Week 8- How do I write an editorial about social media versus traditional media?

The purpose of this practiceis to write an editorial about social media versus traditional media

Guiding Principle

If you practice looking at conflicting ideas, by developing commentary on the ideas and working out the relationships between them, you will be able to develop your own thoughts.


Learners who practice looking at conflicting ideas are able to develop their own thoughts. .


Create an editorial about the conflicting ideas between traditional and social media.

Practice Order

I. Absorb Set

Course Website
Read/view weekly course content

Take a 12 hour break (min.)

II. Do Set

Learner Blogs
Complete course activities on your personal course blog.

Due by Saturday 11:59 pm

Take a 12 hour break (min.)

III. Connect Set

Google Classroom

  • Complete providing feedback
Due by Monday 11:59 pm

Take a 12 hour break (min.)

IV. Reflect Set

Google Classroom

Grades- Complete self- assessment

Due by Tuesday 11:59 pm

This week we look at conflicting ideas between traditional and social media. By developing commentary on the ideas and working out the relationships between them, you will be able to develop your own thoughts, and write an editorial.

How do I write an editorial about social media versus traditional media?

The meaning of sadhana.

Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity. Sadhana means you are using everything as a tool to open to the flow of natural experience.

Natural experience opens your connection to understanding and wisdom as it naturally comes and goes in the give and take of the river of life.

Sadhguru & T.Y. Pang

The meaning of true education.

True education should wake up the Innate Humanity inside of you. When you reach a higher level of practice and understanding, you learn to harmonize yourself inside, then you become able to harmonize with other people, and with outside situations.

T.Y. Pang

The Promise

It is up to you to make the time for practice; the more you practice the more you will learn.

Time is a created thing. To say I don’t have time,’ is like saying, I don’t want to.

― Lao Tzu

I. Absorb Set
Practice in order

Let’s Begin

First, please complete the sadhana practice. Second, click on each question and review each answer. Third, take a break!

1. Complete your sadhana practice.

Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity, sadhana means you are using everything as a tool to open to the flow of natural learning.

The purpose of this sadhana is to help you get started opening to the flow of natural experience .

Center yourself.

Click Here
This weeks centering thought

Close your eyes and quietly sit straight and upright head and spine straight, concentrating only on your breath for 2 minutes. Sit in an erect position, shoulders relaxed, palms flat on thighs. Center your focus on your midsection. Breath in and out deeply through your nose.

Quietly sit straight and upright head and spine straight, concentrating only on your breath. Sit in an erect position, shoulders relaxed, palms flat on thighs. Center your focus on your midsection. Breath in and out deeply through your nose.

Pay attention to your spine.

Your spine is where you will feel the flow of energy. Notice which parts of the spine feel warm and where there are no feelings or numbness. This information will indicate where your energy is flowing and where it is not. Your energy originates in the spine and flows out through the body.

straight and upright
When thoughts come up, let them go gently.

Don’t beat yourself up. That brings more thought. Gently let them go. Use the RAIN tool below to help you gently let go.

  • Recognize your thoughts.
  • Allow your thoughts to be just as they are.
  • Investigate your thoughts with kindness.
  • Natural awareness will come from not identifying with your thoughts.

Throughout the week, keep reminding yourself why you do sadhana.

Otherwise, your thoughts, your emotions, your physicality will get entangled with your runaway mind.

Practice tapping into your awareness to open your mind and take your thinking apart.
2. How do you identify and write in a disciplined way about ideas that conflict with one another?
Click to enlarge
Foundation for Critical Thinking
3. What is an example of how you identify and write in a disciplined way about ideas that conflict with one another?

Consider the following example: Note that in this example we use a reference to support our thesis.

