• 31st January 2012 - By Deeptaman Mukherjee

    The influence of social media networks in the lives of millions of people around the world is phenomenal. The impact is more in the past few years. Twitter has transformed the way a message is shared by users through short tweets and re-tweets. Twitter has influenced every day reporting of professional journalists and created new set of reporters who is adding value to journalism by their contribution through voluntarily or involuntarily through information updates in real-time.

    Let us find how Twitter has emulsified journalism.

    Twitter has been spotted as an easy to use platform by journalists to cover news and latest happenings up to the last second. With Twitter in hand as a reporting tool or updating tool, you no longer will wait till the break of the night, to check the newspaper or television news channel to get the information about the news that you are closely following. For many journalists, Twitter has become a very useful tool to report events almost instantaneously. This helps their followers to keep them in loop with all the updates and subsequently make them follow the main article through newspaper or television or blog that carries news, views and analysis.

    When we see the recent political unrest in countries like Egypt and Tunisia and crisis built-up through natural disasters in various parts of the globe, Twitter filled the gap when all kinds of normal modes of communication updates failed to provide latest information on the ground. When a detailed study was conducted on the campaign launched by public in Egypt to voice their opinion and thus bring pressure on the government, it revealed how dramatic was the flow of information from one location to another location on the web. Some tweets are re-tweeted and they are also connected with other blogs and social media sites like Facebook, etc.

    Ordinary public who are real witnesses are able to provide information through tweets helping people know the ground reality. The available technology in terms of inter-connectivity of various electronic gadgets and smart applications present in mobile phones has made it easy to share news through text, maps and videos. The source for information generation is broadened in the new age as compared to the availability of information to select few in earlier days. The change is vast from broadcasted news to digital networked news.

    Twitter has benefitted not only the public to get information but also journalists to excel in their profession. Journalists are able to network with other journalists to share news, views and analysis. This kind of networking will help them grow in their profession and they will be able to cover news in a better way than ever before. This kind of setup was not possible in earlier days and journalists can engage their fans as well to know their likes and dislikes. The feedback or suggestions made by ordinary public will be a certain motivating factor for journalists so that they can deliver news as per the audience’ expectations.

    It is very important to notice what kind of news is making sense and is being appreciated by readers. Twitter promptly takes the place of notebooks and mobiles used by earlier generation of journalists and offer a much better and versatile platform to generate and report news.

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