Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Extra! Extra! Tweet all about it!

With the enormous growth of smart phones, nearly half of Americans are receiving their local news via mobile devices. We've seen the changing industry of print journalism, making transitions to subscription-based online accounts and many news outlets creating a presence for themselves on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (at least if they know what's good for them).

The art of journalism isn't going away, it's just changing. With the growth of "citizen journalism" by users posting their own news, quality reporting is still in high demand. The way we look for and process information today is changing as technology evolves.

While social media is seen as the shiny new toy for a source of news and communication, especially for Gen Y, there can be positives and negatives to these sites as sources for news dissemination:

  • Immediacy: Breaking news is only considered breaking for that second it takes for someone to tweet or post news on Facebook. Depending on how large the network, this piece of news can reach a larger audience than a newspaper would ever be able to reach.
  • Accessibility: Mobile phones can go anywhere to capture the scoop via posting photos and videos, especially where TV cameras can't.
  • Everyone can do it: Any user can post something instantaneously as they are seeing something they consider newsworthy, depending on the audience.
  • Length of story: Especially on Twitter, stories have to be reduced to 140 characters in order to post. Usually links are provided to the entire article, although many users may not click on them if they get the instant summary they need from the post.
  • Inaccuracy: Since everyone is trying to be the first to break the story, the time to fact-check may be overlooked. More research into the story needs to be done to provide a comprehensive news story that readers can trust.
  • Compromised integrity: Journalist's roles are altered now that everyone can be their own journalist. They have to change their style and way of writing to adapt to the quick transmission of information and the way that users want to get this information.
How has your news consumption changed? What are some other pros and cons you have encountered?

To see the Infographic for social media and traditional journalism, click here.

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