Social Media and the Moroccan News
Meeting with Medias24
Just as traditional U.S. news venues, such as newspapers and broadcast, have found they are falling behind and scrambling to catch up, the same is true in Morocco. The Moroccan government allows its citizens complete access to new social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., enabling the average Moroccan citizen access to an unprecedented speed and volume of information.
And while, just as in the States, accuracy is the hallmark of professional Moroccan journalism, the unfettered flow of information across the web occasionally leads to hearsay,misinformation and even officially sanctionedpropaganda. I met with Naceureddine ELAFRITE, Managing Editor of Medias24, a 100% digital newspaper from Casablanca, who expressed a mirroring opinion – by the way, to be a 100% only digital publication means you fall in the class of “pure player” here in Morocco. He emphatically stated there are only 10 genuine digital news publications in Morocco; the rest are simply noise. Medias24 takes pride in only publishing genuine content, discovered by real journalists, because content without substance or validation is discrediting to the publication and more importantly the practice of digital journalism.
As conversation continued, it became very clear that a successful digital publication in Morocco has and must continue to adapt to sharing their news through owned social media assets and sound SEO practices, all present at Medias24. They face the same “reach problem” in Facebook, knowing they must pay-to-play as the rest of us, so getting their content in front of all their community members is a challenge.
We talked about the use of Twitter, specifically that of news anchors and news stations here in the States, but Twitter is a very young platform here in Morocco with less than 10% the total users of Facebook. His remark about Twitter, “Que dois-je faire?” [What can I do?] My reply, “Be ready. Don’t wait for the masses to begin using the platform and then try to pry your way into their news feed; be there before they get there, with open arms offering the highest quality content in Morocco!”
Dennis Wilson visited digital media institutions in Morocco through an exchange program managed by the International Center for Journalists and funded by the U.S. State Department’s Professional Fellows Program.