Comments on ‘The Future of Social Media in Journalism’

Vadmim Lavrusik has a nice, meaty story on community journalism, the future of news, and how social media plays into the mix running on Mashable today.

Some of the highlights of his piece:
“The future journalist will be more embedded with the community than ever, and news outlets will build their newsrooms to focus on utilizing the community and enabling its members to be enrolled as correspondents.”

“Whether to the detriment of news gathering or to its benefit, there is
no longer a “need” for journalists to provide 90% of the daily coverage
in local communities.”

New role for journos: “Managing and amplifying the conversations the community is having.”

“Journalists will also have social content creation more integrated into
their workflow, whether that means creating content for specific
platforms, or using the content from that platform for the purposes of
curation.”

There’s lots of quotes, ideas and meat in the piece (nice job, V), and it was a thrill to have our work at Oakland Local included in the discussion (hat tip to Amy Gahran for our mobile projects) but one of the interesting things about the article is how much it focused on accredited news organizations.

Seems to be that one of the fundamental shifts we are going through is that a large percentage of the population under 35 thinks:

  • Media is biased
  • Media doesn’t tell the truth or reflect my experiences accurately
  • I will trust my friends and social network to provide information I want to know, and that’s great, even if I am missing out on some of the reporting I’d like to see.

For people who have these assumptions, writing that is transparent, through and accurate can be highly relevant WHETHER IT IS PRODUCED BY PEOPLE THE OLD GUARD CONSIDER TO BE JOURNALISTS OR NOT.

Do I rely on the Oakland Tribune or the SF Gate to tell me what’s happening around food desert and food justice issues in Oakland?

Hell, no!  If I’m not reading–or writing–the articles we publish on Oakland Local about food access, I’m reading material by Mo Better Foods, The Oakland Food Connection, People’s Grocery, Pueblo, Policy Link, Phat Beets, Mandela Market and others that are not journalists–but are providing the info I want to know about.

And that, my friends–is the most profound shift for people from traditional media to take note of–people in their communities have valuable information and insights to share with the larger world, by-passing traditional media entirely.