Social media in a tsunami

March 11, 2011

This morning I woke up (without an alarm…bliss!), and went over to my computer. Switched it on, and headed onto my emails and then Facebook – yes, I seem to be obsessed.  I’d not switched the radio or television on, and I definitely hadn’t seen the papers.

Checking out the homepage, my heart did a little flip when the live feed. One was from my aunty (or second cousin once removed…we’re related anyway…) who said this:

Gill Montgomery

Dan is ok , but I’m not ! Think I need a stiff drink … Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in japan….

Dan is Gill’s youngest son, who is over in Japan at the minute as part of his University course. What the heck had happened?!

As I looked down the feed it was clear it was something big, but nobody was saying exactly what. I went straight over to BBC online and found that whilst I’d been blissfully enjoying a lie in, a huge Tsunami had hit Japan.

It’s a tragedy, and my heart goes out to all those affected by the disaster.

What has struck me though, is that social media was the first thing that flagged up to me that something big had happened. And of all the social media, it was Facebook!

News channels will be covering the disaster live over the next fews hours, and following it for days as relief efforts go into full swing.

So how will they harness social media in their coverage?

No doubt regional news will be looking for local people out in Japan that are willing to talk about what has happened and give first hand accounts of the event, twitter feeds will be monitored to check up on rescue attempts and the search for missing loved ones, and citizen journalism will really be exploited via uploaded videos and photos from those in the area.

For journalists in the UK, social media is a god send in covering these events. It adds another, more human interest element to coverage – after all it’s the people and emotion that makes a good news story great.

We will also look to social media as days progress (and depending on the extent of the damage) to fundraising groups that will be set up and aid relief is sent to the area.

My greatest sympathies with all who are affected by this.

Looking back to Facebook, it seems that Dan is ok…

Advertisements

The costs and the competition

March 10, 2011

For the average person, using and contributing to social media is a low cost exercise. Most have access to a computer and, in the UK at least, many have the equipment with with to take photos and record video.

But what about news broadcasters? How do they pariticipate, and how do they keep up with the competition?

Talking to many people in the industry it seems generally recognised that the BBC have the best online news service. They’ve invested a large amount into developing the site, with dedicated teams running it and satellite contributors in it’s regional news.

They have been harnessing user generated contact for years, have dedicated and well maintained blogs from editors and featured writers, and encourage debate around topics whilst enforcing tried and tested house rules. It’s a phenomenal operation unmatched by any other.

It’s big rivals are behind. Far behind.  They know it, and so do the public.

It’s vital in the ever increasing online dependence the public has for consuming news, that news organisations develop their online content and social media outlets to reenforce their brand and audience interaction.

Last night ITV Yorkshire held their first live web chat with it’s audience, talking online through the website with a local councillor. The level of participation was good considering it was the first time it had been run, and it’s easy to see the benefits of increasing interaction with the audience.

ITV are pledging to invest in and redevelop their websites and content in order to try and catch up with its main competitor. This is a large scale operation that will take time, but really essential in this digital age. I wonder how they will do it…?

It raises questions: Can commercial broadcasters keep up with publicly funded organisations?  If not, why not? If they can, then why aren’t they doing it?


Summary of our Social Media experience

March 9, 2011

 

Working for our social media blog was indeed a great fun as well as a valuable experience. From the very beginning the process from research to presentation all aspects of social media blog was very interesting. It was a great example of mutual coordination and cooperation among the group members. It also provided us with an opportunity to share our views and experiences not only among the group members but the response and comments received on our posts. The real feedback on our blog from our friends, colleagues and fellow students is indeed a great learning on our part. Collective presentation of our research was also really of great worth.  Overall it was a wonderful experience which should help us in our professional journalistic life.

Iqbal Yousafzai

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Social media

March 9, 2011

 

In the traditional world the news organizations had to give out information, and people would consume it. But simply making information available is not enough for today’s public. Today’s audiences expect to be able to choose what they read, and most believe they should be able to contribute content and opinions, too. This shift is generally called the social media.

Basically social media use internet-and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. It has not only benefited journalists but has also helped give individuals a way to speak up to the world.

More and more people prefer reading newspapers online due to the online version being global, free and around forever. If most of the consumers are on line, it is better to reach them online. Traditional media is slowly becoming history. Journalists are now making a good use of social media to engage their audience.

Iqbal Yousafzai


Where are the boundaries?

March 5, 2011

Throughout this assessment it has become clear that whilst the class was split into group topics, in fact in the media, it’s practically impossible to separate them.

Press freedom, impartiality, public service broadcasting and social media are all interwoven, and are set to become more so as technology continues to advance at such a rapid rate.

Social Media has an important part to play in the future of news and journalism, and as the research has shown, it’s vital to remember that with all it’s advantages, social media also brings with it a tidal wave of responsibility. To check the facts, to disassociate personal opinion from the broadcasters view, and to ensure output is accurate and well researched…I think that even with cuts, the legal departments jobs are safe!

The future of journalism and social media…well, who knows? It’s clear that newsrooms are embracing it to interact with their audience, allowing them to ask the questions they want to ask and also to seek out stories. Let’s use it to our advantage.

One man who does like to ponder the future of journalism, is Adam Westbrook (one of the very helpful to contributors to our presentation Twitter discussion). Check out his blog and see what he has to say:

Adam Westbrook:: online video & entrepreneurial journalism


House rules

March 3, 2011

It appears, that one of the main topics of discussion after our presentation, was the fact that literally anyone can have their say – qualified or not.

It’s a problem, I agree, particularly if what people write is neither her nor there, or completely falsified (how does this fit in with our friends over at Press  and Broadcast Freedom I wonder?).

In interview, Daisy Griffiths reflected on the importance of monitoring forums and discussions online, particularly with regards to a large broadcasting corporation. It seems like an editorial minefield if you ask me, and it raises important issues about how one can decide what is right to be published and what isn’t.

Ultimately it seems that the big ones: libel, defamation and invasion of privacy are the underlying biggies. But for reference, check out the BBC House Rules to see how they allow you to have your say.


5 interesting articles on social media

March 2, 2011

 

Out there in the wild sea of Internet we can find plenty of attracting fish to consume. However, I came across some interesting article on social media that I believe they are worth sharing with you guys:

 

1.- The value of LinkedIn

Nowadays, we might tend to take for granted the importance of certain social networks. Everyone seems to talk about either Twitter or Facebook, but what about THE others? Bearing in mind the characteristics of each of them, we can exploit their advantages. LindedIn is a great ( and probably the best) tool to do networking.

Read the rest of this entry »