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Social Media Week Bogota Sneak Peek: Social Journalism

by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl) In a recent webinar sponsored by the Sustainable Business Forum: Security and Transparency: How Social Media are Transforming Business, Brian Solis made this point: “News no longer breaks, it tweets.” And he’s right.

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by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)

In a recent webinar sponsored by the Sustainable Business Forum: Security and Transparency: How Social Media are Transforming Business, Brian Solis made this point: “News no longer breaks, it tweets.”

And he’s right.

With the rise of social media platforms as a way of receiving to-the-minute news, it’s no surprise that journalists, as well as ordinary people, are turning to these platforms for information. What’s really interesting is that it wasn’t that long ago that newspapers and journalists were deriding bloggers, and “citizen journalists” for ruining their industry,

There’s been a sea change however, and more and more reporters are turning to social media platforms not only for story ideas, but for resources and access to breaking news. Think back to some recent breaking stories. Where did you hear about them? Osama Bin Ladin’s death? I read it on Twitter, almost a full hour before I could get anything from a traditional news source. The Oslo bombings? I read that horrific news on Twitter as well. Michael Jackson’s death? That one, I saw on Facebook.

A July, 2011 piece on the website DigitalFire poses this:

The birth of Social Journalism is what is saving the news industry, although it will never be the massively wealthy publishing house of authority it once was. People want to be able to interact with their news sources and bring their own contributions to the table. The term social journalism is birthed from the collaborative efforts of social media platforms and traditional journalism characteristics.

The instantaneous updates of news from anywhere in the world on social networks like Twitter and FriendFeed appeal to newsreaders because unlike traditional print mediums, it is free and convenient and timely; everything news should be. Social journalism crosses the lines of mobility too. You can receive any amount of news to your cell phone through social media applications.

And social media platforms get this, too. Vadim Lavrusik’s appointment, in April of this year, as the Journalist Program Manager for Facebook only goes to prove this point. In this position, Vadim is charged with implementing various programs that assist journalists on this social media platform.

From his announcement, fittingly on Facebook, about his excitement in his new role and the future of journalism:

While some have proclaimed and lamented the death of journalism, I’ve been more fascinated with how it’s evolving, especially the emergence of social journalism. And though the platform or format may change, storytelling is thriving. After all, journalism isn’t dying. It’s being reborn.

What do you think? Can traditional journalists make headway in this new social landscape?

 

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