Social Media and the Changing Role of Journalists Covering It
Om Malik from Giga OM writes today about the changing role of media and how the new media is transforming the way the reporting is done in the old media around story selection and amplification. Direct-to-the-world communication is replacing the direct-to-the-media-and-then-to-the-world model of journalism we had. What might this mean for knowledge translation in areas beyond tech to areas like policy, politics, science and health?
Originally posted on Gigaom:
For the past few days, I have been thinking about the evolution of what media is and its expanded role in the information ecosystem. What got me thinking was Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s decision to blog his side of the story about his reduced role at Twitter. A few months ago, when Facebook was buying Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg also chose to go direct by putting up a note on his Facebook page. And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is also not shy when it comes to sharing his views via his Facebook page.
Seconds after Dorsey and Zuckerberg put up their news, it was picked up by casual readers who shared it and tweeted it. Technology media (including blogs) also picked up the news and published it as classic news posts. Some of us added analysis, but in the end both casual observers and publications were doing the same job — they were amplifying the news, spreading it across various mediums. There is a blurring of the line between what is news and what is a tweet, photo or a blog post. In other words, it is a kind of mosh pit of data and information — and that means the role of media is changing.
A reporter’s job for the longest time has been to find information and report it. This is what we have called news. Sitting in the media box at the baseball stadium and reporting scores and providing updates for a wire service was as much “news” as reporting on the Watergate scandal. And up until the end of the 20th century, the sources of distribution were pretty limited — radio, newspapers, magazines and television.