The rise of social media has had a number of disruptive effects on the traditional media industry, but one of the mostpowerful aspects of this “democratization of distribution” is how it allows the sources of news — everyone from celebrities to eye-witnesses at important events — to publish their thoughts and reach a large audience directly, without any help from the mainstream media. It may be a plaything for someone like News Corp. billionaire Rupert Murdoch, but it can be a very useful feature for politicians in particular, as Chrystia Freeland of Reuters noted in a recent post about the social-media habits of the Swedish foreign minister, the U.S. ambassador to Russia and the mayor of a town in Alberta.
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