Twitter and Facebook are popular social networking sites that are used in today’s society. Twitter is based on “following” and having “followers.” Facebook is keeping in touch with family and friends and developing “Likes.” They are both popular but how popular are they in being professional? How does a journalist know that his or her’s story is read and factual?

On Tony Rogers article, Five Ways Journalists Can Use Facebook, he  developed five ways in using Facebook successfully. He explains how to use Facebook as a starting point on developing an idea on what people are reading and interested in. He said, “if people are talking about something on Facebook, they’ll probably be interested in reading more about it.” I agree that using Twitter and Facebook can help journalists form a story because a journalist should want to write about something that everyone wants to read and discuss. The journalist will attract attention to their blog and gain a broader audience.

In Facebook’s Growing Role in Social Journalism, Vadim Lavruisk states, “by using tools such as Openbook or FBInstant that enable easy searching for public information on Facebook, journalists are able to find information they are looking for that is tied to specific news events or people.” Facebook and Twitter are great tools in finding different sources and opinions but using them as a reliable source may not be a good idea. They are tools in starting a story but not reliable sources. The journalist must put in the effort to research more on their topic.

Using Facebook and Twitter may be a great idea to find sources but they specifically may not be a reliable source. Facebook and Twitter may not be as accurate as a journalist may want them to be. Journalist do not want to post about an issue incorrectly. I feel that Facebook and Twitter are unreliable sources because of how quickly news gets out without checking the facts first. Sometimes, journalists want to be the first to receive and inform the public but they may not be always factual. People who aren’t journalists have gotten in trouble with what they post on Facebook and Twitter that has costed them their job. Fired Over Facebook: 13 Posts That Got People CANNED by Catharine Smith and Craig Kannalley gives examples of people who have gotten fired because of what they have posted on their Facebook. Whether you are a journalist or not, Facebook, Twitter, and other online networking sites are public even when you put them as private.

Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are great TOOLS in starting a story for a journalist, but they are just tools. They are not reliable sources.