In Monday night’s class, Brad Belote, Director of Digital Content at KY3, and Lauren Matter, Anchor/Reporter at KSPR gave a presentation on social media as it relates to their career field of news. I’d like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to come talk to our class.
The topic they discussed that I found particularly interesting, was the different uses of Facebook and Twitter from a news perspective. In class, we’ve discussed how Facebook, in a college setting, is typically used as a means of entertainment or social engagement, while Twitter is used to update friends about our day or to post interesting links. I hadn’t considered until the presentation that Twitter serves as a news feed system for reporters, while Facebook serves as a means of directly communicating with news reporters or the station.
I participated in broadcast journalism in high school and I remember the difficulty of finding news worthy stories on short notice. This idea of now having a direct communication with the public, to be pitched story ideas or the ability to establish immediate contact for an interview, appears to make life much simpler for a journalist. At the same time though, it is more challenging to be a journalist with the invention of social media because of the constant stream of information needed to keep the public updated about current events. It’s no longer enough to report a story at ten, but now reporters have to tweet the moment they find out about an event and continuously release information as it becomes available. Lauren discussed how she reported on a car wreck and was tweeting new information as it became available, while also uploading pictures of the event. Brad also discussed how he must keep an open communication between the public and KY3 through Facebook, to have a successful and accessible social media side to the news. To be successful, you now almost have to be constantly reporting or be on your toes about what it is coming up next.
I’ve always known journalism to be a stressful occupation, but it appears to be even more time-consuming when all the pieces are put together to make an effective news broadcast. It seems with new technologies were given great opportunities, but also more responsibility in order to utilize it effectively.