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.
Twitter is often maligned as fast and simple chat for empty headed gossips. This may be often true.
But if its combined with good journalism fact checking, it can help create an unprecedented network of sources providing global reach, diversity and credibility.
Jess Hill, 28, is a reporter and producer at ABC Radio current affairs. Her Twitter site shows she’s following more than three thousand other chatters; a distinct contrast to celebrity journalists who talk more than they might appear to listen. She began using Twitter for reporting on the first day of the Libyan protests. Instead of trying to find people on conventional contact lists, she began putting messages out on Twitter asking, “Does anyone in #…. know about… and then have a conversation back and forth” But how did she know the people she was chatting with were who they said they were? More…
Newspapers will wither and perhaps die, unless they become online media platforms, according to the next generation of journalists.
More than 200 first year journalism students this year took part in an online survey of their news reading habits conducted by QUT Journalism Professor, Alan Knight. More than 90% of the respondents were aged under twenty one.
Many of these want-to-be journalists don’t read newspapers. More than sixty percent read a printed newspaper once a week or less. Yet 95 percent said they enjoyed keeping up with news.
Their preferred source of news was broadcast on television, particularly commercial television, with at least half watching television news at least once a day.
Online News was their next preferred source with students nominating Google,, Ninemsn and then other mainstream journalism sites. Facebook, specialist websites and Wikipedia followed.
The results confirmed educators’ suspicions. Even journalism students are not reading newspapers.
This poses a greater threat to the printed press than the global economic cirisis or the loss of advertising revenue to the web.
If the journalists of the future don’t want to read newspapers, who will?
The next stage of the study will involve focus groups of students discussing how news can be made more interesting and attractive to netizens. Parallel studies are being conducted in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong. and otehr international centres.