As times change journalists have to learn to stay relevant in their profession. Learning to utilize social media platforms is a way that journalists can maintain their relevance and continue to grow within their profession.

images Here is a journalistic example of the use of Twitter: The New York Times.

Using social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook in a professional manor gives journalists an opportunity to create buzz around stories they are working on or give you a place to tweet your beat and increase interest in the subject you cover. There is also the chance to break news stories before they happen or you are able to live tweet as news is happening. These platforms give journalists exposure and a chance to build their brand and interest.

Having Twitter or Facebook gives a journalist a chance to engage with their readers and followers. You are able to create a relationship with your followers. They are able to provide feedback on your stories and re-tweet things that you have posted that are of interest to them.

Outside of creating relationships with readers, journalists use these sites to network with others in the profession, follow the trends and track information. Some of the tools that journalists use are Twitterfall  and Tweetdeck just to name a few. These tools let the journalist stay in the loop of what is going on in the virtual world.

While Twitter and Facebook are good tools for a journalist. These platforms can also be hazardous. They are a great place for journalists to express their opinions, but having on questionable tweet or post can have people questioning your judgement and integrity. Therefore, when using social media, journalists need to find a balance and not become too personal on these sites.

For all the good and bad of it there is no doubt that social media has transformed journalism. It has made the journalist and their stories more accessible to readers. And as long as the industry and media landscape keep changing it is up to  journalists to embrace the change.