Tag Archives: twitter

Impact of Social Media on Journalism

Over twenty emails and several tweets- I was beginning to loose hope that any journalists were going to find time in their busy schedules to reply back to my enquires. My assigned research entailed contacting credible journalistic sources to feature in my article titled ‘Has Social Media Plagued Journalism For Good?’. So, you can imagine the excitement of seeing an email from the editor of Dorset Life magazine outlining his views on the topic:

Joel Lacey, of Dorset Life, explained how he thought social media has been “both a boon and a bane for professional journalists”. It is advantageous in terms of the helpfulness of user-generated content from Citizen Journalists. If there were, for example, a photograph or video footage of an event it is much easier to acquire than it may well have been. On YouTube there is a channel dedicated to this, ‘Citizen Tube’, there is raw footage of the Libyan crisis and Japanese earthquake. This makes journalists jobs slightly easier and also acts as a database for public use.

Videos uploaded by YOU

On the other hand, Lacey discusses how “much of what is being put out is essentially gossip: repeated or invented material”. This is noticeably a danger zone, as the huge source of information online means sifting through and deeming what is and what is not credible. Admittedly, Lacey says that he has used social media as a starting point to some of his articles for Dorset Life. However, he approaches these stories with caution and they still require sufficient research through conducting  interviews and involving other sources.

Still locating primary sources for my research, I contacted other local journalists, as it seemed this is where my research had led me so far. Stephen Bailey who writes for the Daily Echo had some useful insights to contribute with a focus on Twitter:

“I have found Twitter primarily useful for news planning” Bailey said and describes the time when he extracted a story from tweets about the 20th Armored Brigade going to Afghanistan. Agreeing with Lacey, he reinforces Twitter and other sites being useful for photojournalism. Aside from its conveniences and immediacy, Bailey appreciates letters as a form of communication as they are now becoming a rarity in the industry. Events like going to court, covering public meetings and meeting contacts are proactive ways that Bailey feels are the most enjoyable part of his job.

“I find the general belief that anyone can be a writer phenomenally dangerous” Lacey expresses his concerns of Citizen Journalism will make it harder for the professionals to earn a living. Though, I believe that print and broadcast journalism will co-exist with any online material that proceeds to invade the publishing world.

Stephen Jio from Dell has a discusses the effect of Citizen Journalism with students at City University:


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Social Media and Journalism: My journey

Social media seems to be an ever-growing force within journalism. Using Twitter to reinforce current news stories has been an interesting venture. The 140 character limit is like a challenge to produce the best headline, with articles you think will be of interest to the most people who follow you. Often, I would seek out strange and shocking stories, for example, ‘5 year-old dangerously imitates a superhero and SURVIVES’. Anecdotes which use shock-factor are ones that I think are most interesting and will gain more attention.

It works both ways, whilst I have grown to enjoy browsing through news to find something I want to tweet about; Twitter also provides countless avenues for journalism. Following news publications like BBCBreaking allows you to obtain the latest updates on a story you may be following. For example; the constant updates of the Libyan crisis kept the public informed. This is where social media is at its most useful.

Tweet tweet

This blog has been another way in which to expand my journalistic work. I have carried it on from my Web Communications unit last year, although I maintained it throughout the summer as I enjoyed blogging about my experiences and reviewing things. Before it was used for this unit, I mostly enjoyed reviewing music and films, preparing myself for my career choice in music journalism.

Blogs that I have completed for this unit have allowed me to express what I have learnt in my own writing style- which I take pleasure in. It almost acts to trigger the memory and is a portfolio of my work, which I am in fact quite proud of. I feel that blogging is your own personal touch on current affairs and aspects of journalism. However, be careful with what you type, remember media ethics apply in online communications- refer back to my post  Media Law: for you bloggers.

