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24-Hour News Cycle Social Medias Role In News Production, Publication And Promotion

Adam Popescu S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University Summer 2011

21st Century Journalism In 2011 technology has in many ways become a generational battleground for completely different concepts of how to communicate and deal with information. Katrin Beinhold, Generation FB, The New York Times1

The modern news machine has undergone more transformation in the last ten years than optimums-prime in the Transformers film series. The past decade has seen the Internet turn the news industry on its head, pushing the traditional media structure to the brink of economic extinction. From publishing to podcasting, the way content is created, and the way we consume information has changed. Once the conversation was one-sided. No longer. The biggest conversations about the issues we live through are being dissected to death online, and its affect on the media has been like Sputniks landing. Depending on what side of the media map you work on, your views about the industrys state, and its future, are reflected in your answer. One of the longest debated questions remains: is there a disconnect between print and online media, and what does their intertwined future hold for the newspaper industry? From major print news organization, to community news outlets and online bloggers, views run a politicizing gamut. The Los Angeles Times resident online political blogger Andrew Malcolm says Yes definitely. But it is fading as print people either leave or recognize the inevitability of change. David Cohn, the founder and director of community reporting site disagrees.

3 They literally are two different mediums, citing prints tactile advantages, onlines interactive advantages. Different types of journalism are done in each and we need to recognize that and learn when to use one and then other. Then theres blogger Justin Germinos radical, almost reactionary view. He wants to do away with print altogether. Print media is antiquated, by the time you have to read a physical paper, it is already yesterdays news. The man referred to on Twitter as the widely popular @dragonblogger says there should be no printed paper in the future and all articles/news be delivered real time via tablet pcs or smart phones. Questions like these can be debated endlessly, each participant brining their own relevant work-life experience. In todays world, that conversation can continue, and its up to news media to direct and lead dialogue. Social media, blogging, and the publishing power of the Internet have endowed the masses with freedom of choice and voice like never before. Speaking with keyboards: posting and blogging this collective voice is now once again assuming the moniker of the me media generation2, sharing, speaking and publishing at a pace never before seen, creating an environment similar to the time before mass medias emergence. Today, blogging and social media are both key tools in the creation, curation and promotion of content. After years of being scoffed at for a litany of reasons, these tools are only now cementing as valuable mainstays in the modern newsroom, in a reflection of their relevance to the current consciousness and marketplace of ideas. With the rising cost of printing, ink and paper, as well as real estate and overhead, some news outlets, like Gawker Media, Salon Media, and Voices of San Diego, are efficient and profitable enough to operate in the black through 100 percent digital publication and distribution. Despite the above success stories, many groups are trepid about letting go and stepping into the deep end of the pool. The issue of pay walls has divided the industry for years. With so much free content out there, many question the sustainability of relying on subscriptions. Average individual is not going to pay. Theres too many other sources. Its the nail in the coffin for organizations that go that path. It just will not be successful, period, says Robert Caruso, founder & CEO of the Portland, Oregon based social media deal service
2 on/

4 start-up Fondalo, Inc. Bottom line is if you cant provide value that supports a revenue model that keeps your audience engaged and accessible to your content, youre just not going to exist. Its a hard question to answer, says Los Angeles magazines Senior Online Producer Israel Lemus. People need to get paid for the content, right, but you cant force people to pay for the content they get for free. Producers like Lemus are often for it. People in advertising and promotion, like Caruso, whose product is a deal based Web site that relies on frequent Internet traffic, is not as into a turnstile visitor approach. The question remains: how to provide content value for both producer and consumer. With increasing technologies and platforms, content value has gone up. If content is the car that we travel in, this new culture of online distribution and social media networks are the lubricant that powers it. On a more macro-note, an outlying trigger of this current news environment is the emergence of Craig Newmarks hugely successful website, Craigslist. The widely popular site allows for the free the advertisement of limitless, local classifieds. New York Magazine3, Business Insider4, the Pew American Life Project5, and a host of other reputable journalism organizations, all wrote hit pieces against it, going as far to call if killing news and contributing to sharp profit declines. Once newspapers relied on classified advertisements for editorial budgets. No longer. Craigslist has assumed that role. In a July 9, 2011 interview on social media and journalism with The Economist,6 Mr. Newmark tipped his hat to the news industry, and called blogs as important as the John Locke, Thomas Pain, and Benjamin Franklin pamphlets circulating the beer halls and taverns of the late 1700s. In conversation with people like Craig Newmark (in this case through self-initiated cold introductions on social media, others through varied methods and professional interaction), this paper examines the tethered relationship between social media and journalism, focusing on social medias role in producing, publishing and consuming news, with analysis and commentary garnered through more than 30 interviews with working journalists, web producers and web-focused media.

3 4 5 6 Special Report The News Industry, July 9, 2011, The Economist

How We Got Here, What Now, and a Little About Me @adampopescu: @journchat Adam Popescu multimedia #journo, collage artist, visual, verbal story-teller #journchat7

Early on in Web 1.08, technophiles embraced the power of the Internet, but the news intelligentsia largely bucked it. A common early feeling was that somehow, online was not as realnot as important as print, and in the end, readers would agree anyway. Fast forward and the coolest thing since the television is the Internet. With near limitless multidimensional connection and commerce capability, this technological advent has created and shaped a new digital world where news is now available on smart phones, tablets and mobile devices. In my personal experience in a half dozen newsrooms, I feel a disconnect does exist. In my interviews, it has come up as a common feeling among journalists. So often, it has become something we seem to all make fun of and treat lightly. Even though its not a light issue. Lilliam Rivera, editorial director at local Los Angeles lifestyle blog Mondette, and former online editor-in-chief of Angeleno Magazine, says print media is still trying to play catch up and blaming the internet for killing them. Readers will still want to read a magazine but we also want to view it online or be able to carry it with them without the cumbersome nature of print, Rivera said in an interview. Unencumbered by print, we are now at an age where, as Juxtapoz magazine writer Tommy Tung puts it, the online editions of many publications post stories that wouldnt ordinarily make it into their print edition.
7 8!/adampopescu/status/100718482794098688 Web 1.0, the period between 1993 and the release of the World Wide Web to the public, and the bubble burst of 2001.

