Social media seen as ‘competition’ to journalists

Posted on November 6, 2014


According to a panel at Dublin’s Web Summit conference, news content providers have had to adapt to emerging social trends in order to stay ahead of the game.

The debate – which featured representatives from Vice News, Time, and Storyful – found that while traditional journalism and its values were still relevant, social media platforms such as Twitter had become their competition when delivering news to the public.

When the discussion turned to ‘citizen journalism’, the panel admitted that eye-witnesses to a major story would now be just as likely to be posting their stories to social media sites, as they would be talking to a journalist.

Storyful’s chief executive, Mark Little, expressed that news providers have had to overhaul their means of content production, as the public can now “bypass” the traditional media outlets by just using a social platform and a camera phone. The panel added that while some legacy firms had managed to change sufficiently, others had not been able to survive the revolution in communication.

However, the issue of trust was brought up, which the participants concluded still gave traditional outlets an edge over their social-only rivals. By filtering stories on social media, when coordinated with on-the-ground reporting, professional news suppliers would be able to build an air of authenticity, which would greatly help them to succeed.

Some companies, such as Time, have even tried to embrace the ‘breaking news’ feature of social media, by investing in divisions that can monitor such trends.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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