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Monday, April 25, 2016

Live Studio Guest on BBC News

Monday, April 25, 2016

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Sunny Stuart Winter live on BBC News

On Friday, I was invited by the BBC to their headquarters at Broadcasting House to be a live studio guest discussing the role of social media on celebrity culture after the passing of Prince. I joined Nick Serpell via satellite from the BBC in Salford, who's statistics found that a higher-than-normal number of celebrities had died since the start of this year.

BBC London Headquarters
While on air, we discussed the statistics, how our National Treasures, rock and pop stars from the 1970's are now hitting the 60+ and 70+ age and what that means for Music? Especially having lost Lemmy from Motorhead, David Bowie and Prince, all in quick succession.

When conversations turned to social media, the main point I addressed was how identity was affected by social media use; 'what is it to be a 60 year old in 2016? What is it to be a 70 year old in 2016?' Our identities have changed dramatically over the last few decades as Internet culture speeds up the communication of news and alternative lifestyles.

Similarly, how has social media affected the relationship between celebrity and us mere mortals? Prior to the on-air interview, I was asked whether I thought we as a society cared more for celebrities in the present, or whether merely our idea of celebrity has changed. For me, the definition of celebrity has all but evaporated. Is a social media user with one million followers more or less of a celebrity than an artist who had hit singles in the 1980s? And does it matter?

Sunny Stuart Winter discussing Celebrity Deaths live on BBC News
At first glance, it appears that we care more about celebrities, but realistically, social media, especially trending news on Twitter, means we just appear to be talking about it more, offering our instantaneous, honest opinions and immediate reactions as soon as news is leaked. We may talk about it more, but is this in part to access and immediacy to news?

But then again, Bowie and Prince were pretty special and connected with multiple generations...

It was a pleasure to visit such a British Institution as the BBC; a commanding headquarters off Oxford Street. A proud moment to be involved thanks in part to my research on the role of social media in the Music Industry, as well as my social media presence which continues to grow day on day.

With an ongoing, working relationship with the BBC under my belt, i'm very keen to get involved in more media opportunities so for those reading this from blogs, magazines or TV who would like a social media / music industry commentator involved for upcoming press or media, please get in touch at sunnystuartwinter [at] gmail [dot] com.
Live Studio Guest on BBC News - Sunny Stuart Winter


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