That means content tailored to a dynamic, online audience. On a micro side, each mobile platform would get its own digital strategy and code. And social media would be the tool to promote and amplify that content. The Internet can allow us to build relationships with readers because we can write short pieces that would never make it in print, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Tom Hallman Jr. wrote in the February 2011 issue of Quill, a journalism magazine published by the Society of Professional Journalists. From blogging to articles to newsletters, audiogood content opens up the web to many possibilities. Like civil rights, the usage, potential and importance of online tools in the bolstering of journalism, as well as proliferation of content, has grown from more pronounced days of static, drab major news organization home pages to today where pages are updated at the first sign of smoke. Not every news organization is so tech savvy. Not every journalist a technophile. Unfortunately for journalists facing newsrooms with deficits, the best medicine can be hard work to build the best product you can within the limits of your medium/environment. One things for sure: to stay relevant, you have to at least try to keep up, says the Santa Monica Daily Mirror Editor-In-Chief Brenton Garen, whom I worked with for a year on the Beverly Hills Courier. Its important because everyone else is already doing it. Youve got to keep up with them, Garen told me in his old office at the Courier in Beverly Hills. Leaning back in his chair, in a drab office with his trusty coffee mug, as I rattled off questions and him answers, he told me he got 95 percent of his news from online sources, updates his Twitter and Facebook one to two times a day and checks Google analytics for the website as often. My title is director of video and internet, encompassing writing stories, online eblasting, twittering, facebooking. Forty to 45 hours a week. Weekends and at home [working]. Yes, he revealed. Trends and fads come and go. Who know what will be around in five years? At the Courier, we were responsible for the content management of the website: updating, posting new stories, building content, promoting, tweeting. Basically everything. One problem we continually had was with the functionality and interface of the content management system, which impeded the editorial integration of the digital

7 product. There needs to be a better strategy in bridging the gap between how media uses their traditional means and digital means, Jay Adams, new media producer and managing editor of says. The fellow S.I. Newhouse alum, and veteran print news journalist, says media has to do a better job of integrating. Adams knows about the difficulty of connecting a newsroom. He spent years writing for papers in the Northeast before coming to Syracuse and diving into online. Now he directs all things digital for the NFLs Atlanta Falcons. Newspapers and other media outlets are largely using online media as a replacement for the product theyre able to make money off of. One form should enhance the other instead of being a substitute, Adams said. It really all comes down to fear. Fear that the product will not be profitable. When that fear is mixed in the brains of managers and executives, shaky profit margins, ad revenue, design, creation and promotion strategy all become real fears. Its taken years for the newspaper industry to get here, and they still have a lot of hurdles to continue to leap towards as 2012 fast approaches. At this point, the relationship between social media and journalism has grown from MySpace infancy to rowdy Facebook and Twitter9 adolescent to Google+10 pre-teen. That means were poised for real growth in this periodthis is the time we put on muscle and grow up. After a decade of 00 experimentation, and a slew of successes and failures, just how does journalism, bastion of old-world media think with print, radio and television, fit into this new landscape? I reject anybody who thinks they know what trends are going on, a poised Sydne Summer told me in her office at E! Online in Los Angeles in summer of 2010. The opinions of journalists on journalism is as varied as journalists themselves. Summer, who has since founded and works as the editor-in-chief of Think Thru Fashion, uses Facebook, Twitter and blogs extensively to promote her product, in this case fashion. Her fashion sense is her brand product. By associating with the right tastemakers and players in the world of online, Summer has built a large following through social media sites, and that awareness on her part has raised her social networking score and reputation on ranking sites like and All this online buzz can
9 10

Twitter Google+

8 easily be scoffed atbut the young woman is under 30, owns her own business, and without peering into her books, seems to be running a fiscally successful venture. Sound enough that she walked away from a job at E! (a job with health benefits I might add). People double Summers age are more often in positions of power. When I met with her, I met her then boss, E! Online Special Projects Director Glenn Gaslin. It used to be, get a computer, use it, its a pain in the ass, move on. Now with apps, you dont have to know how to use is. Its so easy, Gaslin told me in his small office in the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles. The ease of getting material to people is great, Gaslin said. Today journalists and major news organizations harness social networks to tell compelling stories with the potential to reach (if managed properly) an ever-expanding online audience. My life sounds so much more glamorous on Twitter, Summer admitted during our interview in the atrium of the 5900 Wilshire building the network shared with Variety Magazine. In my own experience, I recently had the chance to handle website management, publishing and promotion via Twitter for the public radio show Marketplace from American Public Media. Reaching more than 7 million listeners a week through podcasts, on-air radio affiliates and web traffic, promotion is key to content distribution. I spent the end of July to the end of August of this year working as the temporary overnight web producer, building on average 10-12 stories a night using the Itasca content management system, publishing multiple podcasts, and tweeting @mktplaceradio. Through well-timed tweets, curation, and engagement with the right social media accounts to fit the Marketplace, business-focused audience, I contributed to the addition of more than 800 followers, tweeting an estimated 60 percent of the twitter feed. Marketplace has four shows: the Marketplace Tech Report (which airs out of Minneapolis), the Marketplace Morning Report (the AM show where I worked for a month as a web producer on the overnight shift from 1 am until 10 am), Marketplace (called the PM show) and Marketplace Money. If thats not enough under one roof, the very popular Dinner Party Download also shares offices and reporters. Production is intense and competition level is high. The result is some of the best radio journalism out there. APM first hired me as a contract researcher for the PM show. I ended up getting asked back to do some web work, and then got a chance to run the planning calendar and then

9 worked as a web producer on the AM show, managing the brands social media and web presence. Some of the original reporting Ive done for Marketplace includes published features on global oil production, U.S. education trends, governmental aid, Middle East private remittances, and the beer market and consumer culture.

From Print To Online

I dont think the future will be hard for story tellers. Were gonna figure this out. Rick Meyer, Pulitzer Prize nominated print editor for the Los Angeles Times, former Los Angeles magazine editor11

Online news continues to lag sorely behind print in revenues, but some outlets are turning a profit, such as the Huffington Post, which sold to AOL in February for $315 million. In 1995, Salon media was founded by Richard Gingras. An early pioneer in online news, despite attracting a millions of unique visitors, the company has struggled for years to break even. The problem in the online journalism model, even at an organization with as much success as Salon, is being able to attract online advertising in order to support original reporting. In June of this year, Gingras left Salon for a position with Google as global head of news products. In this paper, I argue that with the right tools: synthesis of content and online direction, allwith emphasis on the larger, older traditional media imprintsthere is potential for sustainable business. I believe that reasoning is evidenced by mainstream medias recent heavy embrace and use of social media as a tool to enhance the branding of all forms of media, from newspapers and public radio, to network television shows and films. At this time, there

Rick Meyer, via August 2010 phone interview

10 are no data sets to support this, but this paper does support those assertions through working-journalist responses. Its people like the Los Angeles Times resident political blogger, Andrew Malcolm, a man who works 70-hour weeks well past the age of 70. Older people have gotten it for a long time. i.e. me, he wrote to me in an email, explaining that after a Times editor told him to study and design a political blog, hes embraced social media as a tool to amplify his writing. On Twitter, he has more than 71,000 followers, yet somehow Malcolm finds time to reply to the hundreds of messages his readers send. Hes been called the top blogger on Twitter by the Technorati blog, and is lauded on many social media journalism sites. But, is this all about ego stroking, or is social media here for something more? Malcolm says its about the interaction. Let your readers see inside your mind and how you processed whatever you are writing, Malcolm told me. When I asked him if he trusted social media sites like Facebook and Twitter he said as sources of tips only. The issue of rumors and how to deal with them is a pervasive issue on sites like Twitter where information is published and posted so quickly. For those with less scrupulous morals, the potential for trouble is great. Is something credible because the online world say its so, before mainstream media reports it: its like a parallel universe with its own rules, protocol and standards. Its wonderful if you dont take it too seriously. In a move to find Twitters best rumor spreaders, researchers at MITs Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems are working right now on a search engine called Trumor12, which identifies users who are likely well positioned to spread information throughout the viral network. The goal is to use that information to predict what posts will be widely popular, going whats called viral. In a June 6, 2011 Wall Street Journal interview during the All Things Digital (of D9) conference of the gang of four,13 Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter, who is not a member of the gang, said Twitter is on the verge of significant growth. Were a remarkably successful business. Over 80 percent of all the advertisers who have advertised on Twitter come back and renew and advertise again on Twitter, Costolo told
12 13 Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google; Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix; Marc Andreessen, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Regina Dugan, director DARPA