  1. Find two important conflicting ideas. The two ideas I will focus on for this example are the ideas of freedom versus law.
  2. Express an important problem that exists because of one conflict between the ideas you have selected. There is often a conflict between the freedoms people should be allowed and the laws that are passed to protect people who might misuse their freedoms.
  3. Decide on an important point you want to make about that idea. This is your thesis. It is my belief that the laws and the administration of those laws should allow for the maximum possible individual freedoms, and that all laws that deny people their basic rights should be revoked.
  4. Elaborate your thesis. In the United States, at present, there seem to be a growing number of laws that deny people some fundamental human right or other. More and more behavior is being criminalized. More and more people are going to prison for acts that don’t harm other people. In many cases the law — penalizing acts that are merely socially disapproved of — are themselves unethical.
  5. Exemplify your thesis. Consider, for example, the many laws governing consensual adult behaviors. In his book entitled, Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do, Peter McWilliams (1996) says: “More than 750,000 people are in jail right now because of something they did that did not physically harm the person or property of another. In addition, more than 3,000,000 people are on parole or probation for consensual crimes. Further, more than 4,000,000 people are arrested each year for doing something that hurts no one but, potentially, themselves.” Among McWilliams’ list of the most popular consensual crimes are: “gambling, recreational drug use, religious and psychologically therapeutic drug use, prostitution, pornography and obscenity, violations of marriage (adultery, fornication, cohabitation, sodomy, bigamy, polygamy), homosexuality, regenerative drug use, unorthodox medical practices (“Quacks!”), unconventional religious practices (“Cults!”), unpopular political views (“Commies!”), suicide and assisted suicide, transvestism, not using safety devices (such as motorcycle helmets and seat belts), public drunkenness, jaywalking, and loitering and vagrancy (as long as they don’t become trespassing or disturbing the peace).” In short, I agree with McWilliams when he says, “You should be allowed to do whatever you want with your own person and property, as long as you don’t physically harm the person or property of a non-consenting other.”
  6. Illustrate your thesis. To illustrate, consider public nudity, which is against the law. For most people it is upsetting to imagine humans walking around in public without clothes on. Such behavior is considered unethical, and has been made illegal. But imagine what the animal kingdom would look like if all animals, not just humans, were forced to clothe themselves, to keep their private parts covered. Imagine horses and dogs and cats wearing shorts and shirts. Consider making it illegal for animals to go about living an animal life without clothes. The very idea is absurd. The fact is that we get upset if people are publicly nude but not if animals are nude. Yet, we too are animals. Human nudity is no more innately disgusting than any other animal nudity.
  7. Formulate at least one problem that a reasonable person (who thinks differently from you) might have with your position. A reasonable person opposed to my viewpoint might argue that though many laws violate people’s basic rights, legislators who make the laws in a democratic society are carrying out the views of the majority of the people, that the only way to change this in a democratic society is to educate people about the implications of unethical laws and hope that they will fight for more reasonable ones.
  8. Respond to that problem (crediting any point in the objection that is worthy of concession).I agree that the only way a democracy can work well is when people are educated and therefore able to think through complex issues. I agree that the people are allowing legislators to speak for them, rather than speaking up for themselves, that people need to become involved in important issues and refuse to support over-zealous law-making. Nevertheless, I also think that the majority often is prone to think in a narrow sociocentric manner and therefore to inadvertently support the violation of human rights. I think that the U.S. Bill of Rights should be expanded to encompass the whole of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, and that through education we move toward living in accordance with both of these documents.

    Foundation for Critical Thinking
4. How do you write an editorial?

Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor at The Times, explains in this brief video that a good editorial consists of “a clear position that is strongly and persuasively argued.” He then goes on to recommend seven pointers for students.

1. Know your bottom line. “You have to know what you want to say. You have to have a clear opinion — what we call a bottom line.”

2. Be concise. “You need to get to the point of your editorial quickly. You have to state it clearly and you have to be concise.”

3. Give an opinion or solution. “There are basically two kinds of editorials. One expresses an opinion about a situation, like if you want to write about human rights abuses in some part of the world or the country that you’re concerned about. The other kind of editorial proposes a solution to a specific problem. For example, if you want to write about traffic congestion in northern New Jersey, where I live and there’s a lot of traffic, you should have an answer to how to fix the traffic problem.”

4. Do your research. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts. Go online, make calls if you can, check your information, double-check it. There’s nothing that will undermine your argument faster than a fact you got wrong, that you did not have to get wrong.”

5. Write clearly. “Good writing is important. Make your writing clear and easy to understand. Write as if you’re sending a letter to a well-informed friend who cares about what you think. But don’t use any slang. OMG — no. Use examples whenever you can. It’s better to use an example than just to use a word or an adjective that describes something. If you want to say that the mayor’s pre-K policy is wrong, explain how — don’t say it’s just stupid. In fact, never use the word stupid.”

6. Every writer needs an editor. “After you’ve written your editorial, give it to someone you trust to read and listen to what they say. If they don’t understand it, that means it’s probably not clear.”

7. Be prepared for a reaction. “When you write something and you publish it, be prepared for a reaction. If you write a good editorial, people are going to respond to it. And if you criticize people, they definitely are going to respond. So if someone writes you a letter, write them back. Be prepared to defend your position. Don’t get defensive, just explain why you said what you had to say. And if they question your facts, be ready to show that you were right.”

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University has a guide to writing argumentative essays that may also be helpful for students as they think about organizing their editorial and developing a logical argument.

6. What is the impact of social media on traditional media?

When comparing social media and traditional media, it is a good idea to know just what you’re piling up. The category of traditional media is a rather large one. One is likely to be exposed to many outlets every day. If one turns on the TV at home, listen to the radio in the car, or read a magazine, he/she is experiencing marketing through traditional media channels.

