Journalists and social media 1

How do you find out how journalists are using social media? One way is to post a question on a social media site such as the Online Journalism group on Linkedin, which provides connections for professionals. I admitted that I was asking an open ended question to expose myself to new ideas so that  I could hopefully write more informed articles.

Some respondents said they simply used social media to publicise their stories.

Rebecca Aguilar  of Dallas, Texas, said she “used them all”.  “Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Tumbler, Digg, I figure it doesn’t hurt to spread the wealth. It’s free too!”  Sri Wiyanti of West Java, used  Twitter “to publish my article”. “Also find some updates from those who are on the spot.” Catherine Kustanczy  of New York,  said she didn’t know any journalist who didn’t use social media. “Try @AntDeRosa & @acarvin -both great journalists and prolific tweeters,” she said.

Increasing numbers of journalists were using social media to help them gather information.

Jacqueline Mary of San Diego, said she was starting to use social media “to market my articles on”. “I also use social media to find stories to research for my original reporting or to summarize articles,” she said.

I use to research what is more buzzworthy online and what the news fanatics are focused on. Paperli is a service that chooses stories posted on Facebook and Twitter. I find that it often points me to more relevant or alternative stories to look over that i would not have found otherwise.

Simba Shani Kamaria Russeau of Egypt, said that he had been doing “a lot of research the past month” on how other journalists were using Facebook and Twitter for their work. Rousseau’s profile described him as a photographer and writer at Inter Press Service, who had authored two human rights reports.

What I find interesting is that some of the journalists that I follow use both Twitter and Facebook to get interviews to stories by asking questions online. Personally I haven’t tried that tactic but I have started posting updates of big events happening here in Egypt and I use both outlets to post articles from my blog or that I do for news outlets.

Some respondents were actually involved in online startups which they hoped would offer alternatives to mainstream media.

Phillip H. Perez of Los Angeles, was “the Chief Operating Officer of” – a place for amateur and professional citizen reporters. “It’s FREE and easy to use,” he said. However, like many citizen journalists’ sites coverage was patchy.

Nicole Staudinger  was an Oregon based journalist, involved in the much more complex information exchange site, Journalism Accelerator “Our organization… utilizes Twitter for networking with the journalism community.,” she said “Twitter is a highly active element of our site and we have found it to be very useful”. The Journalism Accelerator was “a forum with a pulse, a place where individuals working across the journalism spectrum have a simple way to connect directly, seek expertise or share it across channels”.

The Journalism Accelerator does not replace or attempt to replicate the good work of others, but to accelerate these good works by offering more exposure to a broader audience, across areas of expertise. Beyond the usual suspects, the JA forum invites a range of industry experts into the conversation. Journalism Accelerator aggregates and curates knowledge, tactics, questions, resources, reviews, ideas, cautions, use case and community.

Joe Banks, a journalism professor of Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, reckoned “We should compare notes and blogs”. “I have a journalism-related one as well at that I eventually intend to turn into a “current practices” e-textbook for my students that would be continually changing as techniques change”, he wrote.

Good idea!


One comment

  1. Hello Alan,

    I am a student at Nottingham Trent University in the UK and find your blogs very interesting. I am currently writing a dissertation on Online Journalism and looking at the ethics which surround the field, comparing them to those of traditional journalism and whether or not they can be suitably applied or whether online journalism opens up an entirely new debate.

    I understand you are very busy but I would love to ask your opinion on the ethics of online journalism – I have various questions I would like to ask but obviously will not bombard you with them now.

    If you are interested please let me know and I will get back to you right away with my proposed questions. I really would love any help and insight you have to offer.



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