News and Social Media: The “New Media Press”?

Social media has, without a doubt, changed how the established news media is handling The News. It has changed traditional media in the most important aspects; news gathering, news reporting and news distribution.

Factitious Example not a real press pass or any real affiliation.

  • News Gathering

One of the biggest benefits of social media is how quickly information can be discovered and shared. News organizations no longer are the main source of news, and they don’t “own” the news.

61% of adults get their news online – making it the third most popular news platform. Reporters have transformed from being the gatekeepers of information to gatherers of content from within a public space. Crowd sourcing it is called – the media of the masses, citizen journalism.

A number of top news stories were covered thanks to citizen journalism. The US plane which landed in the Hudson River, was first announced on Twitter. Twitter was also vital in the coverage of the Iranian elections and the unrest that followed.

  • New Reporting

The immediate and intimate coverage of the social media has inspired news organizations to create their own social media platforms. News agencies have come under tremendous pressure to beat citizen journalists by breaking news on the social wire. Social media enables real time updates. Readers get the information much faster thanks to sites like Twitter and Facebook. And that is especially significant in places were the regime controls the mainstream media and the internet; in Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain for example. Rulers can no longer control the information their Subjects get, and the latest turmoil in the Middle East made it proof positive.

  • Blogs

Debate continues to the role and validity of bloggers. However, Social Media pioneer Erik Qualman made great examples of how bloggers can provide more accurate and timely information then traditional news sources. While the debate continues around their practice and standards, one could argue that those that call themselves professionals have just as many examples of poor professional practices as with which we have seen in the blog-o-sphere. The blogger is likely to be a writer of specific content within a specific community or genre, their work is fueled by passion, which makes it hard to believe they do not have valuable insight or a pivotal role to play in the age of the New Media.

  • News Distribution

Today’s news readers have very different expectations from content providers. News sites are embracing the importance of community by integrating social features. It is estimated that 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about them or spread a news item.

News organizations have embraced social media to spread their content through Facebook, Twitter, Digg and others. Since news has extended beyond the typed word and now encompasses multiple media formats like video, podcasts, live streaming and cellphone images, the kind of news media you get depends on your attention span.

The integration between mainstream media and social media was never more apparent than in the case of Al Jazeera network which is headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Not many people in the USA get that channel; it is not included in many cable packages. Yet, when the last events in Egypt enfolded and it became too dangerous for Western journalists to gather the news, Al Jazeera reporters were on the ground, among the crowd. Their reporting got to the world via Twitter and other social media platforms utilized by Al Jazeera, not through the mainstream media. A few days later the Al Jazeera office in Cairo was torched.

Journalists like Nicholas Kristof who writes for the New York Times, uses his Facebook page to add personal observations to what he writes for the official publication.

 “I’m more worried about the 500 million or so people of Facebook versus the 2 million of Fox.” said CNN president Jon Klein, in March 2010. The integration of social media into the news media is so deeply entwined today, that it is inseparable.



  1. ‘There’s a system and rigor to what we do, and you can laugh at it as archaic and silly in the 24-7 news cycle, but i do think it has significant value to have a pretty big organization that is a lot of times saying, ‘hey wait a minute.’ 
    —David Carr
    maudnewtonAaron Sorkin: “What did you major in?” @carr2n: “Um… Frisbee and smoking doobies.” Great interview. #longreads
    Thank you for your contributions, I hope to keep informed with you, as a friend and good source.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by José Hernández , Basil Puglisi. Basil Puglisi said: News and Social Media: The "New Media Press"?: #SMW11 #LinkedIn #MSU […]

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