Is Social Media Making Journalists?
Twitter does more than just update us about which country our favorite celebs are currently vacationing in and which of our friends had the craziest bachelor party.
Twitter is fast becoming the place where we get our news.
Literally, anyone can have a Twitter, and anyone can post news.
Journalists, TV networks, sports broadcasters, celebrities, college students, parents, newspapers and athletes all have Twitter accounts, and all report to their followers the news of their day.
Where lines start to blur is between the journalistic aspect of Twitter, and the fantasy aspect of Twitter.
Extra, extra, tweet all about it!
Breaking news now seems to happen first on Twitter. With so many people out there reporting on the news, professional or not, it creates an air of mystery as to what are the hard facts and what is fiction.
One of the most recent examples to date is the death of shamed Penn State football legend Joe Paterno. How many tweets went out claiming Paterno had died only to have his son take to Twitter to tell the world those reports were false at that his father was still alive and fighting for his life?
What are social media users responsible for?
The rise of the Internet has made questions like these difficult to answer. Internet services are making getting online more available than ever. CLEAR wireless Internet for example turns entire cities into hot spots where you can get online virtually anywhere within its parameters.
That means it is even easier for social media users to publish content online whether it is in a 160 character Twitter update, a Facebook wall post or YouTube video. It begs the question, what should social media users be held accountable for?
In the newspaper world, it’s easy to distinguish. Authors have bylines and are held accountable for every piece of content they have published in print or online. Twitter content is published online, but should authors be held accountable like journalists for what they write?
Even now, there are your favorite blogs that you check religiously. Do you consider the authors journalists?
Internet expansion means social media expansion
First Facebook introduced the Facebook status and wall posts and now Twitter has tweets. With the Internet expanding, High Speed Internet companies will continue creating innovative new technologies to accommodate that growth. If we go back to CLEAR as an example, CLEAR built the nation’s first 4G network. Now, 4G is the standard if you want to have a reliable and fast online connection.
Social media is only going to continue to grow when Internet providers are developing newer and broader services.
Are journalists the only ones with a byline?
In the future, there is going to be continued discussion over what we post online – whether or not we should be held accountable for controversial posts, inaccurate reports and everything in between.
As social media grows and social media users continue to be enraptured by it, it will be interesting to see if a byline is the only thing that separates the journalists from the jokers.