Social media in the world of journalism

11 Apr

Today social media is everywhere, including newsrooms across the country. You can read a copy of your favorite newspaper on your Kindle or iPad, watch ABC news on YouTube, leave comments on online news stories, listen to a podcast from National Public Radio radio, participate in an online discussion hosted by the Washington Post on the election, and even receive tweets of breaking news directly to your phone from CNN. Yes, social media has become a big part of our lives and an even bigger part of the world of journalism.

Social media has presented journalists with so many new ways to report a story and communicate with readers. It is evident that social media is expanding the world of journalism and helping it flourish in new ways. While some new organizations still don’t have the hang of social media, others are excelling. These innovative journalists are using social media to their advantage and seeing results. These journalists have made the effort to understand social media and have learned to harness its power. They are using social media to discover trends, find new story ideas, connect with readers, find sources, give a voice to readers and share stories.

Some feel that a new age of journalism is finally emerging. According to Nieman Journalism Lab’s Burt Herman, in the coming year social media journalism will finally mature. This new social media journalism is decentralized, real-time, collaborative and curated. Along with a new age of journalism emerging, there is also a new creed for 21st century journalists. WIth so many resources and options for communicating the news to readers, journalists now have more responsibility than ever. It is exciting to watch this change in the world of journalism take place and to see what incredible things journalists will do with these new social media tools.

Two new tools that are valuable to journalists are Google Trends and Google Correlate. Below, I have included the graphs from my two searches. These tools are very easy to use and could be valuable to journalists when reporting on a story. For example, trend stories always make good stories because they draw conclusions about the world around us. Or, if a reporter ever needed to see if two topics were related to help a story, he or she could see if there was a correlation between the two with Google Correlate.

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