Is every owner of a social network account a journalist?
Where the world has evolved to in terms of technology in the last few decades is amazing. We have moved from land-line phones to mobile phones, huge television sets to flat screen high definition sets. We’ve seen the move from analogue to digital broadcasting.
We’ve further moved from analogue mobile phones to more sophisticated smart-phones and with the improved Internet facilities, people are constantly connected nowadays. Writing letters have since gone out of fashion, the same to relying on radio and television stations as the sole source of news.
News is now readily available, all you have to do is add you favourite news provider on facebook, twitter, RSS feeds, blogs etc and you will immediately be notified once there’s any update, no need to stick by your radio all day long to stay connected.
The number of facebook users has grown tremendously; twitter too. Many people are also turning to blogging different aspects of their lives; both business and personal.
This has recently been causing some concerns regarding the reliability of news sources. Do you believe the news twitted by your neighbour about some unrest in your city or do you wait to hear from the city authorities on proper news channels like radio and television stations.
Do you wait for the newspaper to come out tomorrow or check for the news coverage in blogs today? Stories make it quite fast onto social networks, however not everyone that can write about an event is a journalist.
Some journalism ethics have been widely ignored; for instance, we’ve seen bad pictures of murder victims, road accidents openly displayed on blogs and social networks which are seen by people of all ages including children without consideration to the deceased or their families. No one would be happy to see the body of their loved one displayed before they get a chance to prepare the body for final respects. It leaves a sad mark on the families of the deceased.
Somehow every user of social networks and social media need to be able to tell apart authentic and ethical news stories from unethical news stories and to refrain from sharing unethical content online.