In the recent years, practically all households in developing countries have access to internet. I agree to Barr's (2000) paradigm shift in for public relations as he stated that there are new ways of communicating to the public. As there is a shift in the communication ways, these communication ways become more complexed as well. Unlike the past whereby organisations provide information and the public just absorb the information like the hypodermic theory, people, who are more educated now, have the capacity to generate these information and challenge organisation's information, I agree that most used new media platforms such as websites to disseminate information rather than promote dialogue (Weaver et al, 2003). Websites are really easily accessible and thus, organisations are using it to reach their target audience.
The role of new media is actually to balance out communication. With technology, there are greater opportunities for the public to participate. Once again, we can see that we are moving from a one-way communication to a two-way communication. Ethical issues are discussed once again, I agree that integrity is something that all organisations should strive to have. From the code of ethics, being fair and honest is the first demand. I personally feel that Astroturfing is a very unehtical way of trying to promote or spread one's message because through the practice of creating fake entities that appear to be real grassroots organisations, when they are part of the organisation, it clearly speaks of the extent of how people can do stood so low to do things just for reputation or publicity.
There are different forms of new media and I feel that the social networking system is the best media that organsiations can use to spread their messages. Launched in 2005, Facebook is a social networking site that has garner large support from people all over the word. People can locate friends whom they have not seen for years through a few seconds. Similarly, organisations can create facebook groups to invite people from all over the world to join their group. This will somehow leave an impression in people.
As new media is taking over the traditional forms of media, organsiations have to work towards building a high standards of transparency and accountability. Users can now construct their own meanings from messages and this means that practitioner's control over the public is becoming quite limited (Fawkes & Gregory, 2000). Now, members of the public can write reviews on websites that other people can easily read and decide if they should trust the product. Therefore, Public Relations practitioners should strive to engage the public through these years as they are the ones who decide if they should support the organisation.