The Importance of Practicing Social Media in Journalism

Abstract

In the early years of social networking, users sent personal messages to one another, or a small group of family and friends based on the concept of 'six degrees of separation' of connecting with friends, family and people you knew. This one-to-one communication method was a chief reason why social media was considered different from print or broadcast media, which had the power to broadcast a message to a mass audience. In July 2006, Twitter launched, introducing a newsfeed that could be seen by anyone and everyone. Twitter also allowed members to choose who to follow based on their content ­– somewhat like the way consumers choose to subscribe to a particular magazine or tune into a particular program. A few months later, Facebook introduced its own newsfeed, and other sites soon followed suit. Thus, the news feed gave the average user the power to attract an audience. This meant that social media could become a purveyor of news and information, much like broadcast and print media. Thus, the traditional paradigm of social media as a place for private conversations has shifted dramatically. The question for today's journalist is no longer how or why social media impacted journalism, but how can journalists embrace social media to practice the latest and perhaps most effective way to practice journalism in the 21st Century? This paper shows educators how to give aspiring journalists and journalists in transition the skills they'll need to compete in this new marketplace.



Author Information
Yumi Wilson, SF State, United States

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2017
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology

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