11 the Journal.14 The Journal quoted a June, 2011 Pew study that said 13 percent of online Americans use Twitter. Is that right, the papers Walt Mossberg asked Costolo. We think its a higher number than that. Weve grown our mobile usage more than 150 percent since the beginning of the year.

Wheres Our Bailout?

The most active and organized users of social networks have daily routines for grooming their digital identities. Generally, these routines rely on automation and syndication. Stephanie Rosenbloom, Digitally Fatigued, The New York Times

Theres a lot of good content out there. So why cant the online business seem to figure out how to turn a profit doing that good, old fashioned journalism? Why dont the advertising dollars pour in? Are they right over the bend, just out of sight or are they farther away? This is the question that plagues the industry. Unlike a billboards value, where we cannot track how many people see it, or who calls or buys the product, in the online world of metrics, we can see everything. We can see where the click came from, for how long it was here, what it viewed, what it clicked to, and how long it took to leave, the bounce rate. Total clicks are one thing, but they are misleading. The big number in metrics is total unique-visitors, meaning individual computer visits. The integration problem between print and online sides of the newsroom is traced in large part by numbers. Management executives want to see tangible results: clicks, which are often associated with money. In revolt to the one size fits all analysis, some new media journalists like Marketplace Associate Producer Angela Kim @angelaishere tweeted: Metrics cant be all things to

12 all people.15 At #PubCampWest,16 the Southern California Public Radio sponsored journalism event, groups of journalists discussed these very issues, and others facing the industry. One was metrics. Host Ian Hill of KQED public radio in San Francisco, spoke about universal means of success in online content. After the workshop, the group, which included former Los Angeles Business Journal reporter Max Zimbert (my cub reporter colleague from our high school paper Highlights), KPCCs Kim Bui, USCs Annenberg School Professor Robert Hernandez and others decided there is no number value is attributed to the metric success equation. Every project, site and brand is different we concluded. With one in every four-and-a-half minutes spent on the web on social networking sites or blogs17, I believe good content creation attracts viewers, readers, listeners, customers and consumers. I think its a built-in process. I think ads will follow as technology becomes more dynamic. With the right social media manager at the helm, I think a media outlet with a strong following in their natural distribution format (print, radio, etc.) can have that audience amplified through the coupling of that traditional distribution and social media. Building on established old-media product branding and the old audience, there is potential to add a new audience in whatever new media online circle, or network the company decides it wants to set up camp in (such as Twitter, Storify, etc.) Like watering a garden, with enough careful creation and curation, and the right amplification, audience size and the online true reach of news outlets big or small can be amplified to milestone levels through this miracle grow. What that means is institutions like the newspaper, once limited to print, can now publish online, share links to published stories via social media sites, mobile web applications, tablets and podcasts, all new platforms to hit readers, or eyeballs, in addition to print. If the last decade was so bounteous and excessive in terms of innovation and news proliferation and aggregation, excitement brews over what the next might bring. And with technology doubling every 18-24 months, a lot of innovation, like paper computers18, which are actually made of a very fine plastic that is extremely flexible and resilient. Its taken years to get here, and we have a long way to go. Major news groups have only

@angelaishere August 21, 2011 at #PubCampWest, the Southern California Public Radio sponsored digital journalism conference. 16 17 For the Plugged-In, Too Many Choices, August 10, 2011, The New York Times 18

13 begun to wake up and embrace the ability to amplify their news product branding, steer the conversation and post and promote links to generated content. This past year the world witnessed the power of Twitter and Facebook in the Arab Spring. In many ways the daily barrage of social media integrated content in CNN and other major news Television feeds, legitimized the venue as a tool to share and shape meaningful thought and direct mass change. Social media has created a world where news is no longer just gathered by reporters. Today news comes from cell phone cameras, twitvids and tweets as much from the keystrokes of the people we once considered journalists. The lines are beginning to blur, and many are not in agreement. Bloggers offer opinions and personal insight, journalists just report on the news. This is a distinction! If you want just the facts then you would read a journalist news article, if you want a bloggers slant then you read the blog post on the same news article. Bloggers can be journalists and write journalism like articles, but they are not the same thing, says the Times Andrew Malcolm. Before I interviewed him, I expected him to say bloggers arent the same as journalists, not realizing his pride in calling himself a specific political blogger. His response made me have to re-gage my expectations for this question. Wendy Sullivan, who calls herself @rightgirl on Twitter is a web copywriter and journalist. When I asked her if the two groups are mutually exclusive, she said journalists and bloggers are molding together. Not anymore. In Canada, some of the most popular news sites are blogs. Straight journalists expand on their own articles on blogs for the National Post (on the right) and Toronto Star (on the left), she explained. Bloggers giving the news away for free is as bad for journalists as the Internet giving porn away for free was for Playboy. Malcolm himself is an example of a journalist turned bloggerwhich after careful relation, and based on my interviews, Ive come to believe that the two can be as far apart as they are close together. They run the gamut. In his case he makes it work. A deeper question is what of the public content makers? Skilled and not so skilled photogs, wordsmiths and designers, some with agendas, some in it for their career and the money, some in it for kicks, some to get famous, some for more nefarious reasons. Viewpoints aside, what of those that are part of the story? What is the ethics and functionality of their content integration?

14 In todays world of news, a major developing trend moving into its second act is that of people part of the story, now contributing to the story, sometimes as it happens in real time. This introduces the far-reaching question: whether the source of material is a story into and of itself. Does the creator matter? Or is the creation the only thing we should judge? In the end, what matters is not whether or not particular people qualify as journalists but whether the work they produce is thorough, accurate, fair and transparent enough to qualify as journalism,19 Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor said in a 17 page news industry special in the July 17, 2011 issue of The Economist. Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at the journalism organization Publish2 agrees with Gillmore that the importance is not the creator, but the product created. Thats what matters, he says. A blog is just another communication medium. To me, the circa 2005 question is blogging journalism is analogous to asking is radio journalism. The answer? Sure, when its journalism. Sometimes its just noise. The blurring of lines between audience and content provider marks the crux of this new world, where the audience can easily create and share content, bypassing traditional media organizations and creating independent broadcast networks on Twitter, Facebook and other specialty sites like Quora20 and Storify.21 Any source is possible to move from benchwarmer to star performer. From a young person live-posting from a natural disaster to a frontline Libyan soldier opening up to an embedded LA Times reporter for a print piece, to criminals posting their crimes in realtime braggadocio on sites like Twitter (the hacking collective behind dozens of major hacks this summer, Lulz Sec, comes to mind). Journalists can use these networks as a wire-like service and help fact gather with it. In this current landscape, journalists commonly share and exchange views and information with their subjects, breaking many former technological and logistical limitations. Where once we received our news mainly in print, Television or radio, today we consume it more and more onlinethat new synergy has caused the lines between consumer and producer to become muddled. The people formerly known as the audience are now
19 20

Bulletins From The Future, July 17, 2011, The Economist. A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. 21 Create stories using social media.

