Social media forcing journalists to adapt to changing times

national May 03, 2014 00:00

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

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People have changed from being "passive" consumers of news via television or newspapers to catching almost every breaking news item from any corner of the world in real-time on social media.

Twitter appears to have become the first channel to provide updates, followed by social networks like Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. Updates from news organisations come in a close third thanks to links “shared” by others on their social-media timelines.
As this method of news consumption is not just a passing fad, journalists have had to change the way they develop and deliver news.
Professional journalists in Thailand and other countries are working hard to adjust their methods of reporting so it can be embedded in the dynamic social-media platforms. 
In fact, the way people consume news nowadays has changed so much that journalism courses have also had to be adjusted. 
In Thailand, professional journalists and academics have teamed up to help improve the realm of reporting to fit in the social-media era, launching a Thai-language book recently entitled “Principles of Convergence Journalism”. 
The book explains how the media landscape has changed across the world and in Thailand, how consumers’ behaviour has changed, how news organisations are adjusting and how journalists are now reporting. 
Sudarat Disayawattana Chantrawatanakul, a co-editor of the book, said changes in the media landscape and consumption behaviour was affecting the way media organisations do business and how they deliver news, and also how the “wall” between editorial and marketing departments has been demolished. 
Editorial and marketing people now need to work closely together to develop and deliver what they believe will attract “consumers”. 
Mana Treelayapewat, a lecturer at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said social media was already embedded in the process of news reporting and journalists now needed new skills and multi-tasking abilities. 
Chakkrish Permpool, a co-editor of the book, also pointed out that maintaining journalistic ethics was very important in this era of convergent media. 
So, while the media landscape has changed, with news organisations focusing on “convergence” to catch up with consumers and journalists having to change their methods, they still have to stick with certain basics so people are provided with correct information in these changing times. 

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