How Social Media is Impacting Journalism

Society is apt to change. It will expand, we will grow, and nothing ever stays constant.

Journalism works in the same way. The basic journalistic values have already been re-made, re-worded, and re-worked to fit with the growing field of technology and new waves of reporting.

As Dan Gillmor states in his book, We The Media, “ Technology: it’s relentless and unstoppable.” And he is right, social and mass media has consumed our every move.

The ability to immediately photograph, tweet and share the news is now so quick and effective that an entire news story can be captured, written, and produced to the masses within minutes.

Just let that sink in. We’ve come a long way since Guttenberg.

But what does this ability to rapidly produce breaking news mean for the future of journalists and the way in which news is reported?

Gillmor says that the sphere of journalistic reporting will be open to everyone with access to a cellphone, computer, and the Internet.

So that basically includes everyone, everywhere, ever.

Blogs, twitter accounts, and homemade websites will display the same headlines as the nightly news. While this is an exciting new cultural shift, there are still some concerns in the way in which news is delivered.

Journalistic moral standards are set high. Non-biases, factually correct information, and translucent reporting are important factors of basic reporting.

In social media reporting citizen journalists are more likely to insert their own opinion, alter the scene or facts regarding the events, or choose to remain anonymous in their reporting.

Gillmor suggests using an already established reliable system, such as Google, to verify the validity of the person conducting the reporting.

The method of reporting and sharing news are shifting but the standards to which the process is held should not.

Social media and technology will grow, but should the news and its consumers suffer from the quality of that information in that process?

To hear more of what Dan Gillmor thinks about social media and the world of journalism, follow him on twitter, @dangillmor or check out his blog.


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