“How to Win the Internet” Reflection

Liz Heron gave excellent insight during her TEDx Talk as to how news is changing due to social media.

Heron’s main points were that the internet news cycle is now participatory, non-linear and has unpredictable voices, whereas it used to be more one-way communication, linear and defined by gatekeepers.

1. Participatory

The internet has allowed news to change from one-to-many to participatory. Before the internet, the news mostly came from one source who then broke the news to the public. Now, the news can come from almost anywhere and from anyone.

2. Non-linear

The old news cycle was extremely linear and controlled by gatekeepers. Due to the increasing use of the internet, the news is no longer linear, but instead involves more two-way communication. The audience now has more say and involvement with the news.

3. Unpredictable Voices

News no longer comes from one central source. Because of the availability of the internet and the wide participation, almost anyone can break news. Journalists are no longer the only ones with access to news stories. Average people from all over the world have the ability to tweet, post or share the news just as easily as journalists do.

Heron said the old news cycle was like an arch. Reporters heard the news, news outlets broke the news, the news would reach peak interest, and then it would eventually fade away. However, now, with the help of the internet, the news cycle is more like a never-ending cycle that everyone participates in.

 

Journalists can use social media to their benefit. Through social media, journalists can gather story ideas, opinions and insights, promote their work, report breaking news, and crowdsource.

A major downside the use of social media in newsgathering raises is from the credibility aspect. The internet if full of hoaxes and faulty information, so it is important for a journalist to fact-check their work and be sure of the credibility of their sources.

Although sometimes social media can be tricky, it really is an amazing technological advance in the journalism world. The internet allows the audience to participate and communicate more openly, which is really quite amazing.

 

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