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WebWise news report - media power list

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Hajar Javaheri Hajar Javaheri | 10:40 UK time, Wednesday, 27 July 2011

It may come as no surprise that the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has topped this year's Guardian media power list.

The list isn't a simple directory of the biggest media companies, or of those who make the most money, but takes into account an individual's "cultural influence, economic clout and political power".

Although people from across a range of industries make the list, digital media is increasingly becoming a crucial pillar of support for these fields. Social media feeds traffic to news websites, entertainment clips and helps all manner of professionals such as TV stars, politicians and beginner bloggers to boost their public profiles.

Facebook running on a mobile phone

In recent years traditional media leaders have fallen behind their digital counterparts. Although I haven't quite bought into the apocalyptic view of the old media age, one can't fail to notice just how young the list's top three people are, with an average age of 33:


  1. By now, Mark Zuckerberg's is an easily recognised name. Founder and CEO of the social network Facebook, the 26 year old can boast 750 million users and a projected 2011 revenue of £4 billion. Makes you rethink your attitude to the school geeks, doesn't it?
  2. Jack Dorsey at number 2 is co-founder and executive chairman of Twitter, which now has 200 million accounts. Dorsey represents the Twitter clan on the list, but is also gaining acclaim for a mobile payments app called Square.
  3. Larry Page is Google's co-founder and chief executive. Under Page, 92% of all UK searches in June went through Google. At 38, he's not in Zuckerberg's league of spring chickens, but still proves that age and influence no longer necessarily go hand-in-hand.

Compare this with the list of ten years ago when the top three places were occupied by Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates and Greg Dyke. With a then average age of 56 - over twice Zuckerberg's age - it does show how much the media landscape has changed.

The future really is in the hands of bright, innovative individuals with the vision and reach that the digital age provides. Social media is nothing new, but it's taken a handful of young people to show that it's no longer a teenager's cyber playing field. They've opened it up to the world, for the benefit of people of all ages.

In case you're not familar with Facebook, we have an article explaining what it is - and a blog entry, which you can find here.


Hajar is a regular contributor to the WebWise blog and has also made award-winning programmes for BBC Radio. In her spare time she loves reading, writing and singing.


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