The real deal: social media at work

January 29, 2011

BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones describes how social media has changed the way in which he works…

Follow him on Twitter: @ruskin147

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Neanderthal to New Media

January 27, 2011

Since the dawn of the human race conversations have successfully passed information from one person to another (even though cavemen spoke in grunts I’m sure they still managed to decide on which part of the carcass they’d prefer to eat for dinner!). This is news.

Fast forward a couple of thousand years to the 20th Century – language has developed and the industrial revolution has kicked in. The modern world has well and truly got going.

It was an important century, and marked the start of a progressive global shift away from words and the printed press for the transmission of information and knowledge.

Whilst face-to-face conversations still dominated, people were becoming increasingly able to communicate with people further away than their garden fence.

It’s not just language that was revolutionised. Images now play a central role in news broadcasting and citizen journalism.

Whilst it’s not the most beautiful of timelines, here’s a pretty comprehensive history of communications, starting with Kodak Brownies invention in 1900 that made photography cheaper and simpler. What a man.


Keeping with the beat

January 27, 2011

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.


What impact is social media having on journalists and journalism?

January 26, 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 Read the rest of this entry »