Monday, November 14, 2016

Think First, Publish Second

Blake Schenerlein 

Social media is the ultimate double-edged sword of today’s media world.  With so many people invested in various types of social media everyday, we’re bound to have more content than we know what to do with or to believe. Creating and monitoring content that is reliable and trusted is how journalism will continue to rise above the not-so-professional media.

Today, anybody can be a journalist. You can’t always be sure that what you’re reading on your Facebook feed is trustworthy or written as a scam. With this power comes great responsibility for all journalists that wish to keep relaying the truth to the public.

It's Healthy Competition 

When it comes to journalism, being first to get the story out is how you stay ahead, but with the popularity of media and the ease of access to a computer, this is not always the case. For example, the release of Whitney Houston’s death was by no prestigious news source, but rather, tweeted out to the world by a distant connection. Being able to put out information to the world with such ease is great competition for sources like the Associated Press or Huffington Post.

With the competition comes the drive that news outlets need to dig deeper and get stories quicker. Luckily, most big news sources are whom the public looks to for verification. As aspiring journalists we must remain the trusted source and not fall into the trap of hoaxes and lies.

It's Public

Social media is so apparent in our society we don’t realize the impact it can have on those around us. I know that I, like many of my generation, have tweeted or Facebook posted random thoughts that have come to my mind, without thinking through how quickly it can reach tons of people.

We, as a society, are constantly scrolling through our feeds, reading whatever various friends and relatives have shared. You see how people you know personally can be sucked into stories that a trained eye can see are unreliable. Keeping people honest and reminding them to fact check before posting are both good ways of keeping this constant feed of dishonest media at bay.

Reputations can be tainted quickly in cyberspace. Anyone can say anything about whatever and there are going to be some population of people that believe it. Being ethical about how we post and with whom we associate on social media can be a lifesaver. As a young person soon to enter the job market, I must always stay aware of what I’m posting and who I’m interacting with because I know that what I release on social media is very public and can always be accessed by whoever wishes to.

 Use it Right

After sorting through right and wrong, social media is a great way to stay informed and receive immediate access to your favorite news outlets.  Keeping up with trusted news sources and sharing those with your followers or friends is how we can keep trustworthy and ethical news mainstream. Whenever you're reading through your feed or publishing a new post, always keep in mind your ethics codes and how you want to be seen by the public.

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