Does Social Media Challenge Journalism?

Does Social Media Challenge Journalism?

As social media’s presence becomes more prevalent in the way in which information is distributed, Journalists find themselves interacting with the online medium more regularly on a daily basis. This evolution in the profession has lead to the adaptation of standard journalistic practice involving such aspects as ethics and legalities, particularly copyright and defamation, which ultimately poses the question of ‘does social media challenge journalism’.

Many journalists attempt to ignore social media’s presence all together in an attempt to dismiss the ‘digital takeover’ (Hauser, 2015) of the 20th century. However, Bradshaw (2007) suggests how social media has become an integral part of the news room which allows for a faster publication of material compared to TV and Radio due to Twitter and News updates (Bradshaw, 2007). Bradshaw (2007) then further suggests an adaptation of the newsroom to efficiently incorporate this modernized version of news distribution with minimal challenges to traditional journalistic practice (see Figure 1.)
Figure 1. (Bradshaw, 2007)

Bradshaw (2007) suggests here that the strengths and challenges of online journalism are both “twofold and contradictory: Speed, and Depth” (Bradshaw, 2007). In its most rudimentary form, speed allows for faster publication than ever before compared to print and depth is the context which can be given to the story which is potentially enormous compared to print as there is a large amount of space online to give a deeper insight and context to the issue, topic or story.
Bradshaw’s 21st Century News Room Contextual to Online Journalism
• Alert – Allows for the journalist to ‘own’ the story through mediums such as a Facebook or Twitter Feed, in turn, pushing the user to the website, newspaper or broadcast

• Draft –Allows for journalist to give initial details whilst constantly updating the story as details are released.

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