Social Media's Impact on Journalism

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MM100A
26 October 2012

Social media has become extremely popular over the last decade. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become a part of most people’s everyday lives. Journalism, as well as social media, is a huge part of the world today primarily because it is how a lot of people get their information. While social media benefits journalism, it is a major hurting factor as well.

Social media is often seen as an optimistic thing for many journalists around the world. More times than not, news hits the social media networks long before any journalists can get their hands on the information. For many years, a common rule for journalists has been to “keep in touch with your sources, because you will get ideas for stories from them.” This comes in play more today than ever before because social media sites are exploded with information about daily events happening in the world. The more newspaper reporters engage with their readers online through social media sites, the more useful information they will get. Social media has played a huge part in the news industry, providing open opportunities for journalists to connect with the public. Although journalists still report facts and give us the news, the rise of social media has changed how a story is told and consumed. A journalist from South Carolina shared how listening to the public through social media played a big role in helping write a story about Andrew Joseph Stack III flying a single-engine plane into an Austin office building. He stated, “In the newsroom, we first heard about the incident on Twitter. We marshaled our resources right away to cover what was clearly going to be a big story. As our staff members worked the phones and drove to the scene, I headed to Twitter. I asked the 20,000-plus followers of our main Statesman account whether they had seen anything, and I asked witnesses to call our reporter Tony Plohetski. Several people called Tony, and their accounts made it into the online and...
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