Rachel Williams, 20, is a Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies student at Cardiff University.
Whilst on work experience at jamjar HQ, she’s written the following blog on the Nato Summit and the coverage it’s had online.
You can follow Rachel on Twitter: @RacheyWills94
If you live in South Wales or have turned on the news in the last week, you will know that all eyes have been on Wales due to the NATO summit this year being held in Newport. It has been THE topic of conversation for residents of South Wales, as well as people all around the world.
Twitter went crazy last week, with people commenting on everything from the results of the summit to the protests surrounding it, using the hashtags #NATOsummitUK and #NATOsummitWales. The BBC has even posted up to the minute events from the summit to keep the public updated on the specifics.
In the last few days, much of the posting online on Twitter and news outlets has focused on the overall results of the NATO summit. The results have been posted everywhere from the BBC online to the official Twitter account of David Cameron’s office. (example)
But there have been some negative responses from many of the residents or people who work in Newport and Cardiff due to the disruption it has caused. Some users have used the #NatoSummitUK hashtag to upload pictures of the chaotic busy streets in Cardiff or to show their followers how many police have turned out to supervise the event.
— Steffan Rhys (@Steffan_Rhys) September 4, 2014
Reports from the Guardian online and some Twitter users have complained that just like the hype around the Ryder Cup in 2010, people will forget about Newport as soon as the leaders leave Wales. But economic research from Barclays shows that the summit will see at least a temporary economic boost for South Wales. It has also been suggested that this focus on Wales will show the rest of the world that Wales is a country that deserves serious consideration and will be likely to hold large events like this again in the future. This, in turn, will hopefully create economic benefits for Wales in the future.
Wales Online has also published an article highlighting the anti-NATO protesters arriving in Newport awaiting the arrival of NATO leaders. Up to 500 protesters showed up to the event to publicise their message of ‘welfare not warfare’. Anti-war protests have also been present on social media website Twitter with hashtags #StopNATO and #SayNoToNato with thousands of users criticising the organisation and the prospect of war.
But it’s not all doom and gloom on social media. Some users have creatively used Photoshop to make spoof photos of the leaders in popular Cardiff nightclubs such as Glam and Tiger Tiger which have proved popular with many Twitter and Instagram users. They appear to cleverly add comedic value to an otherwise serious event.
Recent media has been focusing on speeches of leader David Cameron after the summit. The coverage doesn’t seem to be slowing down as we prepare for David Cameron’s speech in the House of Commons to explain the results of the summit to Parliament.