Sunday, 7 April 2013

How Does Social Media Effect Journalism?

    As the world stands, most of us are well aware of how to post a picture on Facebook, re-tweet something on Twitter or blog about something using Wordpress. But social media is not just for keeping up to date with your friends; journalists make use of social media to interact with their readers as well as attract new ones.

    Well-known and well established journalists such as Henry Winter (The Daily Telegraph) and Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian) and publications like NME, Kerrang, Nuts and The Guardian all make use of what social media has to offer. They regularly update their Twitter feed throughout the day with news stories, comments on recent news, links to their own copy and attempts to gather public opinion on issues and news. Many publications and journalists also tend to post regularly on Facebook, Storify, Instagram and most other social networking websites you may care to mention.
     'The Online Journalism Handbook' by Paul Bradshaw and Liisa Rohumaa states that "We are all online journalists." (Bradshaw and Rohumaa, 2011), which is a statement that makes me very fearful for my future career. If most members of the first world public know how to use social media then what sets me apart from everyone else? It seems the copy you produce is still the main aspect that has the potential to make you stand out as a journalist.

    It also seems as if self-publication of copy on the internet has belittled what many journalists publish, simply because it is not in the traditional print form. The book also states that "some fear that "traditional" skills of news gathering and news writing will disappear..." (Bradshaw and Rohumaa, 2011).  But it is, arguably, possible to make use of these traditional, tried and tested techniques as well as publish your copy online.

   Even if you establish a connection with your readers and attempt to retain their interest by producing a variety of copy and utilising your own personal voice, the best reception will arise from the content in your writing. Social Media can simply make more people aware of what you write and inevitably expand your readership.


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