What I’ve Learned in Writing for the Converged Media
Posted by brettmcmillan
The Power of the Internet
The internet is a powerful tool. It gives the average citizen the opportunity not just to learn about the world but participate in covering the events going on in the world. No longer is journalism a one-way street. The line between producer and consumer has been blurred.
There are numerous tools and avenues which the average person can use to play a role in shaping how culture views the events taking place in the world.
People who say that journalism is dying are misinformed, or at the very least, aren’t paying attention to the world around them. It could easily be said that journalism is more alive than ever before. Are less people getting paid to practice journalism on a professional level? Yes. Is the exchange of money a prerequisite for an activity to take place? Last time I checked the answer was no.
While the “golden age of journalism” may be gone it has been replaced with an age of “citizen journalism” fueled by the internet.
Anyone can post anything at anytime. All the platforms available to the public mean that raw information can be collected almost instantaneously at the site of the events as they occur.
Because journalist now not only have to compete for readers and viewers, but also with them, it is important that journalist be proficient at using the most up-to-date tools while covering events. By doing so, they give themselves a better chance of avoiding being scooped by the very people they seek to inform.
In a world were there are a countless number of avenues through which to share information, one particular kind has presented itself as a favorite. Microblogging is not just used frequently by citizen journalist, but also by some of the largest media conglomerates in the world.
Twitter, is by far the most popular microblogging platform. It is used by professionals and citizens alike to streamline information in a way no newswire ever could. Twitter is now the place many look to for their news. It is quick, succinct, and manageable. It also provides views from both sides of an argument, and presents the coverage of huge companies, and pro-am journalists.
Microblogging plays to an American culture that is obsessed with speed, and instant gratification.
How It Works
Twitter allows professional journalist to practice open sourcing as they share with their audience. This means that they show the audience the process of piecing together a story.
Below is an example of how St. Louis Cardinal beat writer Derrick Goold broke a story about a Cardinal roster move approximately twelve hours before it was published in the March 6th St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) March 5, 2012
This form of social media can be used for hard news as well.
In Nov. 2011, Questlove, the drummer for the band The Roots, tweeted at Occupy Wall Street protestors to let them know the New York City police were preparing to clear Zuccotti Park. This story was reported by Questlove on Twitter before any other news outlet had any idea that the police were going to make dozens of arrests.