Social media has had a huge rise in popularity over the past few years, but how has this affected journalism? Is social media killing journalism or is it helping to reshape journalism in a good way? There are arguments for both.
It has been said that true journalism is on its way to extinction – thanks to social media and the increase in citizen journalism. Now, anyone with a phone, camera, or computer can be a journalist. One big argument for social media hurting journalism is the loss of credibility. With so many people being able to report on the same event, real journalists can get overlooked. Secondly, social media is now becoming a mainstream source for breaking news. According to a study found on Aolnews.com there is a surprising increase in the number of people who are turning to their Twitters, Facebooks, Tumblrs, and more for their need-to-know information.
On another hand, social media could be helping journalism as well. Household names in journalism such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have been using tools like Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook to help enhance their news stories. In fact, SustainableJournalism.org has posted an article showcasing 15 examples in which media has been used to enhance journalism and the lessons it offers. A big part of media and journalism is citizen journalism, known as the collection of new from the public. An important element of citizen journalism is its availability. If an event goes down and there are no reporters to take notes and present that information, citizens are able to use their own phones or cameras and online accounts to get that event out into the public eye.
In some cases, convincing arguments can be made against citizen journalism. It can be harmful to reporters and journalism corporations. However, there is something to be said for its immediacy. Who better than people on the streets to be informing people all over the world on the attention-getting events they witness?