Keeping with the beat

The way in which news is sourced has changed significantly over the last decade. The typical image of a reporter with a hat, trench coat and cigar is no longer synonymous with the trade…

Back in the day, when newspapers ruled, reporters were counted on to get out and about on their beat and acquire first hand reports of what was going on in their area. With the explosion of new media in general, there are now less hours dedicated to this type of work and more to the use of social media to source stories and the production of multi-platform content. 

The traditional methods of news gathering:

Beat system, stringer system, whistleblowers, press releases, forward planning.

All pretty simple and tried and tested methods of finding news – especially locally.

Whilst these methods do remain for broadcasters and print journalists (particularly whistleblowers and press releases), they are increasingly less likely to need to get out of the newsroom to source material…I guess why get cold when you can do it via the web?

Not only is it economically viable, but (provided publishers are on the pulse flagging stories) by using social media a journalist can hit a stories within minutes of it happening.

This does mean however that news groups lose their face in the community – the person to contact and trust with their information.

Is this a problem for the future? Or does is simply tie in with the increasingly personal world we all live in, the loss of the sense of community in an area and the rapid development of communication?

Something to think about.


2 Responses to Keeping with the beat

  1. Yes, things have changed in the world of journalism and social media has had a huge influence on this. However, I do not think that news groups are losing their face in the community as they too are using twitter and facebook to reach out to communities. In fact, I think that people are more connected to news groups more than ever before because of the constant quick and easy tweets.

    Although we are not face to face with journalists, our quieries can be answered through the likes of Twitter and facebook pages.

    Check out further benefits of Twitter here:

  2. Laura Makin-Isherwood says:

    When I say ‘losing face’ I didn’t mean the news groups directly. Of course people will always trust the big broadcasters and publishers because of their reputation, and are likely to look to them first either for, or with, new stories.

    Yes, they do reach out to more people through social media and the public can access far greater a volume of news than ever before. Though there are also a vast amount of people that do not have access to the internet or mobile devices regularly – or even how to use them – and this is something we media-savvy people can sometimes forget. Perhaps having a known journalist in the community would encourage the stories from that group of people?

    Who is behind the news organisations twitter feed? Would you recognise them if you bumped into them in the street? Do you even know their name?

    I don’t know, just ideas…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: