Journalism & Social Media: How they work together

on November 24, 2011 | Social Media | Comments (0)

In today’s constantly developing technological world, the link between social media and journalism is becoming stronger than ever.

Such collaborations can be witnessed through news and social media platforms, such as the recent implementation of Yahoo! News’s content sharing option for Facebook, which allows users to share with their friends what news articles they have read that day. Even television news programs are jumping on the social media bandwagon, with shows like Sunrise and The Today Show creating Twitter accounts so that users can follow breaking new s stories in real time.

However, not only are news mediums utilising social networks such as Twitter Facebook Twitterand Facebook for promoting their own image, we are now seeing a growing trend of these same websites and television programs using social media websites as a journalistic tool for discovering new stories.

This is particularly evident when it comes to celebrity and entertainment gossip, as the rise of official celebrity Twitter accounts, as well as the slip-up tweets that seem to accompany them (Ashton Kutcher, anyone?) have opened up a whole new realm for journalists that now allows them to pick up a story straight from the horses mouth, so to speak.

Modern audiences are accustomed to having new information on demand, and the news is certainly no exception. Because of this, it’s almost as if today’s journalists are far more dependent on social media outlets than more traditional sources to publish a story. No longer are news mediums waiting until the 6pm news to break a big story when at the click of a button a more newspaper social mediacondensed version can be quickly thrown together and put online, giving audiences the perception that this particular news source is quicker and more up-to-date than it’s competitors.

So we can see how the relationship between journalism and social media is very much a give and take system, and while the combination of these two has its obvious advantages, there is an inevitable downside to having such instantaneous information available to journalists and news mediums. One example of this is the fact that not all information presented by users on Twitter and Facebook will be accurate, and one must be careful when citing these websites as a source for news stories, as misinformation and rumours can spread just as quickly as real news, thus potentially being detrimental to the credibility of a journalist or news platform as well as blur the line between “professional journalists” and “non-journalists”.

In saying all of this, only time can really tell how well the connection between conventional journalism and social media networks will stand. The creative possibilities are endless, and I’m sure it wont be too much longer to see what else is in store for these media outlets.

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