We’ve mentioned previously that journalism is transforming. No longer is news restricted to the “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” phenomena. Nor is it restricted to just television. Bloggers are becoming more and more common. With the increasing use of the computer and Internet for journalistic purposes, it is important to note that social networking websites could come in handy.
Facebook and Twitter are the most visited social networking websites. with an estimated 750,000,000 unique monthly visitors for Facebook and 250,000,000 for Twitter. Can journalists imagine how their target audience just doubled, tripled, maybe even quadruple in size? Instead of being restricted to where your newspaper prints, your audience is now the entire world population with Internet access.
One useful way Twitter and Facebook come in handy is the immediate update for news. Journalism is about getting the truth — the news — first. Update your audience; keep them informed. Both of these websites are constantly being used by people. A journalist with enough followers could easily keep his/her followers well-informed, on their toes, and wanting more!
One thing that is great about Twitter is the hashtag feature. Journalists can use this to keep track of a specific topic they’d like to follow or know what their audience is looking for. You could hashtag anything and everything!
However, social media is also a place that holds a casual environment. Photos of last year’s Christmas party with a drunken you could potentially be the downfall of your career. This is one of the biggest hazards of working with social media.
As a journalist, the digital age is a revolution that needs to be taken seriously. Social media websites hold people who are looking to keep in touch with friends and keep updated with friends. Often times, people update their status or tweet about their opinions… some not appropriate. Journalists need to be careful on how they treat their accounts on these websites — especially their professional one. Even their personal account, with the wrong things, could land them in a lifetime of shame.