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Social Journalism: The use of the New Media

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Humans have the social instinct to interact.

Humans are social in nature and through time we have to develop brighter ways to supply that kind of behavior.

The love for accessing information had been a fad a long time ago. Things have to be shared ’cause its a thing of the social world: to know and to be known.

We learn things not only through a thinking process of our own but by also filtering out necessary information we collect anywhere and anytime.

From telegraphs and Grahambell’s first “Ahoy!” on his telephone, media has evolved widely. Now that we are going through an era where computer exists, E-mails and SMS are not the only possible ways to know things. The presence of a wide number of social media sprouted elsewhere in the spinning virtual web.

Journalists were able to use such medium to communicate with their sources. They can contact their sources not just through E-mail but also through Facebook accounts where people are always online. They can basically gather information that might not be visible in the actual world, when information can only be accessed through a web of deeper secrets in the social media.  Journalists can give out necessary, interesting information the public needs to know right away. Through the social media, people can interact with journalists to serve as civilian streamers of relevant news that journalists might have overlooked.

On the contrary, failure to use the social media properly had been a problem to journalists. It had become a lot harder to verify what is real and what is not. What virtually exists may not actually exist in the real world. What may be in the real world can be masked through the use of the powerful medium.

Incidents of celebrity deaths spread through twitter everyday and always had a lot of people freak out for a matter of seconds until a verification through the same medium will be done to stop or to confirm the matter. The thing’s much worse than a bomb threat in a public area. People are induced to panic and create actions with no skeptical analysis of the matter.

National security might be at risk if one throws a lethal stone that will cause chaos in the virtual world.

A simple information can spread worldwide in a few seconds. They can create fire in the next minute. A chain reaction would follow in the next hour. Information overload will definitely exist and it shall develop a set of humans who are either to dumb to identify the whole matter or a bright creature able to distinguish the hidden reality out of a partial reality. The social media can produce certain behaviors of humans that has no longer become useful in evolution or could actually be the reason for the death of such distinct human actions.

Journalism in itself started in paper and mouths and now developed by the fingers and the machines. Of typing an important information, the future of the profession can further increase. I may be positive about this take but I guess a great sense of filtering and verification can be taken out from the vast and fast pace of details made in existence. Faster thinking capacities might develop and just like the machines we make to promote better information processing, humans can as well adapt the nature of the computer, joined together with the ethical virtue of the mind, heart and soul.

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(Insert cited sources here): A view about plagiarism

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This was not quite surprising.

In fact I was expecting this.

Well not totally but a bit.

We’ve heard so much about how Rappler, has usually been the first to break news in social networking sites.

It had gained a lot of readers and followers through social media. For a long time it had made a cyberspace noise.

Much more did it made noise when recently, the site admitted to have committed plagiarism through one of its writers who had lifted information from an article published in Interaksyon.com without citing it.

Our professor in one of my journalism class told us that Rappler repeatedly done similar incidents of forgetting to attribute sources of their news even if it had been quite obvious that they were really not one of the first sites to get the information.

For a lot of articles it might not be that obvious, but since the article from interaksyon.com had committed mistakes, the Rappler article had been seen with the same mistakes. Of course no one believed that it was a perfect coincidence for that to appear and so the news site admitted their fault.

I was not surprised quite frankly because of how some of magazine and online writers had become because of the fast-paced virtue of the world wide web. The heavy influx of information all over the internet requires a whole lot of originality. If your piece is not original enough, no attention deserves it. To be original online needs to have had delivered  the information first. Pressure of news breaking, the lack of attention by the editors and the absence of putting journalism as a profession at heart clearly turned such bad writing.

This should not be a different story from how society views journalism.

When asked about what  course will a person pursue for college, many would likely be amazed if it had been engineering or courses of the hard sciences. However when journalism or communication courses be included, a lot would boldly insist that the latter courses mentioned were as easy as pie. Society would typically perceive writing as a simple craft. People automatically degrades the art of writing as something that anybody can do even if past asleep or with eyes shut.

The profession of writing that is highly regarded by the scholastic world are overpowered by the average members of society who are prospective targets of the media industry.

The rise in information created and disseminated through various available medium caused the influx of writers who has little or no educational background about journalism to increase. Editors and writers develop a habit of irresponsibility and neglecting accountability to the readers. Viewing the craft as a job and not as art, as a source of income and not as a profession, as a step to prestige and not as a vocation led to the mediocrity and absence of conscience of writers.

Journalism is never easy. Mere construction of sentences is. But writing a story framed in a certain angle, gathering relevant info, verification and looking for the story is way harder than you thought. It’s a lifestyle more of a job. One cannot study such principles overnight. You put all hard work to publish a single story and handle the underlying pressures before, during and after doing such.

A few have survived and continuously surviving real journalism. Others just think they are doing it but they’re not.

And you still think most of the time you’re getting your information today in a smooth and flawless manner? Think again.

You might get fooled of masks.  Masks of popularity and trend that is 😉

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