DP-Karki
DP-Karki- (Freelance Writer)

 

Introduction:

Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people. Those are the “news of the day” and that impacts society to at least some degree. The word applies to the occupation (professional or not), the methods of gathering information, and the organizing literary styles. Journalistic media include: print, television, radio, online, and, in the past, newsreels. It is a long-established profession prevalent in society in the vast majority of the world.

Social media is a term used to describe the type of media that is based on conversation and interaction between people online. Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.”  – Wikipedia

The great wave of web innovation since Google in 1998 has been in social media. Social media is about networking and communicating through text, video, blogs, pictures, status updates on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or micro blogs such as Twitter.

Background:

The development of the gathering and transmitting of news spans with the growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis.

Before the printing press was invented, word of mouth was the primary source of news. Returning merchantssailors and travelers brought news back to the mainland, and this was then picked up by pedlars and travelling players and spread from town to town. This transmission of news was highly unreliable, and died out with the invention of the printing press. Newspapers and to a lesser extent magazines) have always been the primary medium of journalism since the 18th century, radio and television in the 20th century, and the Internet in the 21st century.

The earliest forms of the Internet, such as CompuServe, were developed in the 1960s. Primitive forms of email were also developed during same  time. By the 1970s, networking technology had improved, and 1979’s UseNet allowed users to communicate through a virtual newsletter.

By the 1980s, home computers were becoming more common and social media was becoming more sophisticated. Internet relay chats, were first used in 1988 and continued to be popular well into the 1990’s.

The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, creating a social media sensation that’s still popular today.

After the invention of blogging, social media began to explode in popularity. Sites like MySpace and LinkedIn gained prominence in the early 2000’s, and sites like Photo bucket and Flickr facilitated online photo sharing. YouTube came out in 2005, creating an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other across great distances.

By 2006, Facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. These sites remain some of the most popular social networks on the Internet. Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Foursquare and Pinterest began popping up to fill specific social networking niches.

Today, there is a tremendous variety of social networking sites, and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication. We can only speculate about what the future of social networking may look in the next decade or even 100 years from now, but it seems clear that it will exist in some form for as long as humans are alive.

The impact of social media on journalism

What makes social media of particular interest to journalism is how it has become influential as a communication and news-breaking tool. In June 2009, the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance on the service because it was being used by protestors angered by the results of Iran’s disputed presidential election.  In July 2009, a Twitter user in Jakarta beat most major news companies by tweeting about the Bali bombings.  More recently, Google and Microsoft began integrating Twitter messages into their respective search engines, a new feature described as real-time search.

The rise of social media over the last ten years has seen a significant influence on the way in which news is reported and digested by all parties within journalism, with traditional journalists taking on a developed role utilizing social media as both a way to deliver and to promote their work.

There is a ground shift happening in the media industry, not just in news, because of the widening reach of social media networks. Mass media is passé. Today, it is all about personal media.

In the old days, a reporter was given a lead or went out to find a story. Today, many stories are received third hand (sometimes even fourth or fifth hand) through Facebook posts or Tweets or Digg so that by the time a story is assigned to the reporter, the story in some form or another is already out there in the social media universe. The reporter now has to take that into consideration and find some angle to the story that is not yet being talked about.

It is now a necessity to give the audience bits of information at a time, as soon as the information is available.  No media outlet can afford to wait. Why?

As to the notion of scoops and breaking news, a lot of tips or leads these days are from the web or what’s “trending” in social networks like Twitter, Facebook or its popularity rating on Digg or based on search volume patterns in search engines like Google or Bing. This is radically changing the industry’s concept of what a scoop or breaking news is.

Journalists are forced to accelerate the traditional journalistic process because people now want real time information. People want the information as soon as the journalist or the media outlet receives it. So to sit on a story until it is complete is to risk being out-scooped by competitors or even worse to be dubbed slow by the public. It is now a necessity to give the audience bits of information at a time, as soon as the information is available.  No media outlet can afford to wait. Why? Traditionally, media outlets compete to out-scoop each other but today if they hold on to a story too long, they run the risk of being out-scooped by amateurs such as bloggers, citizen journalists and twitterers.

While the current technological landscape shows tremendous promise and present numerous opportunities for news and its practitioners, there are also potential pitfalls. While social media networks churn out viable leads, there are also a lot of hearsays going on and even hoaxes.

In 2011 April ,9 the big media of Nepal Kantipur first reported the news about ‘Anuja Baniya found 9.1 million dollar and one necklace of Diamond on the public bus and she returned.’ Later this  news was published by several other media. But Actually that news was totally fake and Kantipur apologizes for that news.

On 2016, June 7, the dead news about the  father of nepali music industry  Ammar Gurung reported by EKantipur online . But Actually he was alive 2 hours after the delivery of news. The Ekantipur remove that news after some time.

Not only Nepalese media the international news media also does the same types of mistakes frequently.  In October 2008 the citizen journalist, a CNN reported that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had been rushed to the hospital after a severe heart attack citing an anonymous source. The story turned out to be false. CNN removed the story from the site and referred to it as fraudulent. That false story impacted the financial markets.

