Social networks can be useful to journalists to promote, explain and persuade the public. There are various forms of new and old media that are continuously enhancing the way journalists gather and write information. An older form of microblogging that journalists use is Twitter. Twitter was founded in 2006, and is a great way for journalists to scale messages and measure where the information comes from and where it goes.
Twitter is also beneficial because it offers tweet lists, which show a list of people in a certain geographic area. This makes the content trustworthy. Another great feature of twitter is that tweets can be geo tagged. This shows the location of where the tweet came from.
Another interesting tool that is advantageous to journalists is Talkwheel. Talkwheel is a tool that keeps conversation flowing with minimal time commitment. It allows its readers to interact across social media, websites and video sharing sites. It is a circular form of social media that mimics a dinner table by making it easy to participate and share comments unlike other forms of social media like Facebook where chronological order plays a factor. Journalists find Talkwheel to be useful because it is easy to navigate and focus on the text as opposed to the physical set up. The conversation wheel app has a left panel with topics, which are extremely beneficial for a busy journalist who wants to visualize what people are responding to. If someone does not have the time to answer a question that another person has posted, a third person is able to jump into the conversation and answer which can be great for a journalist who does not always have the time to wait for an answer while working on multiple stories and having to make deadlines.
Another fascinating tool is SocialBro. This is a great time saver and is a twitter analytic tool. It is extremely simple which is probably a reason for its early success and likeability. The main dashboard shows recent unfollowers, new followers and offers information that helps see why certain people do not follow you and vise versa. It also allows us to see who is not really active on Twitter from the list of people that one follows. SocialBro also offers a feature that gives you advice on the best time to tweet. Knowing when most of your followers are online, journalists are able to track when they will get more retweets and replies.
A third compelling tool is called Storyful. This is an IPhone app that allows one to get the most popular social media stories of the day when on the go. Storyful editors assemble the largest news from credible sources for journalists to browse for story ideas or even to stay up to date with current events that are taking place. The app also allows people to see what certain media users may be saying about trending topics.
Social media is transforming journalism. One major reason is because ordinary people can get involved. The Boston bombings is an example. Bystanders and ordinary people such as marathon runners and spectators quickly became citizen journalists while taking videos and photos of the traumatic events. Some of the most read headlines featured their shots because they were the first to witness what was occurring and were able to turn in their work sooner than professional journalists. Thousands of people take photos and videos every day that can develop into a sourceable archive for the masses.
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