Journalism In The Age Of Social Media

Social media

MUMBAI: The recent shutdown of Mumbai Mirror in subsequent cities is not something unusual or new. Before Mumbai Mirror, it was DNA which shut their print operations after being in the industry for 14 years. In their statement, they clearly mentioned that they now will be focusing on ‘its online brand, which has grown manifold in the digital space.’ Even Hindustan Times, changed their newspaper format. So it may not be new to see a few more newspapers biting the dust and shutting down their operations.   

Social Media in the recent years has completely changed the course of journalism. There are various news-specific applications which you can browse & read while on the go. Not only the applications, but also social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook & Instagram, on which news spreads like fire, are also a quick on-the-go reads. Rumours are quick to spread on such platforms leading to misinformation. The competition is tough online and news portals want to be ahead of each other owing to cut throat competition. This may lead to spread of wrong information and adversely affect the society. Even a small incident can be blown out of proportion. It doesn’t even take a second for a news to go viral and reach thousands of people. 

In today’s time, a journalist needs to be active on social media to catch up with the latest news or authenticate the news which he or she is posting. Even a small news, if missed out, can prove disastrous for the news agency. The definition of breaking news is rapidly changing. Whatever is trending on top on social media is considered as a breaking news. News industry has also seen an upsurge of bloggers, who create content within a few hours. News through Radio is also a news of the past. News channels also pick up news from what is trending at number one position on social media. Once a particular news is out in the open and if someone has missed it, then other angles of the story are filtered out which are not yet out in the public domain. Such news then goes from a lot of filters and its authenticity becomes questionable. 

Social media has both pros & cons but it totally depends on us, as an individual, on how much to trust such news. We need to have patience and wait for the right source of information to provide us with the latest updates. Not just consuming the news but while passing the news or uploading it on social media, one should carefully check the facts and figures. Future journalists need to adapt to new technologies, cater to audiences & their preferences and work accordingly. Not every moment becomes a news which is why one needs to analyse all angles and then break the news. Being active on social media has a lot of advantages and helps one become aware in true sense. 

Whenever you come across any news on social media, make sure to fact-check its authenticity and not just repost it on other platforms. These little things will benefit the society as a whole and prevent the spread of fake news and rumours.        

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