In a world where social media brings daily changes to the way we interact with each other, it is important to gauge the effect which this medium of communication has on another vital aspect of our lives: journalism.
The relationship between social media and journalism is a complex, challenging one. It is universally true that all news networks and personalities must find the right social media approach for themselves. This
has less to do with enhancing your own popularity, and more to do with reaching out to readers who are interested in your opinion (along with getting to understand public interest better).
Throughout 2011, the world learnt again and again that social media (in particular, Twitter) played a key role in major political revolutions such as those in the Middle East and Egypt.
More and more journalism degrees offer courses on social media and its connection to journalism, demonstrating the importance of this medium in the coming years. Mashable published a series of articles on the future of journalism with social media, saying, “The future of social media in journalism will see the death of ‘social media’. That is, all media as we know it today will become social, and feature a social component to one extent or another. After all, much of the web experience, particularly in the way we consume content, is becoming social and personalized.”
What is the crucial difference between social media and journalism? Journalism is a career – a profession, if you will – whereas social media is widely available to anyone with access to the Internet and a computer.
For journalism to integrate itself with social media, it is important that social media tools be used well bu the right people in order to enable the reliable and trustworthy dissemination of news worth reporting. Casual bloggers with no former training (also known as citizen journalists) are as much a part of this network as any other.
It’s important to recognize that without a degree of integration, journalism cannot survive in the world of social media. Print media is becoming rarer, and may be gone in some decades; publications such as the Huffington Post have preemptively made preparations to ensure that this does not affect them. It is crucial for other publications to tie journalism and social media together for success.