Real Journalism is dying, quietly and slowly, and there is not enough attention on it. Many reasons are contributing to it, however.
First off, social media is becoming more and more popular, normal part of every day life, and is completely consuming our minds. How many of us have not heard about a world issue until we came across it on social media? I, myself, have learned of many current political and social events over Facebook before I did in the newspaper or news off of the television. That might have something to do with us turning to Facebook off of our phone first thing in the morning before even turning on the TV, radio, or coffee pot. I remember growing up at home, getting ready in the morning for school with the weather channel and morning news chatter going on in the background. When I sat down for breakfast I caught a glimpse of it from the table every morning before riding off to school. I truly wonder how many children’s families still value this practice rather than receiving news from social media.
What is the problem with receiving news off of social media? I have spoken to a lot of people a part of my young generation about this issue, and I am almost always confronted with, “Why is it such an issue? Social Media is such an important platform!”, “We are able to share so much information with people all at once, it is so helpful and useful!”.
I agree. Social media can be extremely useful, we can reach out to many people at once when it comes to important information. However, when it becomes our first point of contact for important information, that is a problem. Anyone can put information on social media, which can make the information not so credible in a lot of cases. We have turned to believing what social media says before we believe anything else. Why is this the case when real journalists getting paid to do real research are putting our actual credible information off of social media primarily? There are more job openings for social media managers and handlers than journalists and reporters. Want to know what is the most interesting part of applying for a social media specialist position? You do not need an English degree or a related bachelors degree in a lot of cases, because anyone can handle social media. This is who you are getting a lot of your information from.
The art of drinking a cup of coffee or tea while reading the newspaper is falling more and more behind. I hope that we can become more conscientious about the information we come across and researching whether or not it is reputable. I hope that we can begin to put more credible sources as our “go to’s” before turning to social media. How about a challenge? Before you post a current event or issue going on over social media, find it from the actual news, whether it be an electronic article over the web, televised report, or off of a newspaper. Try to create a habit of unwinding from social media by finding actual information in actual places rather than your black mirrored screen.