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Social Media and Journalism

I recently found a post on Mashable – “10 Ways Journalism Schools are Teaching Social Media” and it made me think about my journalism education.

I graduated in April 2006 with my journalism degree, and I know for a fact my experience in j-school would have been completely different had Twitter been around then, and had Facebook been more popular. I joined Facebook in 2004, when it was only open to select schools, and not many of my friends were on it. I admit that I did surf Facebook for leads or potential people to interview for certain stories I was given, but it was in no way the tool then that it is today. I see Twitter as being a great place for leads, for people to interview, for story ideas, for fast news…I could go on and on.

I think that while social media can provide journalists with valuable information, I also think it’s slowly making them obsolete. That’s very hard for me to say, having a journalism background, but unfortunately it’s true. Of the friends I went to school with and still keep in contact with, I only know of 2 people who are actually working as journalists. The rest of us are in advertising, marketing, or some other communications-related career. 

I say they are making journalists obsolete because I get news much faster through Twitter than I do from The Wall Street Journal, or any other news outlet really. Take the recent happenings in Iran. I didn’t learn of it until my boyfriend gave me Twitter updates. So I logged on and sure enough, there was the story. Unfolding in real time, and at that point, had not even been picked up by CNN. In fact, Twitter blasted CNN for not reporting the news. (In true Twitter fashion, using the hashtag CNN Fail.)

I am so glad I didn’t get a job at a newspaper; I’m fairly certain I’d be praying everyday to not be laid off.

Share your thoughts.

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