Social media – Media and Government•―Thanks to the rise of social media, news is no longer gathered exclusively by reporters and turned into a story but emerges from an ecosystem in which journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information.‖ Article in The Economist, July 2011.• Social media, the collection of various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, is used by news organizations as a tool to spread news out to a wider range of audiences for all matters of politics. It can be a twitter post sharing a link to a new article, or a chance for the public to interact with the a news organization, such as a poll or request for photographs.• It is used to follow and update, by the second, press conferences, debates, and campaigns.• Over 100 million active users on Twitter according to the site, and over 800 million active users on Facebook according to the site. The size of this audience means that news media must move to social networks as they seek to continue to provide news in a convenient manner.
• ―In the past one needed a fortune, or at least a good name, to cause much damage (to an entity). Today, all one needs is an Internet connection‖ –Evegeny Morozov • David Gregory of ―Meet the Press‖ had more than 520,000 followers, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has more than 500,000 followers, and The New York Times’ David Pogue has more than 300,000 followers. -2010 article on StudentPulse. • News can be shared without having to wait for a whole article to be written, as long as the news is in 140 characters or less. • Twitter can be used to find leads, find sources, or ask for information. (Economist.com) • 6,939- Current Tweets Per Second (TPS) record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day. • There are 18,000 search queries every second- 1.6 billion a day.This pie chart shows how tweets from newsorganizations break down in what they contained. Graph showing web traffic to news sites. Click to enlarge.
The Washington Post Social Reader – (See screen shot below) an application made for• . Facebook that tracks what users read and shares it with their friends. Users don’t even have to leave Facebook to follow the news, shifting the site of interaction with news entirely to Facebook Hash tags are used to identify tweets for search queries. Below: graph showing usage of hash tags by news media. As news media seek to gain larger audiences, tools such as hash tags can help increase exposure. Below Left: Compare the growth of followers with the use of hash tags. •According to Facebook the app has 2,200,000 million monthly users
Information gathering: News organizations such as Fox News and NPR use social media to gather information from readers. At left: graph showing percentage of tweets used by news media to get information from readers. Below: NPR asks for potential interviews in a Facebook post.There was considerable use of country-based hashtags (#Bahrain, #Egypt,#Yemen) to connect tweets to the ongoingevents of the Arab spring in February2011
Social media – politicians voice• Many politicians tweet constantly. Barack Obama used social networking to help gain support with youth in the 2008 election. Sometimes politicians use social media to circumnavigate the press and reach their voters in a different way.• ―Obama enjoyed a groundswell of support among, for lack of a better term, the Facebook generation. He will be the first occupant of the White House to have won a presidential election on the Web.‖ • – U.S. News article• Since 2007, Republicans have sent twice as many tweets as Democrats. Republican Sen. John McCain of is the most followed senator on Twitter. About 1.73 million people, versus Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is the most followed, with 58,000. (Associated Press, Sept. 29 2011.)• Do you follow politicians on social networks? ―This might be the last election cycle Rep. Gabrielle Giffords released a message to her constituents through in which we write about how the Facebook regarding her condition and congressional future, bypassing the phenomenon of social media — need for a news organization. interactive, friend-driven websites such as Facebook and Twitter — is affecting national politics, because next time around, the practice of social media may be such an integral part of the process we wont even notice it.‖ NPR article, 2010
New ethical dilemma?• The goals of traditional newspapers adapting social media are to identify the tripwires of social networks, avoid any appearance of impropriety and ensure the information can’t be used to sully the integrity of their reporters, photographers and editors (StudentPulse).• New organizations seek to maintain the integrity of the organization. This means showing no partiality, bias or fact bending and other practices deemed professionally unethical.• To deal with the blending of the line between work life and personal life in social networks, newsrooms, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Associated Press and The San Francisco Chronicle, have begun crafting ethics and etiquette policies surrounding social media.• Because journalists represent the new organization they work for, some have separate accounts for personal and business use. Read ethical guidelines: NPR social media guidelines Society of Professional Journalists Nytimes code of ethics. The Facebook page of Nicholas Kristof, New York Times journalist.
Social Media - Repercussions• StudentPulse did a study on the impacts of social media on news, and among the conclusions were these three points: • The public’s trust, or lack thereof, in the media may have played a role in causing the social media revolution. News organizations have to meet people where they are, and they are on social networks. • Social media has shown the value of local news organizations as well as the advantages the new tools can bring small media organizations. Local news has been enabled to reach its community through social media. People want international news and news from down the street. • Finally, social media has given journalists new ways to report and has opened the door for members of the general public who have something to say but can’t go through a journalist for one reason or another. Journalists not ask their readers for input. Leads and stories can be built though public input into the news. • What are other repercussions you can think of? • Does the good outweigh the bad concerning news ―Social media can’t belong to one media joining social networks? person; it needs to be part of everyone’s • Are you more likely to read news if it is on social job,‖ Preston said. ―It has to be networks? integrated into the existing editorial process and production process. I’m convinced that’s the only way we’re going to crack the engagement nut.‖ -Jennifer Preston, New York Times journalist.