Week 3. Social Media.
Today two water buffalo were accidentally let loose on Sydney streets, I didn’t witness it, I wasn’t there, I didn’t read about it in the paper the next day, I didn’t watch it on the local news but I lived it, as it happened through the power of social media.
I reacted with shock as that first Facebook post came through.
Then I kept up to date on “buffalo-gate” through twitter because why wait for a journalist to type up an article for me to skim through the first two paragraphs get the general idea then exit when I can read whats happening, as it happens in 160 characters or less.
Journalism was previously the only form of news a person could acquire. Twenty years ago when an event occurred you saw it on the nightly news bulletin, you read about it in the paper the next day. A person had to wait for news. Today that is unacceptable.
However with speed sacrifice must be made. In newspapers, news websites and other professional journalistic outlets content is clearly labeled whether it is opinion or fact, however with social media that is not usually the case, so we take in someones opiion and process it as fact. Rarely do we do further research and if we do its probably just checking a different social media network. We are quickly manufacturing the least informed generation of our time as they take small snippets of information and form big opinions on big topics.
By the way, local firefighters helped detain Newtown’s friendly visitors until handlers arrived.
Berkowitz, Dan, 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292