Thursday, August 6, 2009

News makers need journalists now more than ever

With the recent downtown bank robbery at Bank of America I started thinking about how the word got out and the impact between the growing rivalry between social media and journalism.

We can make the argument all day long on whether people on twitter "breaking the news" technically turn themselves into journalists simply by reporting the news or we can hang on to the idea journalists are still journalists and people on twitter/social media outlets are still just regular people on social media outlets. I'm not sure which side I'd argue for yet but I have developed my own verdict on one thing: When a news event happens, "true journalists" are needed on the scene now more than ever.

As stories are now able to break in real time thanks to mobile devices connected to the internet which can transmit a "breaking" story in a matter of seconds, it is quite easy to see why it took our OKC media outlets longer than expected/desired to report the robbery story...they can't be everywhere at once. What can happen, however, is for a Bank of America representative, the police or whoever is in charge to go find the journalist. I know it kind of sounds backwards but with today's technology it must happen in order for rumors not to spread like wildfire.

It is more important now than ever for true journalists to be given priority on a news event. Don't shut them out, don't tell them to wait, get the facts to them so that they can tell the public what is really going on instead of it spreading across the internet with true/not true information.

Now, I'm strictly speaking of "breaking news" and not investigative or anticipated stories.

Hope all this makes does in my head at least. What do you think?