In late April 2010, reports surfaced on the internet that pop star Lady Gaga amputated one of her legs just below the knee in the name of fashion. The story was rapidly tweeted and retweeted that eventually news media outlets took notice of the rumour. Upon verification from Lady Gaga’s record label however that the story was untrue, the story was quickly discredited.

Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as web 2.0 applications like blogs and Google have changed the news industry and the journalism practice inside out. They present awesome possibilities and at the same time a high risk for errors. The challenges social media have thrown to news managements and journalists have been like nothing seen before. Barriers to entry have been lowered since anyone with a PC, iPhone or Blackberry can be their own publisher. They can blog, tweet or facebook it- anytime, anywhere.

The benefit of immediacy can give rise to some serious ethical issues. The desire to publish brand new information and the ease of which it can be altered may cause information to be made accessible before it is verified. This undermines the journalistic principle of accuracy and can lead to misinformation.

 Changing Media Consumption

As already mentioned, the consumption of news today is not the same as pre-satellite news when people waited for their morning papers or sat down at an appointed time for the evening television or radio news. More and more readers, viewers and listeners are going online for their news. Television, newspapers and radio are still here but there is a growing competition.

Meantime in the Local level election, 2017 of our country the use of social media was uprising. The most user of social media is the Bibeksheel Party and the Sajha Party.

By the reports of Bibeksheel Party it invest the two lakhs money only for promoting their ideology and appeal for the vote. The government change its decision by the impact of social media. The government decide that the day for President Bidhya Devi Bhandari went for visits  to India and the day of returning . But the people share their ideas against that decision of the government and government back by that decision and the public holiday was cut off.

Most of the political leaders share their ideas, decision and their activities via social media. From there media also took the information and make the news and share to the public streaming thorough social media.  The election commission also informs, educate and share the decision about election from social media.

The presidential election of united state of America the campaign of election was boosted by social media networks.

The public are also habituating on social media. The users of radio, television and the newspapers are decreasing as well as the comparison of online news.

 Pros and cons of online Journalism:

 Online journalism has both advantages and limitations. This is due to the many characteristics and issues specific to the medium.

One of the most significant advantages of online journalism is its immediacy. Prior to the development of online journalism radio was the most immediate medium, with news bulletins every thirty minutes or every hour. However the online environment allows for much greater immediacy. Journalists in this medium have the unique ability to publish news events as they happen. They can then update the stories to include subsequent information easily and speedily at any time of the day or night. As soon as the information is uploaded to the web, it is available around the globe.

Online journalism relate to other medium-specific characteristics. The incorporation of multimedia elements makes news websites more informative and entertaining. Hyperlinks, blogs and discussion forums allow web-users a more hands on experience, allowing them to be participants in the news process (Millison, 2004).

The archiving ability of news websites is also a great advantage as it provides an extensive research resource to the public.

Online journalism is that the medium is reflecting changes in society as well as technology. About one hundred million people access the world wide web and the number is ever increasing (De Wolk, 2001: 175).

As online information can be accessed at any time it is a convenient way for people to stay up-to-date on local, national and world news.

Despite the numerous advantages of online journalism, there are also limitations.

The benefit of immediacy can give rise to some serious ethical issues. The desire to publish brand new information and the ease of which it can be altered may cause information to be made accessible before it is verified. This undermines the journalistic principle of accuracy and can lead to misinformation.

Another potential problem is the dilemma of breaking a news story immediately on the internet and therefore alerting rival news outlets, or waiting to break the news in another medium and have an exclusive story (De Wolk, 2001).

Other limitations are more general. The immense size of cyberspace and the extent of information available may intimidate audiences and cause information overload (Hall, 2001).

Furthermore, it may be difficult for audiences to distinguish between credible news websites and other non-official news websites. This can lead to confusion and misinformation. There are also limitations in online journalism regarding the issues of surveillance, censorship and privacy.

Conclusion:

We are in the middle of some kind of industrial revolution in the media. At the centre of this revolution is the rise of social media and the emerging Tablet PC explosion bringing with them new consumer demands and new ways of news gathering and news distribution. Naturally, newsrooms are metamorphosing and journalists are transitioning in response to the social, cultural and technological changes happening.

 

The journalist on the online journalism works on the pressures with the need of multi-skilling, ability to produce rapidly, having less capacity to reflect, having less time to write beautifully and possibly a shorter period to verify facts.

Although, the information or news that are transmitted from online or the social media it must be transparent, accountable and broader range of voices.

(This article was Published in the house-journal ‘Swyat Shardul’ of Madan Bhandari Memorial College.)

 

 

References:

  1. I. Basen, “The Future of News in the Age of Social Media, CBC News 16 October 2009 http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/06/17/f-basen-news-20.html.
  2. “2009, the year of Twitter and Facebook”, 15 December 2009 4. BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmcumeds/515/51504.html.
  3. J. Fallows, “How to Save the News”, The Atlantic, June 2010 9 p.45.
  4. R. O’Connor, “Twitter Journalism”, Huffingtonpost.com, 20 January 2009
  5. https://www.socialmedia/impactonjournalim//66:393://2016:/11/:06

 

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