Social Media, a New Challenge for News

By: LaToya Pickett

“From CBS News Headquarters in New York. This is the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”

From the days of Murrow, Cronkite and Hewitt, journalism has transformed to social media to relay information . Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube  serves as a news beacon to many.

“Just about every break I get, probably every 15 minutes, I check Instagram or Twitter to see what’s happening.”

Junior Allen McReynolds says how much often he checks social media.

According to Convince and Convert, 22 percent or 12 million Americans use social media multiple times a day.

“I had this type writer since ’68. I typed my college term papers on it and used it to cover my first stories.”

Journalist turned professor, James Stephens occupies his old typewriter as he reflects over journalism before social media.

“Copy was written on typewriters and then distributed to the copy desk. Reporters in the field files their stories one by Western Union, telegrams, or teletype machines. The process was a lot slower and a lot measured.”

Before coming to TSU, Stephens worked for various publications such as Jet magazine.

“Cause I’m always on my phone. So I’m always on Twitter and Instagram. I’m really busy, so I barely watch TV. When I’m in the car, I don’t listen to radio, I always listen to music on my phone,” says junior Brittany Betts as she holds her iPhone, which has Instagram on the screen.

Social Media comes as breaking news for some, such as senior Ashli Beverly. Beverly first saw news about the government shutdown on Twitter before getting confirmation from her Washington Post App.

“First we were talking about it. I actually had saw about it on twitter, then I thought it was a joke. So i actually went to my Washington Post App, that I have on my phone.I actually read about it and got all the details and actually realized it was for real.

“There are so many fewer stories that deals with lets say investigate reporting for one, hard news, or interpretive news stories. And there is so many more stories about personalities.”

Though social media has become popular, Stephens question the quality.

“People don’t know what the issues are and how that affects them. It erodes the very fabric civic and civil of society.”

Stephen does criticized social media but see the potential.

“Twitter, Instagram, Goggle for any student now in their 20s I would embrace the technology. But also get back to more fundamental purposes of journalism.”

Stephens sees social media making better journalists.

“I have a substantial career. I wish that I were in my 20s. The tools you all have, it makes the process of not only reporting but also the dissemination of what you do so much easier.”


About tsunews1

Student Journalists at Tennessee State University in the Department of Communications from Nashville, TN.
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