Social media has changed the way that we obtain our news in a “real-time” format. Twitter has become a vehicle in which news organizations have been able to produce up to the minute stories for the public to read.
On April 15th, Sarah Wojcik, police beat reporter for the Express-Times and Sara Satullo, education beat reporter for the Express visited Northampton to discuss with aspiring journalists just how social media is changing the field of journalism in a event called “Sweet Tweet, The News Biz Meets the Twitterverse.”
While some still use the newspaper as their primary source of daily information, Twitter has taken the role of providing more “current” information and according to Satullo; it’s become a major player in the business of breaking news.
“Twitter has become a place to break news,” Satullo said.
In terms of whom you should follow when it comes down to getting the news, Wojcik has an idea… follow members of the community, such as government officials, police chiefs and fire chiefs.
“Local community members will be really, really key,” she said.
The two reporters among other things discussed the importance of separating your personal Twitter account from your professional Twitter account.
“You want to give them (the people) a reason to follow both accounts,” Satullo said.
In terms of keeping your personal thoughts separate, Wojcik said that you should be careful with your thoughts.
“Your sense of humor may differentiate from others in the community,” she said.
Towards the end of the presentation, the reporters touched on a subject that most Twitter users are familiar with; the keyboard “trolls.”
They both told the audience that as a reporter if you encounter one of these “trolls”, to be smart and “calm down” before you post something that will come back to haunt you,
“You got to use your judgment when it comes to ‘trolls’,” Wojcik said.
“Step away from the computer for a minute and calm down,” Satullo said.
The future of journalism is changing right before our eyes. We have gone from relying on the daily newspaper to checking our Twitter or Facebook feeds every 5 minutes for news.
No matter what the platform, there is always one thing that a good reporter must know as summed up by Sarah Wojcik,
“Your audience still wants the news.”