I was part of a panel discussion that considered a world ‘without social media' at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia on Friday.
I decided to illustrate this by talking about what The Wall Street Journal wouldn’t have done last week in a social media-less world.
Saturday, 26 April
On Saturday, Sam Dagher, our Syria correspondent, would not have shared images of Aleppo. Sam had been to the city the previous week but did not share tweets and images while he was there due to safety concerns.— Sam Dagher (@samdagher)April 26, 2014
He tweeted once we was back in Damascus and we packaged his photos into this slideshow.
Sunday, 27 April
On Sunday, Giada Zampano and Liam Moloney would not have been sharing tweets and pictures from the Vatican on the occasion of the canonization of two popes.— Giada Zampano (@GZampano)April 27, 2014
We would not have pulled together social media posts from people in the crowds using RebelMouse.
Monday, 28 April
On Monday, we would not have gained Instagram insight into Gennady Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv, who was shot and injured. This colourful character has more than 63,000 Instagram followers, with whom he has shared pictures of himself cycling, playing sport and with his pets.
Kernes is now recovering in Israel and yesterday shared a photo from his hospital bed.
Tuesday, 29 April
On Tuesday, we would not have used user-generated content in a video. Storyful verified and licensed the footage from Ukraine and we were able to use it in a video package.
Wednesday, 30 April
On Wednesday, Matt Bradley would not have shared WorldStream clips of the Iraq elections. WorldStream, social videos that are up to 45 seconds in length, provide colour, insight and a snapshot of a story.
Thursday, 1 May
On May Day, the day of protests in Turkey, our Istanbul bureau chief Joe Parkinson would not have re-shared this photo.— Joe Parkinson (@JoeWSJ)May 1, 2014
In a non-social world, Patrick McGroaty would not have shared this 13-second clip of Mugabe arriving at an election rally in Harare, Zimbabwe.
And Heidi Vogt, our east Africa correspondent, would not have been following John Kerry and sharing tweets and images.
Following John Kerry around Addis today. Here, at a clinic that treats AIDS patients: pic.twitter.com/jRRRS04wRT— Heidi Vogt (@HeidiVogt)May 1, 2014
In a world without social media, The Wall Street Journal would not have used Facebook video and an Instagram image to tell this story of an oil train crash in Lynchburg. Both the video and image were verified and licensed by Storyful.
Friday, 2 May
On Friday, Matina Stevis, who is based in Brussels, would not have been tweeting on behalf of a journalist in Ukraine and would not have got a safety message out, warning journalists not to go to Slovyansk.— Matina Stevis (@MatinaStevis)May 2, 2014
Bojan Pancevski, who is a Sunday Times reporter, found he couldn’t tweet. He therefore asked Matina, a friend, to share the message on his behalf. Matina tried logging into his Twitter account but could not get access so pushed out the message from her own account to her 35,000 followers.— Matina Stevis (@MatinaStevis)May 2, 2014
Matina told me that other news organisations called her to find out more information and she was able to share what she knew.
In a world without social media Bojan would probably have sent a text message to Matina and a few others, but the warning message would not have been amplified.
My slides from the talk are here:
The Internet has solved the basic distribution of event-based facts in a variety of ways; no one needs a news organization to know what the White House is saying when all press briefings are posted on YouTube. What we do need is someone to tell us what it means.
I’ll give you the most logical conclusion kids are ditching Facebook—one that none of the articles I read on the Great Teenage Facebook Exodus mentioned. And the evidence that supports the theory is right there in the Piper Jaffray survey. But first let’s define Facebook.
What is Facebook to most people over the age of 25? It’s a never-ending class reunion mixed with an eternal late-night dorm room gossip session mixed with a nightly check-in on what coworkers are doing after leaving the office. In other words, it’s a place where you go to keep tabs on your friends and acquaintances.
You know what kids call that? School.
When important news is shared on Twitter, traders and investors need to be able to access it, and validate its importance in order to incorporate that information into their decision making process. Bloomberg’s platform now provides this ability, along with the high-quality news, data and analytics our users need and have come to expect from us.
I feel like my use of social media, it’s not completely consigned to Twitter, but I certainly use it more than any other social medium. But Twitter’s not the only way people are consuming information through social media, and I think that’s something worth reinforcing again and again. Reddit got a lot of attention for the Aurora shootings. I think social media is a good thing for journalists because I think it makes us all more aware, it’s just that simple. I think more information is better, and better than less, certainly. And I think it actually diversifies the streams of information. I think I am much more likely to learn about something through Twitter than I would through my conventional means of consumption. I’m going to be surprised, I am going to to read or be pointed to find out something I had not heard before.
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