11 Apr

According to Aristotle, “Change in all things is sweet.”

Yet, the world of journalism is finding it a struggle to embrace social media, much like someone on a diet struggles to not buy anything when in a candy store.

Yes, social media brings wonderful advantages, such as collaboration and real-time updates. The Occupy Wall Street movement is a fine example of this. Social media has also become a resource, acting as a quick trend tracker or source finder.

Ludtke points out that “There are times when technological change catches up with an idea.” This is now the time that journalism and social media are becoming intertwined, though it has yet to be seen if this symbiotic relationship will end up resembling commensalism or mutualism.

The sugary sweetness that social media brings to journalists may be a bit of a cavity for news organizations as a whole. Media entities are struggling to define their policies on social media use, such as the E.W. Scripps company. Additionally, companies are having to spend unforeseen costs to run cloud computing, such as building server farms and dealing with the resulting carbon footprint.

While change is a good thing, if it is as sweet as Aristotle said, let’s hope there are some journalists with dental backgrounds.

Google Trend and Google Correlate are two useful tools for journalists. They allow a wide web audience’s interest to be tracked. It’s almost like spying on everyone’s computer searches, but you can keep your peace of mind because Google gave you the go-ahead. Journalists can notice strange spikes in searches or what words are being linked together, thus gaining insight into people’s concerns, interests or perhaps even things they have noticed in the media. This allows for story developments to occur, which may have been missed opportunities before these tools came about.

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