Published on June 20th, 2014 | by Samantha Levine0
Journalism in our Social Media Society
I was recently asked, “At its core, has the job of a journalist in today’s society changed?”
The concept of this question took me at first by surprise, because as a journalist my goal is always to find out the truth, so my original answer was, yes. Asking questions, and interviewing people has always come as a second nature in wanting to stay completely informed. However, after considering the question a bit more I would say that the line of what does and does not constitute journalism does tend to get a bit more blurred.
When it comes down to actual news and current events, journalists have indeed continued to maintain proper structure, with providing facts and story-telling. If we’re looking at advertising and social media, clearly we are looking at a completely different style of journalism. We see less content, and rely more on the use of pictures and videos to send a message. Granted, certain social media platforms do have a character limit, but is it fair to still qualify it as journalism?
While print publication continues to use its structured guidelines, digital stories have a tendency to be more image driven with shorter amounts of content, and use more abbreviations and slang in its copy. So is a writer for a site like BuzzFeed considered to be a journalist?
Now while I love the appeal of BuzzFeed, and think it has an entertaining nature, I do find it quite difficult to take seriousness in their actual articles when next to their headline is a quiz asking me of what Disney movie heroine I am.
Truthfully, I don’t think the core of a journalist’s job will ever actually change, there is a never-ending list of stories out there waiting to be told, and a dedicated journalist isn’t going to rest until he/she has delivered them to the public. However, it is safe to argue that the style and delivery of those stories has.