15 making headlines themselves. In May 2011, the Osama bin Laden raid was live-tweeted by a man living across the street from the former al-Qaeada leaders Abbottabad complex. Sohaib Athar, the Pakistani computer consultant behind the tweets, was not a journalist but the act itself was journalistic. Instances like this, the Arab Spring, and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, all-important moments in the growth, development and eventual acceptance and validation of social media by major media. Today, major media seem to recognize the medium as this generations socio-political soapbox. Ted Turners CNN iReport program allows anyone to share your story about one of these topics in the news and it may end up on CNN!22 the website boasts. These firsthand accounts are now being interwoven into the news cycle on a daily basis, by most news organizations. This is true social media. Not only via technology, but via the communication and behavior of a truly social, vocal segment of the population, incorporating their thought into the news machine. In the July Economist special report on the news industry, the U.K. based news weekly characterized the social media phenomenon as a return to the old coffee houses of the turn of the centurywhere word of mouth news cycles and peer influence dominated conversation and the marketplace of ideas and news. As news becomes more social, participatory, diverse and partisan, it is in many ways returning to the more chaotic, freewheeling and politically charged environment of the era before the emergence of mass media in the 19th century.23 Words reminiscent of the Times Malcolm on bloggers being impassioned about the material they cover. As a coverage tool, the micro-blogging site Twitter allows journalists to communicate with sources and search for information in real-time. Based on their engagement, and the volume of posts, messages and account activity, many of those that use it can easily be called impassioned. During the Arab spring, in nations with state run CCTV, social media became some of the only way for those on the ground to organize and pass information, as well as for the outside world to learn about the on the ground situation.
22 23 Special Report The News Industry, July 9, 2011, The Economist


Recognizing its place in the online community, and in response to repeated requests from news outlets, Twitter published the guide Twitter for Newsrooms in 2010. Twitter says the document was intended as a relationship building guide to help you and your organization at every step of the reporting and publishing processTwitter is a tool all journalists can use to find sources faster, tell stories better, and build a bigger audience for their work.24

Social Media 101: Usage And Context

Her legs sprawled across mine; the grass tickled our ankles. It was the quintessential summer moment, and a year ago, I would have been fully present for it. But instead, a part of my consciousness had split off and was observing the scene from the outside: this was, I realized excitedly, the perfect opportunity for a tweet.25 Peggy Orenstein, writer, journalist and twitophile in I Tweet, Therefore I Am, The New York Times Magazine

Before the digital age, journalists had the option of running a story in a newspaper or magazine and then reselling that piece to another publication. Not so, today. Today, with rampant aggregation and joystick journalism piggybacking on the work of others, the Internet has eliminated that option, cutting a large money source for journalists.

24 25 Peggy Orenstein, I Tweet, Therefore I Am, Aug.1, 2010, The New York Times Magazine

17 While the economic model is no longer solid, the myriad of share options journos now have via social media is solidas is the number of publications out there. How that translate to decent wages for the freelancer side, and viable profits for management is another animal all together. (As my colleagues have stated earlier, I agree that as the industry develops, there will be significant changes. One of which I hope to see is a unionization of some kind for online writers wherein a scale system develops for work and payment, much like the Writers Guild of America.). The 24-hour news cycle, and the ability to reach a broader audience, is one reason social media is so intimately linked with journalism. The very meaning of the word and the industry of publishing has changed completely from where it was only a few years ago. On the macro side, news outlets, and on the micro side journalists now have more control over who reads their content, as well as promotion and distribution. Besides Facebook and Twitter, users can promote content via Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, sites where users share stories ranging in topics and interests. Pinging URLs via ping sites that are aggregated to search engine sites are other methods. A decade ago, everyone thought MySpace was just a passing fad. And it turns out they were right. A few years ago, people thought it was going to die like AOL and Netscapeera chat rooms. But then it got bigger and bigger and bigger and then it got bought out by Rupert Murdochs News Corp in June 2006. What was thought to be a big-time coup for the Australian mogul turned out to be last years model, as MySpace was overtaken click-wise by Facebook in April 2008. In late June 2011, MySpace was sold for $35 million after it was bought for $580 million in 2005. Today MySpace is now owned by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake, who say they have plans to turn the company into a new venue for up-and-coming musicians. We shall see. In the 1990s, many traditional media outlets thought they had nothing to fear from the Internet. Print would live forever. Today, as many print organizations shift towards online survival, the impact a story has on social media sites is often the barometer for success in the digital world. It can also lead a great deal of Internet traffic to the story or home site. Social media promotes, distribute and create talking points for the collective conversation between readers and content providers. From the mundane status update to posting and linking stories, to directly targeting the buying power of an audience with subscriber emails, the options are open and nearly limitless. Put simply, the social media-user experience is whatever the user, producer and consumer want it to be. The tools in this

18 shop can work on many levels. Social networks affect the way regular people get their news by digitizing conversations, turning mouth-to-mouth interaction into posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter. The death of Osama bin Laden was an example of this viral word of mouth, and how many people heard of his death through a text of some kind. Today, Google and Facebook duke it out for bragging rights as the most visited site online. Facebook has nearly 500 million members22 percent of all Internet users. Members spend 500 billion minutes a month on the site,26 posting pictures, and messages, status updating, linking media and friending people. As traditional media continue to embrace the online world more and more, social media is coming to the masses. Today, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is not young people, but baby boomers. Why? Because the conversation is spreading, and boomers want to be part of it. The second phenomenon is Twitter, with more than 200 million users as of April this year, according to a Jack Dorsey interview with the Wall Street Journal27. People on Twitter send out 140-character messages called tweets, follow and have followers, as opposed to Facebooks friend option. While Facebooks smooth interface allows for simple user functions, Twitter can seem foreign to non-users. On their website, Twitter describes itself as a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover whats happening now. 28 Twitter is a platform that asks whats happening and makes the answer spread across the globe to millions, immediatelyTwitter is a simple tool that helps connect businesses more meaningfully with the right audience at the right time.29 An at reply, written @(the name of the user) sends a message directly to the person you want to talk to, with the message appearing as whats referred to as a tweet, a 140character message (i.e. @adampopescu hi, how are you). A RT or retweet is a way of reposting a message you like (and sign of respect. Users who have a lot of RTs and followers are often influential). Use of #, or a hashtag (i.e. #japantsunami or #Libya) allows whatever hashtag word to be clickable, appearing in real time on all the references to that hashtag across Twitter.
26 27

