Are journalists being phased out?

By ALEX BRYANT

The Twitter explosion has been in full force for the past four years, and, in that time, more and more users have logged on to tweet, re-tweet, trend, and just talk about whatever is on their minds. However as the software has advanced into the next decade, there has been more of a push of the website as a viable form of mass communication.

It is no sudden epiphany that Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the new media revolution is the way that news is heading.  However, now that all of these social media platforms have changed the way that every bit of news is delivered and are making, journalists must stop and think. The way that certain news trends are heading, the role of journalists is going to change drastically in a way that those in certain fields or beats are going to have to work harder than ever to make sure that they are viable news sources for their readers.

One needs to look no further than the University of Miami Athletic Department and its recent overhaul of its communications department.  A social media tidal wave has crashed upon the media relations office, which has sparked the validation of a Facebook page, and a constantly updated Twitter feed.  Just over the course of last Thursday’s game with FAMU, there were more than 30 Twitter updates to the Athletic Department feed and that was just during the game.  Every release now gets tweeted and every relevant story now gets broadcast out, making journalists seem somewhat unnecessary.

So how does a journalist stay relevant when content is coming from in-house and being broadcast to anyone who clicks the follow button moments after it is online?

The answer is unclear, but one journalistic truth has not changed. A journalist can still set themselves apart by the type of content they produce. In this changing time, someone from the Palm Beach Post can’t write the same kind of feature story as someone from The Miami Herald, or even the Cleveland Plain Dealer, because everyone now is having that story updated to them as fast as they can refresh their browsers. The idea is to produce stories that no one else has, because despite their efforts, only so much can be produced in-house with the staff and resources available.

There will never be a permanent solution to the ever changing social media landscape, but staying on top of the information flying at a journalist can make it easier to balance the old journalistic standards with new media innovations.

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