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‘Bieber fever’ unnecessary hype

I doubt I am the only Bieber hater, but the 12 year-old, sorry, 16-year-old ‘pop-star’ has caused absolute mayhem with herds of tweens following the release of his movie Never Say Never. The film is needlessly shot in 3D, which attempts to pursue the same successions as other movies that have thrived on the 3D trend. It features him in all his glory, showing footage of his 2010 tour. Reviewers (of course I refuse to ever see the film myself) who are not crazy about the singer have taken more of a disliking to him. This all leads to the same question…what is with the hype?

Infamous Bieber pose at the London film premiere

This week Bieber has graced the UK with his presence to promote the new release and had thousands of girls screaming and crying to meet him. In the short space of 18 months, I have to hand it to the kid, he has shot to success. Boasting a staggering 21 million friends on Facebook, 7.3 million followers on Twitter, the most watched videos on YouTube and his name being one of the most searched for on Google he has not done bad at all. Fans of the star even call themselves ‘Bieblers’ and they seem to love the fact that he is all over social media.

The power of social media has helped Bieber’s extended 15 minutes of fame, but it won’t be long until he is surpassed by a younger and much more talented kid on the scene. Jaden and Willow Smith, although with a little help from their legendary father, have already covered acting, singing, songwriting, rapping and dancing collectively at the ages of 12 and 10. Other young talents, such as 10-year-old Heather Russell have been spotted on YouTube and taken on by the Cowell management. Russell begun performing at the age of eight, listing renown names Prince and Queen as her influences. The YouTube clip of her song ‘Every Step of the Way’ attracted more than 100,000 views and received recognition from celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore who have constantly tweeted about her.

Now this is talent worth the hype. Will Heather Russell be the new deserving contender for Bieber?

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Jail blog

Weezythanxyou is not just an ordinary fan site…It’s actually the site where New Orleans born rapper, Lil’ Wayne blogs updates from his prison sentence to his fans.

Say cheese Weezy

Whilst we are still getting used to various celebrities having Facebook and Twitter, posting updates and using social media to generally boost publicity it seems hard to believe that now we are getting intimate posts from celebrities in prison. However, this is not one of those situations where we all complain about the useless american police system where celebrities get priority over the average deviant. Lil’ Wayne is writing letters to his label and the company’s online marketer Karen Civil rewrites the letters into a post. In his first letter ‘Gone ’til November’ on the 2nd April, Wayne expresses love for his fans and assures them “my spirit and my love can never be confined to prison walls”.

Carter, as referred to by his birth name, was jailed last month for the possession of a gun. He is to serve a year long sentence for his crime, but this will not stop the rapper. Although locked up he has made sure he won’t be forgotton in a hurry, as he is still all over our music channels- he lined-up a good few releases. And it’s not just that he’s taken care of, there are ‘Free Weezy’ t-shirts available for purchase at $29.99. Talk about taking care of the finances..

Inspirational words are sent in the post: “The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done…you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do”. It really gives a personal insight into the situation Carter has found himself in and is quite touching. Personally, I think it is amazing that Lil’ Wayne is staying true to his fans and showing his appreciation by answering to them.

I admire his loyalty. So although I won’t be buying a ‘Free Weezy’ t-shirt anytime soon, I still support this move. Head-up Weezy, you won’t be replaced the game ain’ the same without you!

I’ll leave you with a track off his brand new album:

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Q & A: I talk films with Sam

Catching him for a quick chat on Twitter, Sam Teckman shares his insights on film that proves he is in the right place doing a media-based degree at Bournemouth University. I ask him some Twitter-style interview questions, so he can share his ‘knowledge’ to the world!

Me: Let’s start basic Sam, what is your favourite film?

Sam: Ahh how can you pick there are so many great films and so many genres. But if I absolutely had to I would say Old Boy, which is a Korean film which I got really into, they have a raw and interesting edge to them. Another favourite has to be Momento, because of the unique post-modern nature it possess, I just think it’s so clever.

Me: Okay if this is the case, what would you say your favourite genre is?

Sam: Oh that’s a tough one too! I think it is the word favourite (laughs). The types of films I like are usually ones with a clever and unusual plot that I won’t guess in the first ten minutes. I hate films that are predictable, romcoms often are with their soppy endings! When I watch a film I want something out of it, not the expected.

