How is Facebook changing journalism ?

Hi there! I’m Lassila and I’m doing a master in journalism at the AJM (Académie du Journalisme et des Médias), a program of the Neuchatel University. I’m from Burundi. [Yes, I know! you are asking yourself where this country could be…It is in Center- East of Africa near Tanzania, Rwanda and Congo. you got it?:) ]

Let’s talk about my blog’s theme: How is Facebook (FC) changing journalism ? I develop two specific points of  this vast theme. The new “subscribe” button for journalist  on Facebook and the application developed by some newspaper for this social media. Ready?

You all know that social media in general changed dramatically journalism. The journalist is not anymore the gatekeeper. Every citizen can contribute to the production of information through social media. Journalists use  also social media to source information, verifying,  find ideas, collect opinions on different subjects, networking and promoting their work.

Up to now, Twitter is the most used social media by journalists for real-time reporting and reaching out to sources. But it looks like things are shifting , even tough quite slowly. September 2011 , Facebook launched some new functions .In my opinion, the most important function  for journalists is the “subscriber” function. It means that with this new function, people can follow a journalist without being friends. The journalist or any public figure just has to allow this function. The advantage is that a journalist can now have thousands of followers even though the maximum of “friends” for everybody else is limited to 5.000. They copied Twitter. It works like an RSS feed. I do  follow a couple of interesting journalists since last Sunday . You just have to choose who you want to follow (of course the journalist has to have a Facebook account) and click “subscribe”. So easy!

In my opinion this function will have an impact on journalism . Maybe not now but everything is a question of time. What is now important with this new feature is not only the newspaper but  also the journalist. He/she is becoming a kind of star with thousands of followers. The journalist is in other words a brand. A brand that has now to think to the best way to reach its audience on a social media like Facebook with approximately 800 millions accounts. And don’t forget that on this kind of media, people normally read, show or listen to something recommended by others friends. Some articles have more success than others on Facebook. Facebook just published the 40 most popular articles posted and shared on the site during 2011. The dead of Ben Laden was number 1.  On this subject read : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8924835/Facebooks-most-popular-shared-news-stories-for-2011-revealed.html and http://www.facebook.com/#!/facebook?sk=app_271705986210152

And to have next year an article among the most popular on Facebook, editors and journalists will study very carefully those articles which were the best this year! Journalists will have to learn how to write “facebookable” articles. What do you think? Or will journalists be able to impose their way of writting on Facebook? After all at the beginning of online news websites, journalists were told that they have to write in a shorter way. But it’s not anymore the case now.

But let’s go now a step further. Newspapers such as the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have developed special applications for Facebook . People can with this app read these newspapers without leaving FC. Alisa Bowen from the WSJ said that they have to put their articles where people are…and people are obviously on Facebook!

guardian’s application on Facebook

Could you imagine that all the news organizations will be only on FC one day? Without any other website. And Facebook the main gateway of content and all the others only suppliers of news. Could you imagine Facebooking imposing to all news organizations the form, the length of an article? I hope definitely not!!! This year , a survey announced  that Facebook makes up 52.1% of sharing on the web. And for Jeff Sonderman, a social media specialist, this is not a fiction story! According to him,if Facebook succeed to become the Network in internet, where everything has to be, the social network “will pull news organizations into its wall”.

Will Facebook put all news organizations into its wall and influence the way news are made? What are your opinons? Please share! 

source : techaddictionblog.wordpress.com

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