Are Journalists Over Dependent on Social Media?

Social networking media websites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and eve Flickr are great tools for news outlets to connect to their readers and viewers, but have they been relying too heavily on them?

I never really questioned the use of these websites until I stumbled upon this parody newscast by a Dallas-Fort Worth Fox Station.

In essence, this debate boils down to the amount of pressure journalists are under to break the story.

For example, if breaking news happens at 2 p.m., television reporters are now required to instantly update their viewers through their internet outlets while simultaneously preparing a news package for the 5 p.m. newscast only hours away. Obviously, these increased responsibilities are going to cut into  the amount of time and effort that can be put towards one aspect of reporting or another.

Newspapers aren’t exempt from the pressures the internet is bringing, either. UW-Eau Claire’s own The Spectator has it’s own youtube channel, a facebook page and multiple twitter accounts (news, sports, and arts) despite facing massive budget cuts and downsizing – since the spring of 2008, the staff size has dropped from 23 down to 13.

As a news consumer, do you prefer your news immediately through one liners on Twitter, or do you prefer the in depth, well written news pieces that aren’t as timely?

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