Social media has helped transform the world of journalism in many ways. Journalists now have the opportunity to connect to the public instantly. Through tweets on Twitter and status updates on Facebook, reporters are able to receive feedback from their audience immediately. They are able to reach out to a wider audience and engage them in important stories while clearing up rumors. Social media is allowing two-way communication between journalists and their readers.
Journalists also can use social media strategically to uncover breaking news. According to Robert Quigley, from the American-Statesmen in Austin, Texas, stories can hit social media before news outlets hear about them. He recalls a time when his news team heard about a single-engine plane flying into an office building via Twitter. While some of his staff went straight to the scene, Quigley went straight to Twitter. He asked his followers for pictures and eye witnesses. Through social media, his team was able to quickly uncover the story.
Social media is allowing the news to become alive and interactive, encouraging more people to become involved in stories. Ellen Hume, a social media analyst and journalist, says the power of social media is allowing news to travel quickly and expand into more meaningful stories.
As the explosion of social media continues to grow, journalists need to learn the skills to properly monitor and report the news online. An interview with social media editor Anthony DeRosa conducted by Forbes magazine described the importance of keeping up with the times. DeRosa said that social media is becoming more mainstream, and there is a demand for big companies to know how to use it appropriately. He said that social media has impacted lives from creating new jobs to making global connections.
Journalists are now seeing the importance of connecting to the world via social media. As the world is becoming more technologically dependent, the need for journalists to make stories more accessible is crucial to keeping the news alive.