Social media has drastically brought a change in the way journalists do their jobs by changing the way they get information and ideas to how they share their stories. Social media offers journalists increased access to content. Now because of social media journalists have unprecedented access to their audience taking them closer to the content that their readers/listeners care about. Now people do not passively wait for a news anchor to tell them the news they so eagerly want to hear. They have access to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter which provide all the crisp, complete news, even in more details than can be provided by journalists. So people are getting access to make more connections that help them know more about what they want to know and the news they care about. Social media has helped in distribution and gathering of news making everyone know things soon enough feeling equal, more aware and a responsible citizen.
Social media can be a helpful tool for journalists but can also have mixed effects on journalism. Social media though has brought the news world closer to commoners and letting them get to voice their opinions too via comment sections, it has also made the distribution of ‘fake news’ prominent and thus put the people in dilemma on trust issues. On popular platforms like Twitter and Face book there is lot of fake news to swallow especially because there are so many people who can share news now with smartphones. Because of so much amount of fake news the press is having trouble maintaining their credibility with the audiences. It can lead to negative relationships between the press and the public. Social media can be a difficult place to locate reliable news sources because many journalists publish without fact-checking.
The rise of social media has changed the nature of journalism drastically and given rise to citizen journalism. In a 2014 study of journalists in the United States, 40% of participants claimed they relied on social media as a source, with over 20% depending on micro blogs to collect facts. So it gives us the conclusion that breaking news nowadays comes from user-generated content including videos and posted pictures online in social media. 69.2%of journalists agreed that social media allowed them to connect them to their audience but only 30% thought that it had a positive influence on news credibility. The credibility ratings of news outlets has reached a low phase.
The presence of social media has also brought in the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. It is the wrong, untruthful information spread by fake news websites and is often published to mislead readers to intentionally benefit a cause, organization or an individual. So we cannot be unanimous on the fact that social media has totally brought positive progress and overall advancement in journalism benefiting it in many ways.