The news media in the Western world remain dominated by newspapers, magazines and broadcasters still known as the mainstream. The most vivid proof of their continued reign over public opinion is in the figure of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose repeated attacks on “failing” publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post as "enemies of the people" is a backhanded tribute to their continued power. Still, the dominance of the old media is under threat from the new. Trump has more than 55 million followers on Twitter, which he uses as his personal channel to fire up Americans – a vastly sped-up version of FDR’s fireside chats during the Great Depression and World War Two.

And these new media channels now threaten to overcome that dominance. They bring voices from every part of the political and social spectrum in a fashion more intimate, direct and demotic than the mainstream – which is generally careful not to offend, to eschew profanity, to balance one view with ...

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