Monday, January 25, 2010

Journalists use of Social Media

If you have read Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point, you know that there is a point at which a rolling snowball of an idea becomes an avalanche of thought and majority in its target user-base. And now, if a recent study is to be believed then the use of social media for news gathering has reached tipping point in journalism.

The report from a survey of 371 journalists and editors in the USA states that for their research:
  • 55% use micro blogging sites (e.g. Twitter)
  • 65% use social networks
  • 89% use blogs
However one of the report's authors is keen to make the points that using these sources does not replace a journalist or an editor's function. 49% of respondents also cite social media's "Lack of fact-checking, verification or reporting standards" as the primary reason to question the reliability of news from these site.

Perhaps someone should point out to them the growing story from yesterday's Irish Mail on Sunday newspaper, which apparently took selected quotes from Air Traffic Controller Melanie Dawn's blog to sensationalise a story about sexism in her work place.

This was all done without her consent, which is why Melanie is apparently now seeking legal advice (and probably why the story cannot be found anywhere on the Mail's site.... funny that!

Perhaps before declaring the lack of standards of social media, journalist should look at little closer to home first?

Thanks to the following for the photo:
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