Hit or miss? Sam spills

Me: Interesting…How do you watch films usually?

Sam: Well I love it when films are on TV- I am a skint student remember, but I do enjoy going to the cinema depending on the reviews and the hype over what is out. I absolutely hate watching films that are bad quality, it actually offends me! I just don’t see the point.

Me: What do you think of new releases, what was the last good film you saw in the cinema?

Sam: Both District 9 and Avatar were amazing. District 9 delivers a deep message and the casting for the movie was tactical, they didn’t put Hollywood actors with an accent as fake as my watch, which would have ruined the film completely. Avatar, on the other hand was a phenomenal film, because they introduced the idea of science fiction in a simple way where it would be intriguing but gripping at the same time.

Me: Do you idolise any director or film-maker? If so who?

Sam: Well, there are the classic ones like Tim Burton and James Cameron, but I also like Christopher Nolan. They all have a certain style that they work well with and they are prestigious in their art.  I dislike Micheal Bay, it seems as though he just likes to blow things up!

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Timeline: social networking sites

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Social barrier or freedom?

 Social Networking sites are websites which allow people to build social networks with others who share the same interests/activities or even to maintain relationships with existing friends.

Although social networking sites are ever changing the concept stays the same; interactivity is what all of the web-based sites provide, making contact easier through e-mail and instant messenger.

Well-known sites such as; Facebook and Myspace are more general based , however there are countless variations which sometimes seek to target niche audiences, focusing on interests such as dating, music, film etc.

1997: Launch of the first social networking site SixDegrees.com, it allows users to connect and send messages to each other. However, its success was somewhat short lived as 2000 saw the website close. 

1999: Social networking became popular and then used as a way to target niche groups and subcultures; AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet and LiveJournal to name a few.

 2000: LunarStorm is relaunched and MiGente introduced bringing an online community of Hispanics together. In 2008 the founder of AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet bought MiGente and claims over 23 million users.

2001: South Korea was the next to jump on the bandwagon with Cyworld, which followed the general guidelines of a social networking site, however it was the first to introduce the idea that profit came from the sale of virtual goods. Recently, the US version of the site has been closed down until furthur notice. Ryze.com another site lauched in this period targeted at business professionals and new entrepreneurs.

 2002: Friendster was founded by a Ryze member, with a popular Asian uptake it receives 19 billion page views per month. Fotolog is self-explanatory being an online photo blog and receiving 750 million page views a month.

 2003: Several websites were launched; Hi 5 and MySpace being the most well-known. Hi 5 claims to have over 60 million active users and in 2008 was voted the third most popular social networking site. MySpace on the other hand had its popularity streak in 2006, until overtaken by Facebook in 2008. It had 1000 employees and asserts over 200 million users.

A typical Facebook profile

2004: OrKut, Dogster, Multiply, aSmallWorld, Catster, Hyves are a few that were lauched in 2004 that were less mainstream. However, 2004 saw the introduction of Facebook but it was only available to Harvard students then it began to develop so it became accessible to other students, until it became worldwide to anyone over the age of 13.

 2005: Re-launches of sites that introduced new networking features came about, for example; Yahoo! 360 (which also closed recently), YouTube and Bebo existed before but with limited interactive content, so they were re-launched and then added to the growing list of social networking sites. Facebook developed to become available to high school networks.

 2006: Facebook gradually becomes available to corporate networks and then becomes completely universal. CyWorld expanded to China and the USA, while the world saw the introduction of Twitter. With a revenue of $400, 000 and employment figures around 150, Twitter has become incredibly popular and sometimes referred to as the ‘SMS of the internet’.

Concerns over privacy of new site

2010: Google have recently lauched their own social networking site called Google Buzz, it includes most of the interaction components of social networking sites- sharing links, photos, videos, status messages and comments. Although, Google executive Sergey Brin, announced the service as ‘bridging the gap between work and leisure’, there have been many concerns over privacy and criticisms of the conformity of the site competing with other major sites such as Facebook.


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