Jay Rosen, The End Of Forgetting, July 25, 2010, The New York Times Magazine 28 Ibid 29 Ibid


This can be helpful for starting conversations or participating in chats or event reporting. Hashtagging is basically geo-tagging that location, utilizing that tag and their messages to send relevant information of the place or situation theyre in to other users. Users post an average of 55 million messages per day30 to Twitter. The word and the company itself have proliferated mainstream media to such a degree that a new editorial policy has developed at The New York Times wherein the word tweet has been banned from the paper because of excessive use. The word tweet has officially entered the pop culture lexicon as a word in Websters dictionary.31 Twitter is designed for interaction. For journalists, it has the potential to be a portal to live information streams ranging from established media to man-in-the-street. Its also a way to track stories, monitor trending across the world and locally (crowdsourcing), and share media. Linking to content is a free way to promote stories and a method for journos to establish digital brand presence as ambassadors of whatever content they share. On Twitter, the audience is smaller, but more specialized, more influential.32 On this site, users attain more followers and build social networks in specific topic interests using hashtagged search terms. Journalist can use Twitter to enhance their reporting. Tools like and are third-party tools that locate nearby Twitter users based on geotagged locations. Third party apps like trendrr33 or Mass Relevance34 offer users the ability to take the social media experience of Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites, and offers users custom real-time API data streams to see what that traffic actually looks like and where it comes from. Twitter is a great way to share news as it happens and to immediately broadcast stories to millions of Twitter users, the blogger, online journalist and former Knight Digital Media Center affiliated Mark S. Luckie writes in his 2011 book, The Digital Journalists Handbook.35 During Irans 2009 Velvet Revolution, Twitter emerged on the world stage as an important method for communication for dissidents. Earlier, as I stated in this paper, the

Peggy Orenstein, I Tweet, Therefore I Am, Aug.1, 2010, The New York Times Magazine 31 32 Influential according to, and 33 34 35 Mark S. Luckie, The Digital Journalists Handbook, 2011.

20 2008 Mumbai attacks in India also gave the social network early credibility. Bolstered later by the Velvet Revolution, the Arab Spring, the Japanese Hurricane and since, every major news happening, Twitter has grown to the point where its part and parcel to the online agenda of everyone from grass roots organizations, news rooms across the world, and most major multinationals. From a revolutionary level to crowdsourcing, the uses are broad. Groups chats such as #journchat, #wjchat, and #prchat have sprung up, feeding the desire of interaction between some of the most connected and influential. At these popular, weekly Twitter groups participants can meet and share their brand (whether reporter, blogger, editor, online producer, whatever) and participate in chats discussing whatever current pressing issues in the news business are on the lips and finger tips of journalists. Many of the users of these groups are working, professional journalists, pr staffers, and members of the media who use the chat as a temperature gauge of what other professionals are thinking, how theyre reacting to common work problems, and as an outlet for information sharing. In 2010, the Library of Congress announced that it was in the process of acquiring and archiving every tweet since 2006.36 That means everything written on Twitter will be recorded and stored. With the WikiLeaks and Lulz Sec hacks and recent scandals like disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, this is sure to be another treasure trove for future generations to paw over.

Media On Media
I dont know if Twitter or Facebook is journalismeverybody is a journalistits almost too fast to comprehend. I have trouble keeping up with it. Larry King, days before departing CNN in December 2010, via a phone interview after meeting at the Beverly Hills, CA Rotary Club.37

This paper focuses on the relationship between social media and journalism as told by working professionals: journalists, content providers, bloggers, online producers, social media marketers, reporters, editors, social media strategists, authors, entrepreneurs and captains of industry. A snapshot in time of how industry leaders, innovators, journeymen

Peggy Orenstein, I Tweet, Therefore I Am, Aug.1, 2010, The New York Times Magazine 37

21 and greenhorns navigate the sometimes choppy waters of using social media to produce, publish and consume news. Questions included hot-button topics like blogging versus journalism, paywall systems, the WikiLeaks38 scandal, the disconnect between online and print media, and whether online media skews to a younger audience.

Are Bloggers Journalists? Is it Mutually Exclusive?

In the end, what matters is not whether or not particular people qualify as journalists but whether the work they produce is thorough, accurate, fair and transparent enough to qualify as journalism.39 Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor

This question divides journalists and the greater media, in general. Some bloggers are journalists, some are not, said Pia Christensen, the managing editor for the Association of Health Care Journalists website. Its not mutually exclusive and Ill admit that its a fuzzy line between the two at times. San Diegos North County Times and The Californian Online Content Producer Dorrine Mendoza agrees with Christensen. Its not mutually exclusive, she says. But not all bloggers are journalists, Mendoza clarified. Others, like Jay Adams, the Atlanta Falcons new media producer and web site managing editor, are divided in the middle. He says he doesnt think bloggers are journalists in the traditional sense. I think bloggers can do more because there seem to be less boundaries, he told me. The big different between the two groups is access. Bloggers have a difficult time getting access despite traffic numbers. Obviously thats not necessarily true for some of the bigger blog sites out there, but I dont often see strictly bloggers walking around the media room at the Falcons training facility. Adams went on about a point about political bloggers that harks back to earlier
38 39 Bulletins From The Future, July 9, 2011, The Economist

22 statements throughout this paper from Andrew Malcolm, political blogger-journalist for Im not totally sure how much political bloggers are getting access to cover stories the same way traditional journalists are, but I know its not mutually exclusive in sports at least not in the eyes of professional organizations, Adams said. Malcolm spoke of bloggers offering opinions and personal insighthe even went so far as the major distinction is this factjournalists only report on the news. If you want just the facts then you would read a journalist news article, if you want a bloggers slant then you read the blog post on the same news article, Malcolm told me when I interviewed him. Bloggers can be journalists and write journalism like articles, but they are not the same thing. Weve heard from journalists and journalists turned bloggers, but what about media types in social media and marketing? What do they say? Social Media Manager John Paul Aguiar thinks theyre pretty similar. I think the only difference is that bloggers seem to get away with saying things that may or may not be true, Aguiar revealed. Journalists usually have to with strong facts to prove what they write. Beside that, we are all the same, writing what we want to have people read. I think content creation can be more important than who creates it. However, I respect the professionalism of a given form of media, and I expect that same level in the news I consume. For me, that means journalists, as opposed to bloggers, are more credible. For journalists like David Carr who writes for the New York Times bits blog or Andrew Malcolm who specializes for the LA Times, these are journalists who are bloggers. Their clout and credibility is solid. They do this for a living. And because their livelihood depends on that, I trust them more than the faceless, sea of unknown bloggers on tumblr,, wordpress, or blogger. No matter how compelling their ironic pictures or endearing their posts, I will never look at that form of content the same way I look at the Wall Street Journals All Things Digital blog, NY magazines robust blog network, or Gawkers Lifehacker blog.

