Social Media: The Newsrooms’ New and Improved Tool

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Social Media has grown in popularity over the past decade.

The debate whether or not journalists should rely on social media has been one, which is ongoing. While many newsrooms are sticking to the old way of getting news out to the public, many newsrooms have adapted to the new conventional way.

 The Internet is fast developing and social media is a primary resource for the public to get their news therefore forcing journalists to adapt to new methods of publishing their work.

Journalists have begun to use this medium for several different purposes. Social media sites are smart online tools with connections to billions of people all over the world. This has helped journalists reach a wider audience quicker and more efficiently. Journalists have also begun to rely on tools such as Twitter and Facebook to break important stories faster to the public and post photos almost immediately. This is definitely more useful then having to constantly wait for the newspaper to print overnight. Now people literally get up-to-the-minute news.

People tend to rely on social media to keep them up to date with everything from breaking news, to what their friends are eating. It makes sense that the public would also follow news on their smartphones, tablets and computers. Todays society is fast paced and in a stage of constant change. Because of the quick moving changes taking place, people have become increasingly impatient forcing up-and-coming journalists to have to learn the ins and outs of social media. The public has no time to sit down and read a newspaper cover-to-cover when they have kids to get ready, themselves to get to work, a train or metro to catch. Sales of newspapers have gone down because of this. On Twitter people can stop and read only the articles and breaking news, which interests them. This has greatly led to the popularity of online journalism. 

Newspapers and broadcasting companies understand the need of social media causing them to create and open career positions dealing with online sites; for example social media coordinators and consultants.

 Because of social medias’ growing use for journalists, courses are offered in school and as extra classes outside of school in order to learn proper etiquette; meaning what should and shouldn’t be posted on sites including Facebook and Twitter.

 A site like thesocialmedianewsroom.com offers reasons as to why newsrooms and journalism should depend on blogs and social media sites. They also explain effective ways to conduct yourself in a proper and professional manner. It is a site, which prides itself in believing that the newsroom should use social media daily for their work, but by following guidelines.

Although social media has been perceived as negative it can be more positive then anything. Social Media sites can be used as an online and visual resumes for many journalists where they can post works they have written or produced. Journalists should only use sites like Twitter and Facebook to showcase their talents and skills not to post inappropriate photos and opinions as well as pictures of their supper last night.

The Buttry Diaries, a wordpress blog created by Steve Buttry has a page in which he lists the guidelines The Washington Post expects its journalists and employees to follow when it comes to social media in and out of the newsroom.

Many press companies and newsrooms aren’t opposed to using social media sites because they understand the growing need and popularity, however they see that they can be a negative and are attempting to steer away from that type of portrayal.

Social media has helped the newsroom grow and reach a larger geographic audience. If journalists continue to learn the right way to use it by following guidelines there is no doubt this tool will continue to grow as a powerful one that will only continue to benefit journalists in the newsroom.