Media Has Changed But Journalism Remains
The media has evolved rapidly in the last decade with the innovation of e-platforms. These platforms have simplified communications for everyone. In simple term, media implies the main means of mass communication (television, radio, newspaper, and the internet). Journalism on the other hand means the profession of writing for newspaper or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television.
Internet has changed the face of media, the platforms have evolved from analogue to internet based, but this doesn’t change journalism as a profession. In the traditional world, newspapers, corporations, governments, or other types of leading organizations simply had to give out information, and people would consume it by reading or looking at it. But this seemingly tried-and-true method is transforming as people want to have their voices heard.
Before being able to define the relationship between social media and journalism, it’s vital to explain journalism’s purpose and troubles within the media industry as a whole. Today, the open access to social media makes many users carry the title “journalist” but journalism as a profession is not defined by access to a Facebook or Twitter account with large audience.
The impact of social media on journalism cannot be overemphasized, it aids reporting and dissemination of reports, it has strengthen some of journalism major objectives: truth, transparency and giving a voice to the masses, however, today, everyone want to be heard, they want to register their voices on socio-political and economic matters in the media, thus they believe they should contribute their content and opinion which has been made easy with social media.
There is a shift from traditional media, like newspapers and magazines, to digital news sources. Journalist can be a social media user, but not all social media users can be a journalist. Journalists use social media/new media to promote their editorial material and for personal branding. As a professional tool, journalists use their social media account professionally too.
This is the difference between journalist and non-journalist. For journalist, social media is just for the additional publication. In the most case, they have their own media to publish their editorial materials. As an additional media, do not write the complete story on it. Use it to share the story only. But to attract the readers, you also need to publish it with the professional headline by creating headline or lead.
As more people have turned to Facebook and other social-media platforms as a place to gather and share ideas, many of them have assumed the status of a journalist but journalism is guided by its own ethics which majority of these users are unaware of. New media has made it possible to get information from corners of the world where previously there was very little. It gives the ‘voiceless’ a chance to speak.
It democratizes media and allows viewers, listeners and readers to participate but all these don’t make them journalists. The media is a platform and it can change from time to time, journalism is a profession, the platforms may change, but the profession remains.
Olawale Rotimi is a Writer/Journalist; he can be reached on 08105508224 or [email protected]
B.A, M.A Ilorin, DELF Paris.
Special Assistant (Media and Communication) to Rt. Hon. Razak Atunwa-1
Chairman, House Committee on Justice,
National Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria.
"You have to justify the space you occupy on earth by making an impact"