Thursday, September 30, 2010

will journalism become more socialized?

Mashable suggests that the future of social media in journalism is that one will blend into the other, with reports from "citizen journalists and bloggers" on social media becoming news source as well as news consumers.

From the article:
... these social tools are inspiring readers to become citizen journalists by enabling them to easily publish and share information on a greater scale. The future journalist will be more embedded with the community than ever, and news outlets will build their newsrooms to focus on utilizing the community and enabling its members to be enrolled as correspondents. Bloggers will no longer be just bloggers, but be relied upon as more credible sources.

...Reporting has always in some ways been a collaborative process between journalists and their sources. But increasingly, there’s a merger between the source and the content producer. As a result, more journalism will happen through collaborative reporting, where the witness of the news becomes the reporter, says David Clinch, editorial director for Storyful and a consultant for Skype (). Journalists, Clinch says, must be able to pivot quickly between the idea of using the community as a source of news and as the audience for news, because they are both.

This requires a shift in the mindset of journalists, who are used to deciding what news is and how it is covered, produced and distributed, said Alfred Hermida, professor of integrated journalism at the University of British Columbia. “Social media by its very definition is a participatory medium,” Hermida said. “There is a potential for greater engagement and connection with the community, but only if journalists are open to ceding a degree of editorial control to the community.”

All well and good to have up to the minute information coming in by the minute, especially when disaster strikes, but who's going to make sure it's true? That the context is right? And can you really trust anyone who uses the term "content producer" when it comes to news? bk

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