Changing the game: Social Media Use and the News

By TheAC301 staff:

The traditional news cycle has changed. People no longer wait for six o’clock news or the morning paper to get information because we can get news on our computers, phones, and tablets, etc. For journalists in the “race to be first” on a story, information is now virtually everywhere. But, who’s posting it? Can it be verified? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. has given rise an era of “citizen journalists.” Social media platforms are great places for journalists to get story ideas, leads, etc., but it’s still up to the reporter to put in the research and the work to tell a story.

Social media also presents another way to distribute a journalist’s work. Many commonly use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But, other platforms like Instagram and SnapChat are becoming more widely used by news organizations (in different ways). Facebook is still the platform where most people are consuming news. A Pew Research Center article looked at Facebook use in America.

More information from Pew shows about two-thirds of Americans get news on social media.

Social media is also a place for reporters to promote their work and to interact with consumers and newsmakers. Most news organizations have or are developing guidelines for employees social media use, but they still vary depending on the company.

The Newseum interviewed journalists about how their jobs are changing with the evolving role of social media to gather and report news.

The development of social media has changed how journalists communicate with their listeners, readers, or viewers. Entrepreneur Network interviewed a producer at WGN (Chicago) about how she and the journalists she works with use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

We are still learning a lot about how social media, it seems to be ever-changing. As Ithaca College professor Anthony Adornato writes in the preface of his Mobile an Social Media Journalism, “…professional journalists are needed now more than ever to make sense of, and provide context for, the onslaught of information on social media.”

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