Are you a fan of a paywall system (pay for content)?

But of course the paywall is working with the emphasis very much on the pay rather than on the wall.

23 Felix Salmon, How the NYT paywall is working, Reuters40

Heres the crux: How to get paid for content that weve already given away for free? That is the question facing the news industry. Now, some like the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and others are going for the paywall. Its up. Its working, and according to recent data, its doing well financially. Some sites allow a certain amount of stories to be accessed per month (via social media or through the site directly), others give a tease and thats it. I guess they have a pointtheyre bringing you information, longtime CNN broadcaster Larry King told me after a chance meeting at a Rotary Meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills. When we spoke on the phone a few days later, I was slightly nervous. Here I was, getting the chance to interview the master of interviews. Within the first few minutes of our conversation, I felt at ease. It was like talking to an old friend. Well, an older friend, but a news junkie, through and through. In addition to watching CNN and daily briefings from his producers to stay up-to-date, King told me he reads five to six newspapers a day. Scanning, he explained. Why is that information free? he asked me, rhetorically. Newspapers are in trouble. Still nothing like print. The times current trendprobably seeing the downing of newspapers if they provide information for free. They should have an income. Im not an economist, never ran a business. Im a talent, I run a show. But I understand, if I give you a Hershey bar for free, non-charge. Saying King made good money in this business may be an understatement (it may be a declaration of my identity as a blogger if you subscribe to Andrew Malcolms views on blogging as expression), but his words bolster the dialogue behind that of bringing more, better compensation to online content creators. But not everyone agrees with King that paywalls can pay for news, and the salaries of reporters and staff. No. I think paywalls go against the purpose of journalism, said Micheal Foley, content editor at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, a global, full-service communications agency. Foley says hes against the paywall system because hes against traditional mass media. Its sad that the purpose of traditional mass media institutions is to make moneyIm a fan of journalism. Therefore, Im not a fan of paywalls. Sports Illustrated Mixed Martial Arts Columnist Josh Gross attempted to create an ESPN40

24 affiliated mixed martial arts pay-site back in 2007. At the time, the problem wasnt customersit was content. I tried to implement a pay-for-content system while I was the executive editor of, he told me. It didn't work, but not because of the model. We just didn't deliver the goods. People were willing to pay so long as the content was there. When it wasn't (a result of internal issues at the site) we lost out big time. An early pioneer in the online world of pay-for-content, Gross told me it is difficult to convince people to pay for something they've essentially received for free. But they will pay if the perceived value is there. Still, others, like the Atlanta Falcons Jay Adams, say with the genie already out of the bottle, its impossible to put him back in. Ive always gone back and forth on this. To me, its too late to change things, Adams revealed during our interview. People expect free information now, and there would have to be an industry-wide effort to create a paywall in order to have a chance at success. In the past, media outlets that have tried to institute a paywall find themselves dropping it shortly after putting it up. At this point, I just dont think its a feasible option anymore. Yet, the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal are all finding success in paywall formats, each specific to a strategy that seems to be working. In my opinion, in part based on brand loyalty, in part because of top content. A winning combination. Jenn Shepherd, another Newhouse grad, currently working as an online producer at the Orlando Sentinel, is supportive of the paywall model, in large part because of personal experience she doesnt wish to repeat. Yes, and I am also a fan of contracts because I have been offered gigs on the assumption that I would be paid for the content I produced, but I am still waiting on a check from 2009 because I failed to sign a contract, she said, opening up when we last spoke. I think customers will always pay for good content. I also believe one day more delineated, explicit rights, working conditions, and pay scales will be the norm. If paywall systems prove successful, we may look back on them as the first step to help usher in that new reality.

WikiLeaks: Good or Bad?


"We will have released over 100,000 US embassy cables from around the world by the end of today," said a message on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed. The Twitter page is believed to be controlled by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' controversial Australian-born founder and chief. By Mark Hosenball, WikiLeaks publishes tens of thousands more cables, Reuters41 WikiLeaks is a major data dump, disguised as free speech by its champions, denigrated by detractors as misguided, immature, criminal move. WikiLeaks is an international nonprofit organization that claims to publish private documents from global governments, many of them secret and classified. These are all things one could hear when asked what is WikiLeaks? WikiLeaks began as a user-editable wiki (which explains the name). It grew to publishing and does so now without redacting or editing information. For this, the group has come under assault and been accused by everyone from U.S. News and World Report to the Knight Digital Center of not being journalism. Starting in early 2010, WikiLeaks started gaining fame. First, in April, WikiLeaks published controversial footage from a 2007 Baghdad air strike showing Iraqi journalists among those killed by a U.S. controlled Apache helicopter. It was called the Collateral Murder video.42 An openly gay soldier named Bradley Manning was allegedly behind its release to WikiLeaks. (Manning facing more than two dozen charges, is currently incarcerated at a medium-security facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas). In July 2010, WikiLeaks published Afghan War Diary, compiling more than 76,900 Afghanistan War documents not publicly available. In October 2010, the group released 400,000 documents of the Iraq War , mapping every death in Iraq, and over the border in Iran. A month later, in November 2010, WikiLeaks started publishing U.S. State department diplomatic cables. April 2011 saw WikiLeaks publish 779 secret files on U.S. operated Guantanamo Bay detention camps. Busy, busy. But is publishing stolen documents journalism? The journalists I spoke with were divided whether this was a good or bad practice. One of the biggest problems for journalists is the raw dump of information. Journalists are like sculptors. They chip away at the edges, getting rid of the useless stuff. The information in the WikiLeaks projects


26 are raw, unedited, and easy to get lost in. No journalism site I know publishes this way. I was troubled by the way WikiLeaks presented that bit of video a while back. Edited, spun, out of context. Director of News Innovation for Publish2 Ryan Sholin told me. For Sholin, a lack of transparency and no clear, functioning journalistic practices makes him distrust the organization. Thats not the way I like to see raw footage, or data, or records presented. The Afghanistan reports seem to have been released in a more straightforward manner, but its difficult for me to trust their choices of what to release and what to hold back. Basically, I dont trust the WikiLeaks brand at this point, so I find it hard to evaluate information they bring to light. Good tool for journalists, bad as a news source, said SIs Josh Gross said. As journalists it's our job to source out information, and make sure readers are given context and perspective, Gross explained. Raw information, without other key ingredients, can be harmful. But in the end, I'm for sunshineeven if it'll burn you once in a while. Some of those burns involved revealing field agents. Outing spies. WikiLeaks Afghan War Logs contained hundreds of Afghan intelligence sources for U.S. forces, by name, for U.S. forces. The Atlantic,43 The Times of London and other news organizations, claim that the Taliban used these lists to hunt down double agents. WikiLeaks: Good or bad? Bad, while I believe in freedom of speech I also believe that military intelligence should not be open to public and be accessible by foreign organizations which may be an enemy or a threat, blogger Justin Germino told me, denouncing risking the lives of people in the field for nothing. This means that if information would be revealed to compromise safety and security of our nation and our troops it should not be public, Germino explained, noting that if the information revealed an illegal action and safety of the nation and troops is not an issue then I think the public should know. Former CNN broadcaster Larry King had an interesting response. From one side of his mouth he championed free speech, the other he cautioned releasing info that jeopardizes lives.


