The Internet has changed everything.
Just how much do you use the Internet on a daily basis? If you’re like me, a college student with a job that involves technology along with the need of staying in touch and up to date with family and friends, you probably use the Internet a whole lot! Social media is often a huge part of this Internet use for a lot of people. While I don’t personally use social media that much, I have begun to see the benefits of platforms like Twitter and Facebook for journalists.
Venturing into the online realm can be daunting for a lot of writers and journalists. However, by following techniques already in practice in older media, journalists can harness the power of these platforms to reach an even wider, more engaged audience. Ann Handley covers a number of these techniques her article, “Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I Learned in J School”, reinforcing the concept that writers don’t need to relearn their trade, they just need to familiarize themselves with a new medium. Twitter and Facebook allow journalists or news organizations to connect with readers or followers and provide concise, focused information in a short amount of time. This model of news consumption will only continue to grow.
So many news organizations have a commanding presence on these platforms, from NBC and ESPN to an aggregate service provided by Twitter. Following these feeds is a great place for someone interested in quick, breaking news or a journalist who wants to see the art of the Tweet when it comes to writing the news.
As this medium continues to grow, journalists (and everyone, really) need to take care to avoid the pitfalls of writing online. Examples are everywhere when it comes to social media negatively affecting jobs, relationships and someone’s professional standing. Professional Twitter and Facebook accounts need to STAY PROFESSIONAL. In most cases, it isn’t a place for opinion. Professionals online need to also be careful about using multiple accounts on social media, as this often goes against the user agreement of these sites. Remember, everyone can see what you post, including you boss!
I wasn’t sold on the idea of Twitter as a news device, but its plain to see the power the platform holds in transmitting news to the masses. It is also a place for conversation, a bold trend for news and digital media for years to come.