Newspapers in the morning and every billboard that you drive by on the way to work are all traditional media working their way into one’s day-to-day life. They’re everywhere, doing their best to influence us with flashy ads and sales-heavy copy. But are they doing a good enough job? Are they influencing you in a way that builds trust with their product or service? Or are they just bombarding you repeatedly with the same message? Do social media do a better job than traditional media? Let’s find out.

Gone are the days in Liberia when products and destinations are reviewed from a neutral journalist’s perspective, but instead today’s social influencer are explicitly voicing their opinions and feedback, coercing a loyal following to copy whatever they recommend.

The Effect of Social Media in Liberia

When pondering the benefits of social media in relation to traditional media, it is important to consider the effect social media have on marketing as a whole. The world of marketing has changed in a dramatic and far-reaching way and social media actors have played a significant role in that transition.

Perhaps the biggest effect of social media on traditional media and content is that now everyone feels like he or she has a voice. Whether through Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, social media has provided a public forum for anyone who has an opinion. While this has created an overwhelmingly saturated social atmosphere, this has also led to a genuine wave of voices and influencer on social outlook.

In present day Liberia, the social media is proving to be a useful tool for marketers to search, track and analyze conversation and trends. Most PR professionals are now using social media monitoring tools up front, utilizing social media data to influence PR strategies, as well as report on competitors and public sentiment and engagements.

Nowadays, most public events are screened live on Facebook, a move that is viewed by many as eroding interest in the traditional media.

This, in my opinion, the social media is enhancing the traditional media. There are many ways by which social media has enhanced traditional media, and in fact the two go hand-in-hand now. For example many of the broadcast institutions in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia are now creating social media platforms, a particular case with OK Liberia, FM 99.5, considering how social media can be incorporated in order for a more creative and ultimately successful campaign, and keep a finger on the pulse of the changing media industry and how social plays into it.

This Broadcast House regularly posts major headlines from its everyday news stories on it Facebook page and allows the audience to participate by explicitly voicing opinions and feedbacks. Also major programs being aired on this radio are also screened live with audio but not video as in the case with Television.

The Misuse of the Social Media

The notion of gate keeping on social media requires a different conceptualization than the actual meaning of the word. In the traditional gate keeping literature, the gatekeeper is someone who discretely guards gates, determining which news does reach the audience and which does not. In a strict following of this definition, it can be argued that there will not be any gatekeepers in the social media, because the redundancy of channels “undermines the idea that there are discrete gates through, which political information passes.”

If there are no “gates,” there can be no “gatekeepers.” Social Media is beneficial when it is used right. It is NOT for insulting people or sharing nude photos. It’s for knowing where people are, what people do, what they think, and what’s happening now to their life.

Many young Liberians both at home and abroad, using fake profiles, make the social media as a place to display their unsavory behaviors in hopes of becoming famous instantly. On the other hand, there are people who are just natural but they’re famous because of their talents. However, when the social media is used wrongly, the benefit will fade out and the disadvantage will come.

We have heard about several crimes committed through the use of social media, particularly Facebook. The crimes are just not a physical crime, like theft, or some kind of homicide, but the sharing of nude photos of individuals, and showing pornography to the society and other cyber crimes, which has the proclivity to threaten the law and humanity and also give an opportunity for crime to happen furthermore.

The Accuracy and Trust of the Social Media

Traditional media uses cannons to fire its messages hoping to get to anyone who will listen (read, watch, etc.). Social media has the ability to target with laser precision. On the other hand social media marketing uses content to cultivate trust over time. Traditional marketing forces an opinion on a buyer in hopes that it will stick if repeated frequently enough.

Therefore, given the rapidly changing media structure, the widespread use of social media, especially the Internet is rapidly becoming a new force in broadcast organizations around the world. It has changed the way for them to reach, understand and influence their audiences as never before.

However, there are several concerns about the social media such as on-line safety, privacy, credibility of source and so on. Traditional broadcast media is still playing a strong effect upon the public. We still need these media to disseminate useful information in rural areas.

It is because many rural areas in Liberia do not have Internet connectivity due to a combination of constraints, absence of infrastructures and prohibitive costs. Hence, we still need to use traditional broadcast media such as radio to reach those rural communities.

Inarguably, though the emergence of social media has helped to improve government transparency and accountability. With the rise of social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, government agencies have joined in the trend by creating social media accounts.

Furthermore, most owners of radio and television stations in Liberia have combined the traditional broadcast media (Radio and television) and social media (Internet), to support their objective of informing, educating and entertaining their audiences.

About the author:
Solomon A. Ware (SAW) is a Liberian journalist and Graduate student International Relations Email/contact: soloware102@yahoo.com, 0886584779 or 0777469793 Liberia:

Break and Slow Walk
Practice in order

Take a break for 12 hours (min)
To help your awareness flow, go outside for a slow walk.

II. Do Set
Practice in order

All Do Set activities are completed on your personal course blog.
To find your course blog click on the Learner Blogs link on the menu bar at the top of this page.