Posts Tagged Facebook

News and social media: Osama bin Laden’s death delivered via Twitter

Image courtesy bbc.co.uk/news

The news of Osama bin Laden’s death will dominate the headlines for a little while longer, yet what interested me most about yesterday’s breaking story was a short clip shown on BBC which featured Americans at a baseball game (I think!) getting the news of Osama’s death on their phones hours before President Obama made his official announcement. Sitting in front of the TV drinking my morning coffee, I was also in the middle of finalising an essay about whether news can survive new media, so this BBC clip really caught my attention.

I’m of the firm belief that news and media institutions aren’t ‘done for’. News organisations need to continue to adapt to a changing society, which they have done – from the printing press, to the radio, to television, to the Internet, to satellite channels and now to web-based news feeds, social media sites and alternative (non-mainstream) news platforms which are all now accessible through a continually-advancing array of mobile media devices.

So this morning when I logged into WordPress, I found this post “The 7 stages of News in a Twitter and Facebook Era”  which seemed particularly relevant to what I was writing about yesterday and provided an interesting commentary on how news develops through alternative platforms i.e. not your established news sources. The article, which features on Gigaom (by Stacey Higginbotham) also provided a concluding thought that I’m totally in agreeeance with:

As journalists, we often get scoops or hear of news and have to make a similar set of judgments before reporting it, but on Twitter, what often starts out as gossip now has the weight of news. As recipients, we have no way to judge at first glance though if it’s real or wishful thinking. Perhaps it’s time we gave ourselves a better set of tools?

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Facebook in China

Will the Chinese finally be able to fully access Facebook? (Image courtesy http://www.techxav.com)

Article published today in Wired on how Facebook would work in China, as the social media site is rumoured to be in negotiations with the Chinese search engine Baidu.

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Facebook group for pictures and documents found after April tornadoes

Image courtesy nytimes.com

The New York Times online reports that a Facebook page has been set-up to display photos and documents found after the tornadoes that recently hit America’s south. It’s become a place for survivors and those affected by this horrible event to gain support and also features comments from well-wishes. A touching story which shows the diverse way we can utilise social media sites. The page is titled “Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes”.

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Navigating Journalism Online

A nice little piece about bridging the gap between online and offline audiences. 10,000 words interviewed George Kelly, online coordinator at the Contra Costa Times (a Bay Area News Group daily newspaper) in Walnut Creek, California, to discuss this issue. In the interview, Kelly comments that:

“The current digital landscape gives journalism and reporting unprecedented reach and impact. We’ve got cheap, powerful databases that let us sift and sort and display information in amazing ways. We’ve got tools and services to curate real-time information from anywhere on the planet. Now, we need to figure out when, and where, and how to use those tools to give people the information they need to make decisions about their lives and communities.”

I thought his comments on defining ‘new media’ were particularly relevant. I’ve found in my own reading that we seem to have defined this divide between ‘old’ and ‘new’ when really that’s not the case – the media landscape is evolving, it didn’t suddenly change – and we shouldn’t be apprehensive. There have been arguments posed that ‘new media’ will suddenly mean the end of journalism – I think that’s FAR from the case, indeed if anything, new technologies, platforms and methods of information delivery can enhance the way we distribute, search for and recieve news and information. Kelly was quick to pick up on the need for diversity – not as in race, gender etc but in platforms and that these needed to diversify in location – that online journalism shouldn’t be just for big cities or huge audiences. I totally agree!

And some advice for young journalists…

“What advice would you give to any up-and-coming or early-career journalist?

GK: Buy a domain name. Start a blog. Learn to code. Teach someone how to code. Get in the habit of making things. Sign up for new services as often as you wash your hands, brush your teeth or change your clothes. Remind yourself every day that you belong, that what is happening here is still unformed enough and unfixed enough that you can still make a mark — your own mark — with something worth doing and sharing with others.”

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