Social Networking VS. The Media Images courtesy of Flickr.
An example of ‘remix culture’: picturecourtesy of Flickr (uploaded by JudsonDunn) and edited through Photobucket.
Picture courtesy of Ruth. A Harper, 2009According to Dana. M Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, both contributors to theJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication, While their key technologicalintegrants are moderately homogenous, the cultures that emerge aroundSocial Networking sites (such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Tumblrand Blogger) are heterogeneous. Most ‘SN’ sites support the maintenance ofpre-existing social networks, but others help strangers connect based onmutual interests, similar political and religious views, or associated activities.In short, the two Communication theorists define the Social Networkingconjecture as web-based services that permit individuals to firstly “construct apublic or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of otherusers with whom they share a connection, and finally, view and traverse theirlist of connections and those made by others within the system.” (2007,P 13.)
Social Networking (SN) has made way for a new style ofjournalism; it has unreservedly advanced the way news issourced and disseminated to audiences amongst our digitallyand technologically proficient culture.Academic Ruth A. Harper asserts that: “In the traditionalworld newspapers, corporations, governments, or other typesof leading organisations simply had to give out information,and people would consume it by reading or looking at it…this Screen shot courtesy ofseemingly tried-and-true method has started to transform; Facebook.simply making information available is not enough for today’spublic. Today’s audiences expect to be able to choose whatthey read, and most believe they should be able to contributecontent and opinions, too.” (December 4, 2009.) Harper goeson to coin the aforementioned as ‘the social mediarevolution’, and contends it is not the death of journalism, butratherthe birth of an autonomous movement provoked bySN’s; inclusive of every individual.
“Facebook gives reporters a means toScreen shot courtesy of The connect with communities involvedSydney Morning Herald’s officialFacebook page. with stories, find sources, and generate leads.” “Journalists and the institutions they write for are finding Facebook to be an important resource in conducting the reporting that they do.” -Leah Betancourt, August 4, 2009.
Journalist and Communication Academic Suellen Tapsall asserts that SocialNetworking provides immediacy of paramount events and the ability toapprise and update news stories as they happen, therefore aiding modernjournalistic practice. (2011)The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance contend: “after a sceptical startamong news executives, social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter aregaining increasing acceptance as ways to source stories.” (MEAA, 2010, P. 22.)According to ‘Guardian UK’ blogger Mercedes Bunz, (2010) BBC newsjournalists were told to implement social networking sites, i.e. Facebook andTwitter, as a chiefinitiator of sourcing information by the director of GlobalNews, Peter Horrocks, when he took over the esteemed position in 2010. Screen shot courtesy of ‘The Guardian, UK,’ 2010.
"This isnt just a kind of fad from someone whos an enthusiast of technology. Im afraid youre not doing your job if you cant do those things. Its not discretionary" "If you dont like it, if you think that level of change or that different way ofBBC director of Global News, Peter Horrocks;Image courtesy of Martin Godwin, ‘The working isnt right for me, then go andGuardian, UK’, 2010. do something else, because its going to happen. Youre not going to be able to stop it." -Peter Horrocks Re Social Networking’s prominence in contemporary journalism, (Cited in Bunz, 2010.)
Communication theorist Eduardo Collado complied a table of “news production stages”: As noted in the accompanying table, Social Networking can easily be placed under the category of “Access/Observation”: The inceptive information-gathering stage at which source material for a news story/article is generated. Citizen-style journalism such as eyewitness accounts and audio-visual contributions are an example of user generated journalism, and are heavily aided by SocialTable courtesy of Networking sites, i.e. Facebook.Eduardo Collado ,2011. (Collado, 2011.)
In the 2010 Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance report titled ‘Life in the Clickstream’, it states that while Facebook is by no means a new technological phenomenon, it is still the most ‘versatile’ and ‘popular’ way to source news. “It allows users to upload stories, post images and videos and participate in forum discussions.” (MEAA, 2010, P 35.) With the average Facebook user boasting 100-300 virtual friends, it is a heterogeneous Medium for NewsgatheringImage courtesy of the MEAA, (Ibid).December 2010
The MEAA in their bi-annual report list a relevant example of an instancewhere Social Networking is used to generate news and opinions inmodern journalism. Below is a screen shot from the official Facebook of‘SBS Insight’, a current affair-style program hosted by gold Walkleywinning journalist, Jenny Brockie. Screen shot courtesy of ‘SBS Insight’ official Facebook, 2011.
