Category Archives: social media

Thoughts on News: How Fake News is Influencing Journalist

As the Internet continues to expand, it is also continuing to evolve the major news world. And as print journalism sales are trending downward, it makes me wonder how our news is changing, for better and for worse.

On the positive side, news can now reach anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Language barriers no longer prevent people from reading news, as online translators are at everyone’s fingertips. Articles can be shared instantly and the truth can be revealed, as the power rests more in the hands of the people rather than big news organizations.

But with that power, comes responsibility. With all this instant “news”, it is becoming increasingly difficult to filter truth from the “fakes news”.  According to PolitiFact, “The popular website BuzzFeed analyzed the interest in these fake stories and found that they got more shares, reactions and comments during the final three months of the campaign than real stories from the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN, for example.”

While there are fact-checking sites available those who want to ensure that what they’re reading is true, it seems nearly impossible and incredibly inconvenient to filter through the hundreds of thousands of articles shared on a daily basis. True researchers and journalist are working hard to have their writing published, but sometimes these great pieces are slipping through the cracks.

Social media platforms, like Facebook, are working diligently to come up with a better filtering system for the news articles that are shared on the site. But until then, it is the responsibility of the reader to do their own research and be aware of the digital world that is around them.

 

Thoughts on Social Media: Instagram

Released in 2010, Instagram was an immediate success and allowed people from around the world to share photos of their daily lives with friends, family, and followers. Within a a year, they had gained over 10 million followers and became Apple App of the year.

In order to compete with Snapchat, Instagram began their “Stories”, which allows users to capture 10 second slips to share to their “story” that disappear after 24 hours, just like Snapchat.

Photojournalist are now able to reach a massive audience and gain followers for their stories. Time Magazine, National Geographic, NPR, CNN, and other major news outlets can use multiple photos in a post with the “carousel”, along with hashtags and tagging other users to truly tell a story in depth and more effectively than ever before. Instagram gives journalist a new, refreshing, impactful way to show their stories through permanent posts or live clips in the Stories feature. Crowdsourcing is also a huge part of how journalist use Instagram, but asking users to upload their own photos and add a hashtag in order to create news buzz around a certain topic or event.

As useful as Instagram has become to journalist, it has its fair share of pitfalls as well. Often times, photos are shared and reposted without any acknowledgement to the original photographer. It has become increasingly difficult to know the original source, what the facts truly are, and what was originally the intended meaning for the news piece.

Social Media Thoughts: Twitter

Twitter currently has over 300 million users and has net worth of 1.55 billion dollars.  Unlike Facebook, which is often filled with long posts, Twitter only allows its users to post 140 characters or less. A users newsfeed is then filled with short bursts of news, facts, or opinions.

Challenges: Cyber bullying, growing number of users, users anonymity, identity theft.  Can be seen as a non-credible source for journalist.

Stay professional, avoid snarky comments. Make a joke in a broad sense instead of arguing back and forth with individual users.

Crowdsourcing is incredibly important to how Twitter is designed. Maximize your reach by allowing people to retweet your post. Also add hashtags.

Journalist should remain unbiased and deliver the facts. Stay relevant and use hashtags. Twitter is meant to engage with followers, so cater them to your tweets to your audience!

Journalist use Twitter on the local and national level. Twitter allows journalist to reply within moments to each comment from their audience and provides real time updates to their stories. Ex. Boston Bombing, reporters already present and allowed them to capture  pictures and report information in real time. However, it can allow for misinformation due to lack of time to fact check. Once the information has been tweeted, it is hard to delete or take back as many retweets and screen shots are shared.