Social Media and Journalism

Throughout the past, people read newspapers, listened to the radio and watched broadcasts on television as a source of news. Although these methods remain prominent today, audiences now have the advantage of receiving immediate news updates through websites, email alerts and social media apps.

Increasing technologies are changing the ways in which people consume their news

Previously, traditional media outlets served as a one way flow of information to a passive audience. Today’s news consumers, however, live in a world of constant connection facilitated by social media.

With the technology of Twitter, any user can share a first hand account, image or video of a breaking news event. Therefore, non-professional journalists are playing an active role in participating in the observation, selection, distribution and interpretation of events.

Dan Gillmor’s We the Media

This is one of the healthiest media developments in a long time. We are hearing new voices—not necessarily the voices of people who want to make a living by speaking out, but who want to say what they think and be heard, even if only by relatively few people.

Social media is further transforming the traditional values and norms of journalism. Twitter eases the connection between the news media and their audience and allows for collaboration across its platform. With little privacy on Twitter, however, journalists are challenged with maintaining objectivity and transparency in their tweets.

New responsibilities for journalists

Journalists must take on new responsibilities of communication through social media, and should always be wary of verifying information. Now, more than ever before, there is the expectation for the audience to receive pertinent information immediately. Social media serves to do just this.

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