Social Media can be one of the best tools to not only gather, but spread information about any topic instantaneously. Celebrities use their profiles to update their fans on upcoming events, their lives, their endorsements, etc. Moreover, journalists and photojournalists can use social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest to display breaking pictures and stories in real time. For example, Nicola Dowling was able to get to a local crime scene, gather information, and snap pictures with her phone quicker than any other news station was able to send someone down for coverage (Briggs ch. 5). She was able to do this thanks to mobile technology and was able to break national news from her phone, “Mobile reporters can report in any medium, from anywhere, anytime,” (Briggs ch. 5). Now imagine the power professional photographers, brands, and others can do at the tip of their fingers.
As Briggs describes, mobile phones are the equivalent to a Swiss army knife due to how much they are capable of (Briggs ch. 6). The benefits of social media include, but are in no way limited to, capturing broadcasting, viewing, sharing etc. any and all information. Platforms and profiles are great ways to stay connected to existing followers and well as network and reach potential new followers in similar fields. As the mode of access and viewing information changes, so should the way it’s being shared. As we have learned, and our class has been completing, live blogging is a new wave of updating a crowd and reporting in real time. That being said, mobile reporting will not be replacing in depth journalism stories in the near future.
A con to this type of communication is that information that is shared in small chunks or on location may be more efficient and beneficial to the audience if the information is first gathered, sifted through, and then released (Briggs ch. 6). Sometimes, this line can become confusing. Original content and plagiarism becomes another major issue when dealing with mass communication. One reason is because it can be taken and “reposted” by another person who claims ownership, another is that objects can be easily, and convincingly, added or removed. These images have just as high a chance to go viral as the original image, so which do you trust?
That being said, social media platforms are overall a great innovation. Users of Instagram and Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. know the distinct difference between all those listed. While they seem similar in function, their purposes are entirely different, at least if you know how to properly use the cites. For example, Facebook is mainly targeted at older generations, and is used for sharing articles as well as a place to upload mass pictures and albums – a place to store your photographs, interests, etc. Instagram is an artistic platform where people can discover new interests with ease, as well as others with the same interest. It is mostly targeted toward younger generations –essentially a highlight reel. Pinterest can be summed up into an online dream board, if you will. In the future, there is bound to be more apps and websites created with their individual purposes that will further fuel journalisms need to adapt.