The article that I chose to examine is called “Gatewatching: A Social Media Strategy for Hospitals” by Jean Sandlin, a Doctor of Education and Senior Strategist at Hive Strategies. Dr. Sandlin explains how hospitals can help to pass on credible information through blogs to ensure validity of information regarding health issues.
Traditional media hasn’t made a large impact in the medical world in the past. On the other hand, new media forms have greatly changed how people obtain information about their personal health problems. Dr. Sandlin states that around 80% of people get this type of information online. The problem with this is that with the ability of any one person to post this info the of it is legitimacy is questionable. He goes on to explain how traditional media systems perform the task of filtering the information that we see, known as gatekeeping. In the medical world hospitals have always been the gatekeepers. Next, he explains how that with the new media forms people are able to blog and connect with each other across the world. Followed by the definition of gatewatching, which is for the people to question the authority of the media that is being provided and assure that the correct information is forwarded. Dr. Sandlin argues that hospital’s are able to perform the act of gatewatching in order to assure that the information provided to patients is accurate and reliable. Hive Strategies is a blog cite that was created to help connect the hospital gatewatchers and to share credible information with the public. The practices of gatekeeping and gatewatching are mutually reinforcing in this case. There is still information coming from hospitals but the information is shared publically on the internet and gatewatchers that work for the hospitals are able to confirm it and share.
The solution that Dr. Sandlin provides for the issues of credibility created by the forms of new media is for audiences to question the source of information concerning health issues and help to share it. I believe this is a great way for hospitals to use new media forms in order to help people around the world.