Journalism and Social Media: The New Frontier

I have previously written about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a world when Twitter and Facebook have become crucial tools in the journalism field. Making points about the speed of reporting and the misinformation that could be spread around when reporting using social media, I have not fully explored the advantages of such a tool. While reading ‘The Big Book of Social Media’ edited by Robert Fine, many advantages of social media are discussed and how it has helped release a new type of online journalism. One that celebrates independence and recognition.

I used the London riots, 2011 as an example of how misinformation can be spread quickly around the internet. Matthew Felling has expressed his joy of a journalism field which can be released into an online community at such speed. In ‘The Big Book of Social Media’ he calls these changes to the journalism field a “new frontier”.  He compares it to previous journalism, what he calls “grandfather journalism” where a story was overflowing with factual analysis, taking days to report and having to present it to an editor before it was published. The new frontier of journalism includes reporting facts as soon as they are made known.

He believes twitter to be a branding tool. Most journalists now have a personal twitter account where they report information and their own view-point. He believes that twitter acts as an individual’s publisher and printing press. You have to present new information that no-one else has to your followers who he claims are grateful for the information. Why else would they follow you?

It is true that journalism has changed and that doesn’t necessarily mean for the worse. Felling is incredibly passionate about how social media has the power to bring information to the masses and it is hard to dispute that in the technological information age, twitter has transformed traditional journalism.

Another point to make is the variety of journalism available via twitter. When you buy the Sunday Times, the amount of sections included in your paper is sometimes over-stimulating. While I believe that you get your money’s worth, the sections that you don’t want, you’re still paying for. With twitter you can follow the sections of the newspaper that you want, from culture to business. The Guardian has also taken this incentive and has created different account for the different sections of its paper and website. It’s quite refreshing to share the knowledge of fashion while also reading a tweet about the economy. And of course, the updates are available through the day as opposed to buying the daily newspaper.

While I still believe that twitter has the power to spread around misinformation, you can’t deny its advantages. From individual branding to technological information, twitter has had a huge impact on the journalism field. Individuality is free to roam where twitter is used as a branding tool for the styles of the writers and I believe that the world is starting to embrace its high-speed information.

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One Comment to “Journalism and Social Media: The New Frontier”

  1. I totally agree, there’s so much stuff I have read on Twitter and thought was true and found out later wasn’t, but you can also find out some really useful information. I think the use of links are great for that because then you can back it all up through further information on the internet.

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