I believe in the first amendment. Speech and also response, King began. I knew the Pentagon Paper story very well. I think what the website did was right. I find no problem with it. After patting WikiLeaks on the back, King changed course in midstream. Always a difficult thingwhat can I say, what can I reveal? Will it cost a life? We all have a responsibility. Thats the problem of this whole openness of Twitternever going to control it. Its like shooting at windmillsNow its put out, get it out. If it costs a life, can it possibly be a good thing? Some say yes. Good. The government needs to be held accountable, the North County Times and The Californians Dorrine Mendoza said. Toronto-based web copywriter and journalist Wendy Sullivan called the organization Good in theory, bad in practice. One gay mans vendetta against DADT shouldnt lead to treason. Still, there are those like Content Editor Michael Foley. Even when he said the WikiLeaks was a good thing, Foleys answer showed the varying shades of gray at work here. The more information available, the better decisions society can make. Usually this debate breaks down into is it responsible for WikiLeaks to release information that puts lives at risk? I think thats a false argument, Foley posited. People wouldnt care if the information puts al-Qaeda members lives at risk. They only care if it puts Americans lives at risk. If youre a true journalist and you value objectivity, you shouldnt care which side wins or loses a battle or war. WikiLeaks does something that no previous media institutions could doit operates as a stateless organization not beholden to any mass media conglomerate, government or army. I think this is a good thing. I only wish WikiLeaks would be more forthright with its motives and points of view. Foley made a lot of big statements there, and threw a lot of labels around. True journalist can mean any number of things, and far it be it for me to psychoanalyze his intended usage or vocabulary, but I think the broader scope of the damage at work here by WikiLeaks (damage being revealing names of field agents.) was left out of his argument. He even ended by saying he himself would like to see WikiLeaks be more open about their actions and motives. I side with Larry Kings analysis of WikiLeaks: if it costs a life, is it worth it? I say no.


Is there a disconnect between online and print media? Until recently, I would start each day by walking out to my driveway and gathering up the days edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. Id then sit down over a cup of coffee and begin my daily ritual of reading itOn one particular day, I began to question my rationale behind all of this print media I was accumulating. Ted Landau, Ted Landau's User Friendly View The Mac Observer44

There are challenges inherent to integrating editorial direction with online production schedules and routines. Add html code and mobile applications, and the printed newspaper probably starts to feel like its getting left behind. The news outlets that stave off this feeling, in large part do so by jumping into digital integrationiPad and tablet apps, iPhone apps, and Android compatibility. The list of integration potential goes on and on. Opinions vary, as usual, responders seem to be heavy on the yes, representing past and present newspaper and online news staffers. Starting from the blogger side, the most radical and perhaps realistic response followed. Print media is antiquated, by the time you have to read a physical paper, it is already yesterdays news and CNN covered it in depth already, Blogger Justin Germino responded. He thinks newspapers need to figure out how to leverage advertisers to keep online and real time publications profitable instead of turning them into subscription services. There are too many free news sources, online newspapers will never survive being subscription based, Germino elaborated. The Atlanta Falcons Jay Adams, the LA Times.coms Andrew Malcolm and Mondette Editor Lilliam Rivera all have backgrounds in print. All now work online. They all responded in agreement. Adams said editorial direction to online structure has to be improved, Malcolm said journalists have to recognize the inevitability of change, and Rivera said print is still playing catch up, because consumers want to read in print and on their media devices. It's becoming a little clearer but if the NY Times is still not providing links to sources on their new stories, that to me shows how much of a gap there still is, Rivera explained.
44 ad_part_1/?utm_campaign=feature2


Only David Cohn, founder and director of the community reporting site, said no, pointing out the differences between the platforms. They literally are two different mediums. One has its advantages (tactile) the other has interactive advantages. Different types of journalism are done in each.

Does online media skew to a younger audience or are older people starting to get it?

21%: The percentage of American adults who do not use the Internet. Pew Center Report : Broadband, Race and Ethnicity, Digital Divide, Home Broadband 2010 45

In a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project of adults, when it comes to 18 years old and older, 79 percent of the 2,255 telephone respondents said they used the Internet, at least occasionally. Thats nearly eight in 10 people. That means there are two people out there on average, in every group of 10, that still need to be convinced that getting online is important for so many reasons. It comes down to desire to want to learn, to grow, to be informed, says The North County Times/The Californians Dorrine Mendoza. I dont believe age has as much to do with it as how open-minded and eager people are to finding new ways to receive information. Many agree with her. The desire for connectivity has brought a new generation of users to the social media site. Older people are not only starting to get it they are also helping it grow faster, said Sumaya Kazi, social media entrepreneur and consultant. Facebook was initially only college students and now the number of 40+ users is staggering. By the varying regions of the country reporting this trend of baby boomers singing up for Facebook, this phenomenon seems to be on a nationwide level, reclassifying whats happening to a happening. This unintended consequence of the originally youth-centric social network system is happening. Depends on your definition of older but I think older people totally get it, said Pia Christensen of the Association of Health Care Journalists. I know many people in their

30 70s who are logging on to get their news, share whats important them and follow issues. They might not always understand the tools well but I think many of them are appreciating the opportunity to expand their knowledge that online media offers. The big determinant seems to be the willingness to try to change, as evidence by DIRECTVs software development Senior Manager Robert Hays says: I'm 51. You tell me. I believe the question is who is willing to learn, change, and keep up. Others disagree. Vicki Higgins, senior director of business development at Visit Newport Beach, says she thinks online media totally appeals to a younger demographic, but also to the 30-45 crowd as they try to be hip and in the know. I think its only the much older demo that still is into the hard copy newspaper. Los Angeles magazine Online Producer Israel Lemus says that the online world still skews to a younger group. I think its a younger audience. Theyre not really young, but theyre younger than our regular readership. Fifty-five and over is about 70 percent, something like that. It a high number. Social Media Marketer John Paul Aguiar agreed with Lemus and Hays points that older consumers, who want to utilize the technology, are getting it. You are seeing more and more older people getting online to pay bills, shops, chat, and have fun, Aguiar said. It really depends on where the media is coming from. In this group, Justin Germino is once again the staunchest advocate for separation between online and print media. I think it still appeals to the younger generation, Germino began. Too many people over 55-plus are still afraid to touch computers and dont use the Internet as much. Until broadband and wireless is more pervasive it may be harder still to be 100 percent online for news and other information. Stereotypes are pervasive. Not all youth are computer whizzes. Not all older people are clueless. Especially in this creative medium, journalists stick out as they often buck the trends and averages they report on. Its true that one of the largest growing demographics on Facebook is the baby boomer generation. Maybe a little late to the party, but theyre here. Now we come to a fork in the roada big decision. If we are all together swimming in

31 Facebooks pool, what to do when your Mom friend requests you? What to do when your son friend requests you? Is there a separation---should there be one? This answer wasnt covered in J-School, even in the very forward thinking Newhouse Masters program. For this one, there is no easy answer.

