Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Social Media vs Journalism

First published:

 




Prompted by a question asked to me by Kashif Ahmad on twitter






I responded with:


The term “Journalism” is a well defined term. Due to “social media” everyone thinks they are a journalist.


Journalism is [Merriam-Webster] : Writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.


Journalism is a diverse field with varying degrees of reporting such as: journalism by field [medical, business, political, education, art], and journalism by genre [broadcast, photo, combat, investigative, citizen, documentary.]





Social media is [Merriam-Webster] : forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.


Examples of social media are: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Blogger, Vimeo, and WordPress.









Journalism and social media are clearly two different matters of concern.



Social Media can be utilized to propel journalism via technology through public relations and networking.  Due to technology, information is able to reach the world in seconds, including all of the people one is connected to, as well as all of the people that share ones information and whom they are connected to.


For example, if I were sent trusted, educational, newsworthy information; my network is designed to reach every online network in mere seconds. That is employing social media in regards to public relations and networking. That is not journalism.

Social Media involves utilizing technology to reach an audience in order to make any information public.  Social Media is what most of us use everyday.

Journalism is reporting, writing, and broadcasting information that is informative and factual to the public for a specific purpose.

The difference between the two depends solely on the information that is being shared. Is it educational, researched, factual, informative and necessary for the public to know about? Or is it a picture of you at your cousins birthday party?

While there is nothing wrong with either forms of utilizing social media, there is a distinct line between referring to oneself as a “social journalist” simply due to accessing and being published by the means of social media.

In order to be “journalistic”, writing in a blog, having an article accepted by a newspaper and sharing information online must be comparable to research, speaking to people involved [recording, broadcasting, writing] and reading about a single subject matter in order to educate the public in an objective fashion, as well as yourself.

There is nothing in this article that is my opinion. It is researched fact, informative and educational. That is a form of journalism.

Anything faltering from the above is simply expression or opinion.

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