Journalism’s relationship with social media has matured

Time for some short-takes of cool journalism-related stuff you should be reading around the blogosphere:

Social media goes mainstream: So finally, being on social media has stopped being gee whiz and started being, well, normal. Manish Mehtma sums this point up well in this Huffington Post blog item. He notes that this process of normalizing will allow the technology to fade into the background — so people focus on the relationships created, not the tool. True. For the news media, I think (I hope) this will mean more embracing of tools as tools — rather than writing about the fact that people use them. Kevin Sablan, of Almighty Link, puts it well:  “Tales of journalists using social media, and non-journalists committing acts of journalism using social tools, are starting to sound like stories of people using their telephones.” Amen.

Has social media changed us? Yes, for sure.  They naysayers say it’s turning our brains to mush, just as every technology since paper was feared to do. Advocates, like me, say social media is a tool that can be used for evil or good. Mike Laurie has a good list on Mashable of how social media has changed life for the better. Not sure I buy the one about social media helping kids be more literate. But I definitely agree social media has made news and political involvement more accessible to everyone, particularly young people. That’s a good thing.

FourSquare: I’ve just joined FourSquare. So far, not sure what I’ll use if for, but I think us journajunkies need to be knowledgeable about what’s out there — and the best way to gain knowledge is to try it. Lehigh University journalism professor Jeremy Littau has some interesting ideas on how to use FourSquare journalistically.  He suggests it could be a place where journalists can put news — like a business failing a health inspection — that now gets lost in a sea of information online and in print. It’s an interesting idea. FourSquare, from what I gather, is geographically based, which could make is useful, especially for local newspapers. It’s worth exploring.

The basics: In today’s constantly changing journalism world, the basics can get forgotten. Don’t let them. Bad writing is bad writing whether it’s on paper, online, on Twitter or on GoogleWave. Some good reminders of this point come from Steve and Emilie Davis, journalism profs at Syracuse University, on their new blog. Here is their take on cliches.

Gina

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11 thoughts on “Journalism’s relationship with social media has matured

  1. It has matured but it has also become more confused. Social media has grown so quickly that media organizations still are a bit paralyzed about how exactly to deal with it. Journalism and social media still have a long way to go before each-other’s role in the other is truly realized and understood.

  2. What role will academia play in the realization of the journalist/social media relationship? As more and more journalism and communications programs embrace social media tools and networks, the maturation that you discuss will eliminate the confusion that Ben mentioned above.
    Thanks for links — reading them now.

  3. @Ben LaMothe
    Ben,

    Very good point. We aren’t there yet. It’s a bit like the stages of grief — first denial (social media? what’s social media?) Then anger (what the hell …why do I need write my story and blog, too.) I think we’re in stage three now: bargaining (Ok, I’ll join Twitter and Linked In, but I won’t like it or understand it.)

    We need to get to the next stage (acceptance) and beyong that to invention.

    – Gina

  4. @Case Ernsting

    -True … academia plays an important role. I think learning institutions really need to lead now because far too many news organizations are floundering. Some really get it; some really don’t. But the new generation of journalists (trained in our j-schools) must be part of that former group. They have to pave the way. I think we’ll see many changes in the way journalism is taught to prepare for that. (Already have seen many changes, but will see many more.)

    Thanks for weighing in.

    Gina

  5. Pingback: Journalism’s relationship with social media has matured | Digital Fingerprint

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  7. As ‘social media’ matures the question will have to be asked – who is it for? Is it for users to connect and share with each other or as a tool to collect information and as an avenue for marketing. As the former it is of more use to journalists, essential in fact. As the latter it clearly weakens journalistic integrity. Tools are there to be used, not to use you.

  8. What role will academia play in the realization of the journalist/social media relationship? As more and more journalism and communications programs embrace social media tools and networks, the maturation that you discuss will eliminate the confusion that Ben mentioned above.
    Thanks for links — reading them now.

  9. Pingback: Top posts at Save the Media | Save the Media

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