Social Media: The Game Changer
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter have unlimited power. Twitter is now a source for breaking news stories and the most immediate way to report what’s going on. In most cases, celebrities and government officials make public statements via Twitter. Facebook has the capability to create a community of individuals who have never met but believe in the same cause. Take the Egyptian protests for example. Most of the credible news organizations, such as CNN and the BBC, used Facebook and Twitter to report what was going on in the action that they personally couldn’t reach.
Here at ATVN, we use social media to promote the great work we produce. Every story that is published online is also published on Facebook and Twitter, where people who don’t follow ATVN regularly can see our work.
As a producer, I use social media to find stories and keep up with the day. Twitter is a great way to get a consistant live stream of information and updates. But Twitter’s use doesn’t end there. We can see what is “trending,” which tells me what topics are most important to the general population. However I haven’t found it to be the most useful in searching for interviews. Since Twitter is constantly updating, only people on Twitter see the tweet and those who aren’t may never see it. And that’s when Facebook comes into play.
Facebook is a great resource to find interviews. Since the newsfeed doesn’t push down all previous posts, Facebook friends are able to see your post for hours. Not to mention, the new feature of recieving notifications when your friends change their status is also helpful because not only will they find it in their newsfeed, but they see it in their notifications as well.
Facebook is also easier to get public opinion because users can comment on posts and interact with other users. The “Like” button couldn’t be more helpful in knowing a subject’s general popularity. As the producer, knowing what is more important to my viewers and the public decides the arrangement of the rundown and allotment of time.
But there’s a catch. Since the world has become so immediate, we can’t get button happy and publish information that isn’t confirmed or accurate. It’s important for journalists to first and formost remember their role: we are here to act as society’s watch dog and accurately report stories.