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(1) New Journalist Request

A journalist used social media as a tool for their career and you’ll never believe what happened next…

I’m sure the opening line of this post seems all too familiar if you spend your time scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook, reading all of the clickbait that appears along the way. Lately, the lines between professional and personal use of social media have become blurred. To dig into this concept a little deeper, let’s start out on a positive note and go through all of the great aspects of social media in a professional world.

THE GOOD

  1. Facebook and Twitter allow for further connection between a journalist and their audience. If a journalist wants to promote a new article or ask for feedback on their latest piece, they can do so with a post or a tweet. Here is an example of a journalist, Anderson Cooper, using Twitter to alert his audience about an upcoming interview.
  2. Social media can also be useful for finding sources and obtaining information quickly. With hashtags and search options, journalists can easily find what they’re looking for. This journalist for ABC News used Twitter to question a possible source regarding the recent alligator incident in Orlando. Without social media, it would require a little extra work to find information as fast as that journalist did.
  3. Because so many people rely on social media for their news, journalists can quickly disseminate information like breaking news. Posting on Facebook or Twitter involves a swift click of a button and they’re able to reach a larger audience, especially with the retweet and share buttons that are available. Below is an example of a local news company posting about breaking news:Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.24.37 PM

THE BAD

  1. Sometimes social media can show the ugly side of people. Because users are acting behind a screen, they are a little more daring with what they post or share and it could result in negative consequences. This article gives many examples of people being fired because of what they’ve posted on Facebook.
  2. With citizen journalism on the rise, people post information and journalists trust the information and run with it. While these sites can be useful for finding information that everyone is posting about, it can get hard to determine if the users are credible or if the information is factual.
  3. It can get hard for journalists to add personal touches to their profiles because they have to constantly watch out for what they post. Just like in the newsroom, they have to remain fair and balanced and that can become difficult when their opinion is so easy to put out there. If profiles become too personal, their following might see them as less professional as well. This affects a journalist’s credibility.

Overall, social media sites can be useful for following your favorite celebrity or liking your friend’s photo album, but they can also be beneficial in the professional world. Living in a digital age, social media sites allow journalists and their audiences to remain easily accessible to each other. However, if these tools are not used in the correct way, they’ll assist in the crash and burn of your career. No pressure or anything.

~ by hayleyv on June 17, 2016 . Tagged: , , , ,



4 Responses to “(1) New Journalist Request”

  1.   michaelp Says:

    With social media comes great responsibility and being professional as a journalist through social media is very important. I like how you brought up the article about people getting fired for what they said on Facebook. As a journalist, being professional and ethical as possible is the only way to succeed and maintain one’s position. Being able to follow a journalist and keep updated on the latest news is something special that everyone can look at. The Anderson Cooper example you gave is a great example of keeping updated because more people are switching from television to online/social media to keep updated and follow news coverage.

  2.   elizabethg Says:

    A well done breakdown of good and bad sides of social media! I strongly agree with you about the double standard regarding personalization. We are encouraged to voice our opinions, yet this can put us in jeopardy–especially as professional journalists who are supposed to remain unbiased. It is a delicate and dangerous dance, so I recommend that everyone tweet with caution.

    I want to thank you for including the link to Anderson Cooper’s tweet. Being the Twitter noob that I am, I actually didn’t think to click on the tweet when I was linking an Emma Watson post in my own blog. After I saw how you could link it to the specific tweet and not just the page of the person, I edited my own post to match yours! It’s silly and super obvious to everyone who isn’t me, but thank you for the learning opportunity! 🙂 I love being able to see how other people do things!

  3.   lawrenl Says:

    Hi Hayley,
    I agree that figuring out who to trust when it comes to online news can be tricky. Luckily sites like Twitter and Facebook have user verifications so the people following them know if they have been approved as a trusted source. That little blue check mark on Twitter can be the difference between someone taking you seriously or not. And from what I understand, not just anyone can get that verification.
    Good post.
    -Lawren

  4.   Kellie Stewart Says:

    Props to you for the clever headline! I saw it on the original list of blogs and I thought, “You can have journalist friend requests?!” Then I realized it was your title of your latest post! Very catchy! I love it!

    I enjoyed the layout of the GOOD vs. the BAD. You kept the style very clean – you were basically as if, “These are my pros and cons, boom boom boom;” you gave a list, which was a refreshing change to see.

    I was intrigued by your last bullet point under bad: how journalists are constantly under watch on social media, which resorts in them never having a personal profile page. I feel like there is always someone in the world out to get someone else, especially someone who is in the public light. I never gave that much thought about how much a journalist has to worry about sharing their personal lives online – I have, but not to the extreme that they actually do. Thanks for bringing up such great points!

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