Looking Ahead
To create brand presence, you have to provide value. To provide value, you have to provide something that people cant get anywhere else. You have to be unique. Jay Adams, new media producer for the Atlanta Falcons

With computers doubling every 18 months46, we live in the eye of the digital revolution. In the eye of the storm, with new technology, social medias journalistic applications and potential continues to rapidly evolve and expand. Ten years ago we didnt tweet. We didnt post status updates on Facebook. We used MySpacemaybe. Or AOL chat rooms. Or sent emails. Heck, even a few years ago, the U.S. Postal Service was looking OK, which meant we were still a nation of letters. Now we spend a great deal of time staring at small screens on live chat feeds via mobile device. The next step is? For Ryan Sholin of publish2, he wants to harness these devices and use them to distribute information. If you could put the easy access to infinite information available in most smart phones today in the hands of millions of people who cant currently afford one, the world would change. Using mobile devices, geographic information gathering is another development commonly shared. Arizona Republics Social Media Editor Chad Graham can't wait to see how geo location is going to develop, he wrote in an email. I'm also very much interested in the

Moores Law,

32 potential of augmented reality. Dorrine Mendoza told me she wanted to see location integration developed further. If there were some way to use these same location services to alert people of real-time emergencies in their area, along with evacuation info, relevant road openings, etc., my life would be complete. Blogger Justin Germinos response brought the conversation back to what I mentioned earlier in the paper, the need for a stratified pay structure and unionization of online workers. Among the changes Germino wants to see, he said he wants Google [to] stop penalizing bloggers for injecting and taking paid content, accept that advertising and marketing is a core of every business. Actors/musicians get paid to endorse products on TV/radio why would Google penalize a website for endorsing products (which they do)? No one truly knows, but what we can say with certainty, is that as the medium moves further away from print, the value of the digital journalism product itself grows more and more, giving consumers more content than ever before. Bloggers, journalists, both use their work as a digital calling card, creating a name for themselves through their work, and that becomes their brand. Depending on their journalistic market value, their name, brand, or dollar value is equally reflected. Dave Politis, who has worked for 26 years as a marketing executive, and the current president of Politis Communications, explains that the emergence of Social Media tools, services and platforms have given full birth to the Me Media generationthe ability for any and everyone to become a journalist/publisher. Overwhelming access has allowed countless bloggers to have their saybut access and inclination do not equal credibility, which established publications give readers. The problem with blogs, is readers are often unaware of the motives and back stories of bloggers themselves. While bloggers can fill a void, writing about niche interests, or hyper local news, classically trained journalists bring a deeper level of professionalism to the craft and (hopefully) disclose information that can be construed as skewed, biased or private (unlike bloggers, who seem to mostly offer personal opines). While some bloggers are journalists, the act of posting content does not make a journalist. The best producers create engaging content and know how to share that content through connected social media networks, extending the life of a story far past the day it was published. There are practical applications to this meticulous archiving. From an accessibility side, its much easier to search for a story virally with a few clicks, versus digging through stacks of paper, or even the old world of microfiche. Weve come a long way in the archival process, for one. The online world has also opened the door to guerilla marketing via sites like Twitter. Journalists interviewed in this paper were overwhelmingly in agreement that branding is

33 a necessity for journalists, vital to creating and maintaining a respected news brand. The event horizon for that relationship seems to be social media, where journalists can grow and filter their brand and share links to their work. My inside track as the city reporter for the Beverly Hills Courier, and my strong social media skills, posting before other media outlets, got my story47 on the Beverly Hills Tea Partys first rally in BH picked up by Gawker,48 and Talking Points Memo49 before larger news outlets. Was it just the timing, the quality of the story, or the linking? It was all three and then other intangible factors at work. Heres the LA Times Andrew Malcolm again, on the relationship between social media and journalism. Remember, this is a man who works from noon to five am writing numerous political columns and communicating with almost 64,000 Twitter peeps, handling comments and doing researchTo the world they are very similar. To the aging generation within journalism they are totally different, which is why they are dying out. Journalists today must be able to wear many hats in this evolving, tech-heavy world. To survive, journos need a deep skill set. Besides writing and reporting, new essential skills include: blogging, editing, designing, coding, multimedia and social media. Stay close. Keep up with me. Experiment, LA magazines top online producer Israel Lemus suggested. I think theres more opportunity now in writing on the web than there was for printI think things are not settled, and thats the excited part. If your not excited, its going to be hard to acclimate yourself to it. Journos (especially young ones) need to be jacks-of-all-trades, and embrace the possibilities of online journalism. Easier said than done, but the tools are all here, and one thing the Internet does bring is a wealth of knowledge and possibilities at the fingertips. With smaller budgets cutting into editorial, design and production teams, overall employee worth is intrinsically linked to production value. Management is doing more with less, and that means staying up-to-date with technology and industry standards to stay valuable. The old media structure is in flux. The new, evolving platform creates a more level playing field between the majors and the corps of bloggers, citizen journalists, and real, trained journalists, all vying for their respective piece.
47, Sept. 27, 2010 rty_Rally_Attracts_Hundreds/71596 48, Sept. 28, 2010 49, Sept. 28, 2010


After a journalism masters program at the Newhouse School, I have come to appreciate the value of that education. My generation of 20-somethings, mixing top academic instruction and newsroom experience, are poised to evolve into the leaders of future newsrooms. We are the 80s babies, raised on computers, (sometimes) looked on with reverence and awe by the older generation, sometimes with scorn, as we embrace the digital world in front of us. Technology and journalism will continue their symbiotic relationship as issues of privacy, security and business impact the lives of millions of people, and journalists will be there to use that medium to reach more readers. As my generation grows older, we will fill more and more of the workforce, and then we will look on to the next generation to fill in the gaps for the next innovation that we wont get. While no one knows for sure what the future will bring in this protracted economy, new innovations are opening doors, allowing for unprecedented levels of access and information. As news media decipher and declare codes of conduct and social media policies, we will begin to experience with a phenomenon poised to carry us into the next decade. But, then again, recently it was reported that Facebook users are starting to leave the site in drovesand more and more Twitter users frequently abandon their accounts. What does this mean? There is talk that all this connectivity decreases deep thought, destroys concentration, and isolates social behavior. Recent studies at the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University confirms this. Does social media then take away more than it gives? I say no. I believe it means as consumers and producers we still have not maximized our human potential integrated information display and functionality. I think were very much at the turn of the century in that department. Even now journalism has many practical applications to work with that we are just now developing. I think that relationship can only grow in the future and improve journalism. And hopefully, we can do something to address the issue of consciousness within this technologically plugged in world. Because were only getting more plugged in everyday. Technology is changing rapidlyand so will social media. To keep a handle on all this information, journalists must be the gatekeepers.