How Is Social Media Not Journalism?

There’s no denying where most of us get news. Michael Jackson’s death, the Hudson River plane crash, Charlie Sheen finally going off the deep end: all things that I found out about first on Twitter. And with the political unrest spreading throughout the Middle East and Africa, Twitter has  played an integral role in telling those people’s stories when most of the traditional communication methods were blocked. (Now, there’s even a book about it.)

More so than just staying updated on current events, social media is one of the the only ways I — and I’m sure many others — get information about industry happenings. (It’s the only way if you consider Google Reader a part of social media.) Plus, it’s one of the only things that I  — and I’m sure many others — use to spread information. And it’s also one of the fastest-growing ways that companies are communications and interacting with their target audience.

But with big name brand fails happening more often than we social media junkies care to admit — Kenneth Cole uproar being the most recent that sticks out in my mind — it begs to answer one critically important question, one that should have been answered and addressed ages ago: Why isn’t social media a part of journalism?

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Is Twitter the New Wire Service?

Much of the news we get from local papers originates from wire services. This is the end result of multiple studies conducted over the past couple of years, a few of which are summarized in this excellent post by Nikki Usher on OJR: The Online Journalism Review. Newspapers often get the credit for being the originators of news in local markets, but upon further investigation, a majority of that content comes from wire services. Journalists at local papers serve as filters of wire content and determine which stories to run. [Read more…]

Is Twitter the Way to Reach Younger Readers?

There should be no question that Twitter has arrived as a legitimate medium for mass communication, particularly with regard to the rapid dissemination of news content by professional and citizen journalists alike. Twitter may also be the best way to pull younger readers to your news coverage, based on recent research around the growth of the world’s favorite micro-blogging platform. Twitter is now the fastest growing social media channel among younger Internet users, mostly mobile users who are already comfortable sharing information through social networking sites, according to recent research by Pew Internet & American Life Project in its report on Twitter and other social media sites. [Read more…]

Twitter Lists for Journalism and PR

Twitter is in the process of rolling out a new feature called Twitter Lists, which will enable all users to create private or public lists of Twitter users as they see fit. I’ve been playing with this feature for a couple of days now and am looking forward to publishing a few lists that I hope will be helpful for @journalistics followers. In the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to give you the quick scoop on what this feature is all about, and how I think it will be useful for journalists and public relations professionals. [Read more…]

Should Journalists Use Twitter?

The New York Times has a reader poll in its Insight Lab right now asking readers whether or not they want to see Times’ reporters and editors on Twitter. As of this post, 24% say “Yes”, while 69% say “No” and 6% say “What is Twitter?” The Insight Lab is an ongoing conversation between The Times and its readers about the future of the company. It surprises me that so many readers would say they don’t want reporters and editors on Twitter – almost as much as the 6% that claim to have no idea what Twitter is. [Read more…]