News Media used to be completely separate from the public. Journalists would go to a scene of crime, the site of one disaster or another, and there they would ask questions, then write about it. The public would then read this news, maybe talk about it with family or friends, put the news away, and everything would repeat itself. Journalism is no longer like this, a journalists job isn’t just going to the place where news is happening, because news is different, as is the job.
The development of Twitter is just one of the ways in which news media has changed, journalists are expected to constantly be aware of everything that’s happening — no matter the time and space barriers. Because of these new expectations for journalist, they can’t work alone anymore, instead needing the help of the public. In Matthew Clayfield’s piece “Tweet the Press,” he discusses the use of Live Tweeting, and how in turn deadlines have changed from maybe the end of the week, to the end of the hour. People expect their news as it’s happening, and because of that journalists are expected to be ready to report at any moment — all from the luxury of their smartphones.
As well as Live Tweeting, Clayfield discussed the phenomenon of crowdsourcing. Sending out a Tweet asking for volunteers to be interviewed, asking for confirmation of events happening miles away from where the journalist actually stands. This new technique of getting information (from the public instead of actually experiencing the event yourself) has become necessary for journalists to keep up. The constant need the public has for news as it’s happening has forced journalists to rely on the public for the news. It’s impossible for journalists to always be at the scene of an event as it’s happening, so we must accept that if we want our news instantaneously, it’s not always going to come directly from a journalist.
This new way of reporting as changed the expectations of journalists, but it has also changed who we get our information from. There’s no telling whether crowdsourcing is good for journalism or not, on one hand we get far more information, but on the other, it’s not coming from someone trained to report the news. Journalists have a new role, instead of pure reporting they are more expected to filter out the views of a number of people instead of their own, whether this leads to better or worse news is up for debate.
Clayfield. M. (2012). Tweet the press. Metro, 171, 92-97. http://content.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.macewan.ca/ContentServer.asp?EbscoContent=dGJyMNHr7ESep7A4xNvgOLCmr0%2Bep7dSsKu4Ta%2BWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGqt0uyrLVRuePfgeyx43zx1%2B6B&T=P&P=AN&S=R&D=ufh&K=70288520