very handy to know what the customers think about a place and not just see a very nice website talking about how amazing their own business is. Platforms that allow users add content are more realistic, as this way people are able to compare comments and judge by themselves.Big Easy - Chelsea, London - Chelsea - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - TripAdvisor - Google Chrome 23022016 185915.bmp

Big Easy - Chelsea, London - Chelsea - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - TripAdvisor - Google Chrome 23022016 185755.bmp


Elena Munoz

Media Convergence X-Factor

I want to start my post defining media convergence which is the fusion of at least two types of media in mutually beneficial projects. For my convergence example I have chosen one of the top programs in the UK: The X-factor. The X-Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talents, created by Simon Cowell in 2004.

Producers of the reality television show use the Internet to drive audience interest in order to promote upcoming episodes. The program has a Youtube channel where audience can watch, share, post or like performances on demand. It also offers extra content like backstage clips, gossip or interviews if the audience wants to know more. In addition, if you visit their Youtube channel you will find X-Factor links to ITV or UTV.

This is a clear example of media convergence. While the show is TV media, it supports itself with the Internet. Before the media convergence era TV programs had an air slot a week and that was all people would know about them, whereas now is 24/7 online. Furthermore, this also benefits the audience as they have extra content, can watch their favourite show anytime and get additional information.

Thanks to media convergence there is a broader media industry as there are no limits to share content anymore.

Do you think that the X-Factor would have been so recognisable without the media convergence?

Find here the online links about the TV program:


Elena Munoz


We are social

For this week’s post I have found a highly interesting online resource. I invite you all to visit the website ‘’We are social’’ clicking on this link . The agency we are social offers an innate understanding of social media with digital, PR, and marketing skills.  In particular I have picked their digital 2016 report where they offer a study of digital, social and mobile usage around the world (you can also see the reports of the past years). The report offers statistics of the global digital snapshot, the annual growth of users, the internet use per region, internet usage rankings and much more. I have picked this resource because it offers in detail how big technology and the internet are and develop in our society. For example a 46% of the global population are internet users and 31% are social media users, including children.

Here you can find really good essay material as we always need to back up our essays with facts. Did you know that the country that spends more hours a day on the internet is Brazil? Brazilians spend an average of 5.2 hours on their laptops. Whereas the country that spends less hours on the internet per day is Japan with an average of 2.9 hours on their laptops.

Finally I invite you to compare these images and see how the internet population has grown in 2 years. Please take a minute to think as a media student how important this data for our careers is.



Elena Munoz