Facebook changes seen as beneficial to journalists

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Facebook has undergone changes in the past few months and has taken on a new format that may prove to show benefits to journalists.

An article in USA Today written by Jon Swartz, reported that in a the F/8 conference held on Sept. 22 Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said that Facebook is transforming into a new medium in which people rely on to gain their news and information.

Improvements to Help Journalists

An article posted by Vadim Lavrusik on the Nieman Journalism Lab website addressed the changes to the site and the impact they have on journalists. Lavrusik is the journalist program manager of Facebook.

Lavrusik discussed how journalists can take advantage of the additional elements added to Facebook such as:

  • Timeline
  • Subscriptions
  • News Feed & the Real-Time Ticker
  • Longer text statuses

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According to Lavrusik the site now allows users to “subscribe” to others accounts which allows people to see other user’s content and also “make it easier for journalists to distribute their content and keep up with sources of information.” Subscriptions enable journalists to follow their sources but stay clear of conflicts of interest by not becoming actual friends with their sources.

The “news feed” now acts as a source to see top stories posted by other users and is known as the “real-time ticker”. Lavrusik describes this as a “personalized newspaper with a real-time twist”. As stories are shown on the top of the newsfeed, users can choose to comment on the post or share it with others. According to Lavrusik this becomes helpful to journalist as it allows them to keep their quality posts on the top of the page and have more people see it or even pass it on.

Lavrusik further describes the use of the real-time ticker in an interview in the Mashable Media Summit 2011. Lavrusik explained that the ticker allows journalist to see not only the top stories, but the top stories from the past few days if they haven’t been on Facebook in a while.

Lavrusik further describes the use of the real-time ticker in an interview in the Mashable Media Summit 2011. Lavrusik explained that the ticker allows journalist to see not only the top stories, but the top stories from the past few days if they haven’t been on Facebook in a while.

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