Twitter, The New Journalist


By. Chad-Cinque

A couple weeks ago, I logged on to Twitter and saw a number of tweets on the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  I clicked on the link and discovered that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

What? Are you serious?

Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize after such a short in office was intriguing, but I was more interested in the role played by social networks as a source of news.  I found out about Obama’s winning the award on Twitter, not the NBC nightly news, CNN, or the Buffalo News.

Twitter!  The bottom line is that I no longer read the newspaper to get my news.

Many news outlets also tweet, along with the reporters that write for them.  In fact, there are so many people tweeting that you can get the news from this source, and to a lesser extent Facebook, even before it is released through news outlets.

The internet and social networking sites are putting print newspapers on their death bed.  Anyhow, I am still wondering about the future of journalism in the media age.

Think about it, do we need to redefine what is meant by journalism?  Are the old definitions relating to gathering, analyzing and writing news for established media still accurate?  Who are the new journalists?  Is a blogger a journalist and do you really need a degree to be considered one?

This is not just a rhetoric question; there are some highly influential bloggers with substantial followers. Are they journalists?

Technology is making the question of who is a journalist and what is journalism, complex questions.  Take this for example. A journalist used to be the gatekeeper of news.  Also, they used to dictate how the reader or viewer perceived the information presented.

The news organizations may generate the source of news, but they no longer control how it is presented.  Social networking has even changed the source of news generation, which is the reason professional athletes are having their tweets censored.

The point is that bloggers can expose corruption on their social networks.

Big news organizations no longer control fully the flow of information because of the internet.  Other sources of news generation are now available.

People can just go online and get their own information without dealing with the layers of reporters and editors. Ordinary people can build their own opinions by researching the topic.

How does a reporter compete in this new media world?

I don’t believe they can.

Their only hope is to make people understand that information is not journalism.

I get a lot of information on twitter, but this is not journalism; it is not a news story.  A journalist has to dig out legitimate facts and information deprived from sources, usually not available to the general public.  Journalism is based on news sources, hard analysis, interpretation and explanation from a detached vintage point.  The professional journalists add a value that the simple blogger or citizen journalist cannot.

I repeat, a tweet is not news story.

Citizen journalism is on the rise because of their affective use of social networking. But mainstream media, like ESPN, are making the push to incorporate social networking. ESPN uses Twitter feeds to get quotes from athletes and directly displays them on their broadcast.

It’s said that “you get what you pay for.”

There is a place for citizen journalist in the media, their quality is not always up to standard and their information is often inaccurate.

The mainstream (paid) media have rules, regulations and standards that they must up hold. The social network blogger does not.

Nonetheless, social networking and the internet has changed the journalism game and the sources of information, and we will have to deal with that.


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