Remember the London Bombings in 2005? For me, that was the point that distinguished the value in citizens and journalists collaborating to bring stories public. At the time the best content available was a victim running through the tunnel with a mobile device capturing video. Every news organization used that video as a lead for the story. Since then news organizations went full gear into developing areas for citizens to upload rich media they were able to capture. This started a new era for many reasons.
With the focus on citizen journalists and the ability to create acceptable content on a device that you always carried in your pocket, many began to pontificate on the demise of professional journalism. Fast forward 6 years and the “art” of journalism is still alive and well however the industry certainly has changed. While many digital content areas have developed successful business models (iTunes for music; Amazon for books; Netflix for movies), news has struggled to create a true business model online beyond advertising. As a result, news rooms have had to cut staff and alter the way that news is collected and delivered.
These circumstances have forced journalists (some very old school) to adapt to the new ways of capturing content, gathering story ideas and reporting news. Social media has played a large role in redefining the industry and will continue to be a big catalyst in how journalists transform their trade. Three big areas of transformation happening with social journalism involve Reach, Effectiveness and Innovation.
- Reach: Social Operating Systems like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, WordPress, LinkedIn are enabling journalists to reach audiences that were never possible before. Instead of jockeying for key spots in the printed newspaper, Journalists are learning how to build expansive networks of followers, experts and interest groups.
- Effectiveness: Even though journalists no longer have camera crews to follow them around, technology has empowered individuals to capture rich media content with merely a phone/video/audio/image recorder (read iPhone). Building networks also provides journalists to be more effective in reaching story depths and finding additional resources.
- Innovation: The models of effective news reporting and story-telling have been re-invented. Collaboration plays a big role now and journalist teams are emerging that involve amateurs and professionals alike.
While the world of journalism has been completely over-hauled in the past 5-6 years, the need for quality content still exists. The same tools that have empowered everyone to create content and re-post it everywhere have overwhlemed most with sheer volume. This dilution of quality is exactly where professional journalists step back in. By incorporating network theory, technology and some creative new thinking many journalists have emerged as leaders in a space that did not exist 10 years ago. For an industry that had not changed much over the past 150 years, that is saying a lot. To run the conversation around this topic, we have Jeff Cutler. As a true pioneer himself, Jeff’s insights will provide for a great discussion this week. The topic and questions are:
Topic: Journalism & Good Content are Finally Converging
Q1: What outlets do you use to get your news today?
Q2: Who creates the best content: Journalists or Citizens? Why?
Q3: What are the attributes of a good journalist today?
Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, September 13 at noon ET. Follow #sm127 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live. The format will stay the same with the first question starting at noon and a new question coming every 20 minutes at 12:20 and 12:40.