Before social media was created, families would join together and watch the nightly news to find out a small portion about what was happening in the world. Today, in this digital age when citizens want the news, they want it immediately. Social Media is changing forever the way that we receive and view our news.
In the past, journalists may have been thought of as the “gatekeepers” of the news, but thanks to social media news organizations no longer own the news. Breaking news from around the entire world is now available at the click of a button thanks to social media. Citizen journalism is becoming popular because of the ease of use and mass communication. Although people are anxious to get their news, they are more skeptical than ever about where it is coming from.
Richard Sambrook, the director of the BBC Global News Division, is optimistic about the future for journalists. He explains that Information is not journalism. Journalism must have the elements of judgment, analysis, and explanation. The key to competition with the internet and citizen journalism must be openness about where the facts are coming from.
Many researchers are encouraging the use of social media for journalism as a new way to reach readers. Already, news organizations that have begun to use social media have seen significant results in reaching readers. The issue in using social media now is going to be the judgment by journalists of what is personal and what is public information. Many people are suggesting that rules be used in social media that regulate what information can be posted. Although many citizens are pleading for regulations on social media, it does not look like any rules will be put in place anytime soon.