What Role Does Social Media Play in the News?

What Role Does Social Media Play in the New?

Social media plays a major role in how news is created, collected, communicated, and consumed.

One photo or one video can make the news all by itself. The “No-Go Britain” video was an investigation on how England’s disabled citizen traveled on the local transportation. The news started with asking questions in social media and the stories started flooding in. There was such an interest on the topic that the impact became news itself. The news surrounding the video created such a buzz so the same journalists are expanding the story to “No-Fly Britain”. I wonder if they will get the same reaction.

The job of the journalist hasn’t changed. Their job is to deliver the relevant news of today to its audiences. But what is relevant? How is a journalist supposed to know what topics people want to know about? Social media is the answer, specifically Twitter. Journalist use social media to listen to what other journalist are talking about and what types of content is engaging their audiences. The BBC video presented how journalists know when their audiences are using social media. They said their audiences use social media in the morning and in the evening. Facebook is used mostly in the evenings when people relax. Twitter is used during the day to gain access to news happening at that second.

The most interesting “take-away” from the “8 Takeaways about Social Media News” is that getting news on Facebook is an incidental experience. This means people learn about events of the day only because one of the friends thought it was interesting and decided to share the post. If that one friend did not share the news post than the Facebook user would be unaware of the event.

It doesn’t surprise me that journalists use Twitter the most. Audiences expect their number one journalist to be aware of a major event and rely on them to dissect the details.   The most efficient means for doing this for a journalist is to use Twitter. Twitter is particularly equipped to deliver micro bits of information. A journalist can receive and re-distribute the information very quickly. Than promote the TV, radio, or Newspaper article by saying, “Learn more about today’s event on my show tonight at 8:00”.

Each picture on “Skidrow” told a story about individuals living on the street. It was quite sad. But after viewing 10-15 other pictures on Instagram a much bigger story arose. After a while you realize that these are ordinary people who are not that much different than me. The entire site presented a much different “feel” than just one entry by itself.

FB Newswire can serve as a great resource for journalists who redistribute the news to their audiences. A small town newspaper does not have the resources to send reporters to national events. Nor can one news reporter cover so many different topics in one day. FB Newswire can deliver the breaking news and offer the main details, which might be just what the local journalist needs.

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