Traditional journalistic standards of accuracy and verification in producing news reports remain the same when using social media in journalism, as social media editors still place accuracy ahead of speed.
Based on interview of nine social media editors from both established media outlets and online-only operations, the study provides preliminary insight into how journalists integrate social media and reshape the nature of excellent journalism.
The study conducted by David A. Craig and Mohammad Yousuf found five elements: adherence to traditional accuracy standards with recognition of a new environment; sophistication in verification practices; sophistication in engagement; tailoring use of social platforms; and adding value by being human for excellence in journalistic use of social media.
On sophistication in engagement, the findings showed a good deal of nuance in journalists’ approach to engagement with users. Journalists are realizing the potential to build the relationships, talking directly to people and building communities through social media.
The findings about tailoring use of social media platforms suggest new ways that content may be presented comprehensively and become the subject of robust conversation. Eric Carvin, social media editor at the Associated Press, pointed to the strength of Facebook as a crowdsourcing tool. He said Facebook is especially good to get the stories and experiences of individuals and put their voice in the reporting.
The finding about sophistication in engagement suggests a well-developed mindset that increases the likelihood that conversation will be of real value. The idea of the importance of being human accentuates the general need for journalists to think about what they contribute in the use of technological tools whether for breaking news or longer-term stories.
The study reiterates the importance of accuracy and said that journalists are now finding ways to verify information carefully while working within the open networked environment. Through increasing sophistication in use of social platforms, journalists can enhance communication of public contributions and therefore enhance discovery.
To read the full text of the study: http://bit.ly/2wC9NCk
Craig, D. A., & Yousuf, M. Excellence in Journalistic Use of Social Media Through the Eyes of Social Media Editors.