Category Archives: Social Media and Journalism

SEMINAR REFLECTION – JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Following on from last week’s lecture, we went on further to discuss one particular aspect that the Internet brought with it: social media. This technology brought many challenges as well as having added positive attributions to journalism. Although one would not think that this is a fairly new concept, it was actually known in the 17th century as ‘pamphleteering’. It was a form of low cost printing and had a greater distribution as it reached more members of the public compared to the newspapers would. One of the main social media platforms of this age has been Twitter and Facebook. These platforms have allowed for information to be published and shared, which allowed for organisations to reach an incredible number of people much more efficiently. However, one of the challenges is the verification of those stories. As a journalist, you are expected to obtain material, organize it and publish your report. More importantly, and a skill that many bloggers or citizen journalists lack, is the skill to verify material that has been obtained before putting it out in the public sphere. Journalists ought to provide accurate and objective material, which is why we argued that not everyone can carry the title ‘journalist’ as this is not a skill that everyone has got. Being a journalist does not solely rely on publishing any information, there is more to the profession than just that. The invention of social media has created such a buzz that there are now separate hubs in newsrooms with journalists who dedicate their time to verifying material obtained from social media. Social media can be a very powerful tool, but it must be handled with care as it can end up in any person’s hand who can abuse this power by manipulating the masses. One of the prime examples that demonstrated the power of social media is the Egypt revolution and Iran’s green revolution. Al though social media allows for information to be shared much quicker, I think that we do not have to rely on it and will still be able to share information if social media were to disappear completely.

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