With texting, typing, sharing and scrolling the world is now moving faster than ever in this digital world. Social media has become a part of our everyday lives as it informs us on the real issues like Kanye West getting a doctorate, or Lara Bingle’s post baby bod.
The reliance of social media is becoming dangerously high as the digital generation have little or no interest in things that are slightly more important than Kendall Jenner’s side boob flash at the Met Gala Ball. Things like the mission to find the MH370 and the 2015 Federal Budget only start to show up on Gen Z (1995-2009) news feeds if some kind of meme or conspiracy story has been created from them.
Which puts forward the question of how will journalists be able to report on global matters that is Facebook worthy?
Progression from playing snake to checking notifications
Its only been in the last 10 years that mobiles have grown to be what they are now. Not only devices in which are used for calling our parents to tell them where we are, or texting our friends asking ‘whatcha up to’ but are now our camera, GPS, banking provider, Google and so much more.
Apps have grown to huge popularity as they are now downloadable on any smart phone or android device. Facebook saw their climb to fame in 2007 when they began to focus more on being mobile friendly creating a platform allowing the potential for an app to be created. In early 2012 with the introduction of 0.facebook and Facebook Sim it made Facebook become accessible 24/7 from any location, clearing the path for Twitter to follow shortly after giving people the choice to choose how they wanted to share their lives and receive news on a local and global scale.
♦ Live Feeds
With the introduction of the hashtag now used by Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it is easier for people to look on their news feeds to see what the days trending topics are. A lot of people who may be scrolling through their pages and come across headlines and articles that their friends may of commented on or liked. From that they are able to get a brief insight into what might be happening sparking some interest to look further into finding out in more detail about that particular story.
A few words in a twitter update is how the live feeds of breaking news began. From 7am when the a car crash happened, to 10am with details of what happened and then by 12 readers know exactly who and what was involved.
By being able to constantly update news websites and social media pages with the breaking news, interviews and photographs from where the journalist is reporting from people are able to get the details as it comes. Updated versions mean that everyone finds out about each piece of information at the same time rather than waiting to hear about it on the radio or whilst reading it in the newspaper on the way home.
♦ Trending Topics
One of the best things about social media is that because everyone has it, everyone is bound to find out about what is trending right now.
This can mean that people who start a hashtag trend like Carrie Bickmore did at the recent Logies with #beaniesforbraincancer or with the petition in which has been spread throughout all forms of social media to stop the period tax makes people aware of what is actually happening in bigger issues.
By making these serious topics relatable to the younger generation who have a large impact on what is shared around, it means that a wider audience of people are hearing about them and therefore have the potential to actually make a difference.
These kind of trending topics actually rely on social media to be able to get their voice out there, however a majority of the trending topics grow very quickly and gather a strong media presence in which then becomes talked about in other forms away from the internet, like on the news, radio and newspapers. These issues then begin to overshadow even more important reports involving natural disasters, deaths and crime.
But what makes a topic trending? Is it how many times its been shared or reposted? Or does it depend on what website it has been posted on ?
In theory everyone can report on the news, can repost stories, write a story themselves and share it with their list of friends but with this comes a stretched truth as a level of inaccuracy is developed. Not only are the facts incorrect and inconsistent but as everyday people write these articles, a clear bias and set of opinions come to light which don’t appropriately reflect the actual and original stories facts.
With websites like Forbes.com posting 400articles a day and the Huffington Post posting 1,200 pieces of content a day (Digidaily, 2013) it can be very hard to keep one particular mood constant with this rapid turnaround. Things which made you cry only last night have been forgotten and replaced with happy family stories. If it’s not breaking news and being hammered by news networks, radio, newspapers and social media then people tend to not show as much interest and the original story is therefore brushed off and easily forgotten.
The Ebola outbreak is a good example of how it once frightened everyone in the world. Causing countries to set up a strong defence system to interrogate everyone and anyone who may be entering their countries with the potential risk of infecting and killing more. Even though Ebola is still an active and dangerous virus, killing people in places like Libya and Sierra Leone it isn’t as heard of in Australian news as it once was.
The use and popularity of social media attracts all kinds of people. It gives them the chance to link to find like minded people or a group in which talks about one main topic, interest or hobby. This is where the business side of things come in.
As the digital world is flooded by advertising, businesses take the opportunity to be able to spread their brand across all forms of it in which they know will be distributed on an international level.
As newspapers now have a firm online presence they are able to compete with each other in a new world by advertising and posting links on social media which attracts and pulls people in to visit and read the news on their website compared to another.
Go to Online Journalism to review the current status of how the internet is effecting the economy of journalism.
♦ No more printed copies
One of the major impacts that is effecting the world of traditional journalism forms by it transitioning to the online world is that there are no more hard copies. Years of magazines kept and proudly displayed underneath the coffee table will soon grow to a limited number as nearly every magazine, newsletter and magazine all have a website and some sort of online presence.
This change in medium is having a major effect with magazines like the MX in which is published daily around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“News Corp confirmed the closure of the newspaper’s operations today, telling staff the decision was made as ‘a reflection of the changing reading habits of commuters who now turn to their mobile phones and tablets on their way to and from work,’ Mumbrella reports ” (Buzzfeed, 2015).
This is not an uncommon occurrence with newspapers closing all around the world. The Seattle Times goes into this in a great detail discussing how it is effecting more local and smaller newspaper businesses around America.
Refer to The Economist to discover more information and research that has been uncovered on how newspapers are coping with becoming more online based
As the technological world is forever growing and securing its place in this modern society, journalists are having to deal with being able to adapt their skills in a new way in which relates and appeals to a new age of people. Even though there are a number of benefits with using social media to spread the news, voice issues and have petitions signed concerns like what is actually reliable and the true story starts to become a worry. Internet safety is talked about frequently in regards to giving out information, however people who are relying on a hash tag to give them the news should be even more aware to what’s really breaking in the news industry.