Social media has changed the way that journalists work, in the way that they interact with their audiences and how they tell their stories. News is no longer something that people need to find, nowadays news finds you and this is because of social media. Audiences themselves share news even before journalists, due to user generated content being a big part of social media. The world of social media is very popular. It is a huge source for news as it easily accessible via smartphone for example, meaning that news is at your finger tips. Social media is an essential tool in journalism, and is important for all journalists to acknowledge this in today’s media-driven world.
More and more journalists are taking to the universal social media site – Instagram. News on such platforms allows to reach new audiences, mainly a younger audience. Instagram has 500 million users, all of which share their own content in a creative way. Instagram is becoming a new hot trend for journalists to share their stories in a more inventive way. A few are experimenting with the platform, to create a new and exciting style of literacy journalism. This platform could be a big step for journalism, it has huge potential due to its sizeable audience. Journalists are using Instagram as a tool of telling stories of others in an interesting way. Images are being used in a way of introducing viewers to the story, as a first sentence of a paragraph.
Journalist are also taking to the popular messaging app – WhatsApp. Many are experimenting with this as a way of gaining more personal information that they would not usually gain from social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook. It acts as a great communication tool. One reporter Rossalyn Warren, used WhatsApp as a way of communicating with a refugee. WhatsApp provides a fast and easy way of communication that is reliable. A useful feature of WhatsApp would be the “read tick” which acknowledges if the person has read the message. A double grey tick indicates that a message has been delivered, once the tick turns blue it means that the message has been read. WhatApps also offers facilities that help verify a persons identity, so you know exactly who you are conversing with and where they are (only if they share their location). WhatsApp is a private and personal messaging platform unlike Facebook or Twitter. This helps to break down the barriers between reporter and the subject, allowing for personal information to be shared.
Social media is the way forward for journalists, and new platforms are encouraged to gain as much coverage as possible. It is important for journalists to keep up to date with the ever-changing developments of the media world, in order to spread news in the best way possible to all audiences.