How does social media fit into journalism? It seems like now it has a hand in every news story that we see. Overholser talks about how Michael Jackson’s death broke on TMZ’s Twitter while the Los Angeles coroner’s office was still reporting the singer in a coma. Demers mentions that the initial social media postings on the Boston Marathon bombing resulted in a nation wide manhunt for the wrong suspect at first. It is important for journalists who are approaching their craft from social media to be aware of the difference between being there, and being accurate. And it is certainly possible to be both.
Kritsch lists the 4 ways that social media is changing journalism:
Source from the streets: (or citizen Journalism as Demers puts it). Citizens are live Tweeting, and posting, about the events as they occurring. I recently drove past a car completely engulfed in flames on the side of the interstate. The car owner (instead of hysterically crying as I might have been) was recording the entire show on his iPhone… as were many passing by. (Note: emergency vehicles were already present). Later that night, the car owner’s own footage was on the evening news.
Master the art of listening: The ability to block out white noise, or non essential stories and information, on the internet is one of the perks of social media. Hashtagging and keywording makes searching for information easier and more effective.
Amplify your story: Posting your story by time zone is a great way to maximize its reach. Using scheduling tools can help maximize your audience by hitting certain areas and demographics at specific times.
Analyze the results: Analytics help determine what social media avenues and posts are most effective and how.
While journalism and social media are important, Biro’s article on branding spoke the most to my specific situation. Finding a balance between a personal brand and a business brand is key to a sole proprietorship like my own. Am I Lesley Geyer, or Lesley at The Pink Petticoat? I feel more equipped now to represent The Pink Petticoat, rather than being The Pink Petticoat.
I asked this question earlier in the semester, but I am interested to see if the answer has changed:
Should I focus on my personal brand as the owner of The Pink Petticoat, and lingerie expert, or focus on being The Pink Petticoat brand?
Are they one and the same?
Would you consider customer reviews as “citizen journalism”?