The example of ‘SBS’s Insight’ on Facebookreinforces the Social Networking conjecture,where by the page is used to generate and sourceinterviews and ask for participants to vote oninformal polls; the implementation of Social Screen shot courtesy of ‘SBSNetworking sites in all aspects of the media (print Insight’ Facebook.and radio also inclusive) are using Facebook moreand more. (MEAA, 2010, P 35.)
Teaching an old dog newtricks:“Understanding how to use newopportunities (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) forjournalism is central” (Media Entertainmentand Arts Alliance, 2008, P. 37). As a result ofan apparent demand to use SocialNetworking in sourcing news stories, theMEAA have introduced dedicated trainingcourses in adapting to such technology,including ‘The Wired Scribe: Telling DigitalStories.’The MEAA contend that the concentratedtwo day course helps to introduce and Photo courtesy of theacquaint seasoned journalists with the MEAA website, 2010.“online media landscape” and “provide anoverview of changes to the media industryand help participants engage with onlinemedia through online tools such as RSSfeeders and social networking tools. (TheWalkley Foundation, 2011.)
Lindsay Oberst asserts that journalists nolonger seek out the news; instead, they have iteasily and efficiently disseminated to them viaSocial Networking. From the referencesmentioned in the previous slides of thispresentation, it could easily be contended thatSocial Media in news gathering is a trend thatdoesn’t appear to be slowing down. Picture courtesy of Lindsay Oberst, 2011.‘SustainableJournalism.org’ complied a studyendeavoring to determine the top ways thatjournalists, and media proprietors alike, haveutilised Social Networking in gatheringimportant, breaking news.
‘New York Times Columnist UsesFacebook to Report from Egypt’: Journalist Nick Kristof used Facebook to report on his harrowing time amidst the most recent Egyptian riots. His moment-by-moment status updates received hundreds of comments and generated reputable leads. “While news stories tell what happened, Social Media feeds report on the present,” asserts Lindsay Oberst. (Oberst, October 26, 2011.) Screen shot courtesy of Megan Garber, Nieman Journalism Lab, January 30, 2011.
Mind map explaining the process of SocialNetworking in dissemination of news stories;courtesy of ‘Mindomo.com.’
Image courtesy of Flickr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34cdYF0w08s&feature=relatedYouTube Video from ‘The press club of Long island’, talking about how SocialMedia has changed the way they (the journalists) engage and disseminateinformation.
Betancourt, L 2009, The journalists guide to Facebook, Mashable, viewed October 2011,http://mashable.com/2009/08/03/facebook-journalism/Boyd, D.M and Ellison, N.B 2007, Social Network Sites: Definition, History and Scholarship, Journalof Computer-Mediated Communication, P 13, article 11, Viewed October 2011http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.htmlBunz, M 2010, ‘BBC Tells News Staff to Embrace Social Media’, The Guardian, 10 February, viewedOctober 2011,http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/feb/10/bbc-news-social-mediaCollado, E 2011, Twitter, Citizen Journalism and News production Stages, viewed October 2011, http://eduardocollado.com/en/Garber, M 2011, Nick Kristof turns to Facebook to report from Egypt, viewed October 2011,http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/01/nick-kristof-turns-to-facebook-to-report-from-egypt/Harper, R.A 2009, The social media revolution: exploring the impact on journalism and newsmedia organisations, Student Pulse, viewed October 2011,http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/202/the-social-media-revolution-exploring-the-impact-on-journalism-and-news-media-organizationsMedia Entertainment and Arts Alliance 2010, Life in the Clickstream II: The Future of Journalism,viewed October 2011,http://www.thefutureofjournalism.org.au/Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance 2008, Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism,viewed October 2011,http://www.alliance.org.au/documents/foj_report_final.pdf
Oberst, L 2011, Journalism and social media: 15 examples worth learning from, SustainableJournalism, viewed October 2011,http://sustainablejournalism.org/socialmedia/journalism-social-media-examplesThe Walkley Foundation, 2011, Media Alliance Training Courses, viewed October, 2011,http://www.walkleys.com/trainingTapsall, S 2011, ‘The Media is the Message’, in S Tapsall & C Varley (eds), Journalism: Theory inPractice, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
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