If you live in metro Atlanta, check out CBS News Atlanta and pay particular attention to their use of social media in gathering and distributing the news. Our guest on this episode of The Bella Buzz podcast is Jennifer Mayerle and she discusses the ramifications of the preponderance of new communications channels.
The tables are turned on Jennifer after having conducted an interview with Desiree for a story she was doing. On this episode we get to ask her the questions about the impact social media has had on the way journalists go about their business.
Not only does Jennifer have her own social media outlets such as a Facebook page, a blog and a Twitter account, but she must also consider her presentation of the stories she is covering on the CBS Atlanta web site. We are in such a rapid news cycle due to social media, that as stories are developing for presentation on the newscast, Jennifer must also write and update the stories throughout the day on the web site. This is such a radical departure from the days when a reporter could spend an entire day following up leads, obtaining quotes, and refining the nature of the presentation that will appear in a 1 -2 minute segment on the newscast.
The viewing habits of the public has also elevated the importance of the web site. As so many people are mobile and consuming news on a variety of devices, the web site has become a standard destination for obtaining a full range of news.
Newsgathering and content suggestions are happening right out in public on social networks as well. Finding a source or background information is easily obtained via a simple Google or Facebook search.
Have you ever made a real time comment while watching an event live? Real time feedback from viewers is happening more frequently while bringing the stories much closer to the viewing audience. Stations are now using messages as part of the content presented on the air.
This was not an easy transition for journalists to make. It is a very competitive business with an actual benefit to having a scoop on a story. The concern in the newsroom is that by sharing so much information via public messages and blog posts, the ability to break a story would be lost. Over time they have learned that it is better to just get the story out there because inevitably someone will come along and get the story anyway.
A danger to this ease of sharing is the ability to put out inaccurate information. As Jennifer arrives on a scene of fast breaking news, she will be posting information via Twitter that may end up changing quickly as police investigate the story behind the events. She has to make sure that as stories develop she continuously updates her social networks as new information becomes available.
CBS Atlanta has a competition in place for whoever gets to 1000 Twitter followers first!! You can click this link to get to Jennifer’s account. Help a reporter out!
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