The internet and the way it is used has changed so many things about this world. One major thing changed by the continuing evolution of the internet is journalism and how we consume news.
As the internet has evolved, so too has the entire field of journalism, just like it did with the invention of the radio and the television. The journalism industry’s evolving is dependant on the evolving and creation of the technology it uses.
Have you noticed that all of your favourite news sources now have a Twitter and a Facebook account? There are a number of reasons for this. One of these reasons is simply for advertising. Channel 9 News’ Twitter feed is almost purely for letting you know what they’ll be reporting on that night. And the Facebook page Channel 10’s The Project is for sharing stories about what’s on the show that night and links to their daily poll. While social media is great for the advertising of News shows, the thing that it is most useful for is breaking news.
Steve Buttry claims that “covering breaking news today without using Twitter is journalistic malpractice”. He continues to say that the challenge of reporters has always been finding credible sources to interview when some major event occurs. Traditionally, journalists wouldn’t be on the scene of a major event until a significant amount of time had passed, and most of the witnesses would have left the scene by that time. With Twitter, a first hand record can be posted online to millions of users in seconds. So now, instead of a reporter waiting to arrive at the scene before interviewing witnesses of an event, while they are on their way they can be searching on Twitter and already have a first hand account. It is also possible to tweet back and ask for more information. All of this before even arriving at the scene!
All of this goes to show how industries, like the news and journalism industries, have adopted a trans-media approach when it comes to sharing their content. With so many opportunities and different ways to share information, thanks to the evolution of the internet, a business or brand would be silly not to use them all – Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and iPad apps, etc.
Most people have the ability to now consume in a number of different ways, and the journalism and news industries are utilising this.
The question here now is though, did Twitter change journalism, or did journalism change Twitter? Twitter has long made changes based on innovations by it’s users. The hashtag, the adding of photos etc., but have users, this time, changed Twitter, or been changed by it?