Journalists: We Still Need You

A week ago, a hacker took over the AP Twitter account and posted a message about the US president being attacked. The stock market went on a nose dive.

A few weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of people watched the Boston Marathon “live” via Twitter. Millions then followed developments regarding the horrific bombings via Twitter.

The same can be said for nearly any recent story. We’re getting news in a new way. Television news continues to warp into entertain-news to fill the 24/7 news cycle and attempt to capture the fickle interest of viewers. Meanwhile, anyone with an opinion can post a comment on Facebook or Twitter, claiming it is “fact.”

The interesting thing is that it’s easy to be led astray by the entertain-news and pseudo-factoids online.

Until it matters.

When a bombing happens. Or a fertilizer plant explosion. Or the attempted assassination of a world leader. Or the outster of a controversial CEO.

Entertain-news and pseudo-factoids can’t address the real news that affects real life. Sources that are checked and double checked before being shared. Accurate information in real time.

And that’s why I follow real journalists on Twitter.

Despite the decimation of news rooms and discouraging outlook facing J-school graduates, I want to reiterate one thing:

Journalists – we still need you.

1 Comment

  1. John says: Reply

    The problem is that "real journalists", in the rush to be the first to report something, are more and more often reporting the wrong things. For example, CNN (by way of twitter) reported several things which turned out to be incorrect during the first 24 hours after the Boston marathon bombing. They were the first to report that Boston PD had a suspect in custody. When that news hit the twitter-verse, several other news outlets took it and ran without trying to verify the information. To their credit, they mostly made statements giving credit to CNN for the bad report.

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