Twitter Is Just The Start Of It

Any which way you turn, as a journalist or as not, you cannot escape social media. Twitter, facebook and blogs are no longer buzz words that conjure up images of computer geeks straining over their laptops in the early hours of the morning. These terms have fast become a part of our vocabulary, and for journalists – an essential part of our work.

Claire Wardle, Honorary lecturer of Cardiff University and freelance journalist and trainer of social media, discussed how we can maximise the role social media plays on our lives to dramatic effect.

We no longer have to wait until 6 o’clock, 10 o’clock or the morning paper to get our stories out. As soon as a news story unravels we can report on it instantaneously and reach the masses at the click of a button.

The plethora of tools at our fingertips is overwhelming, but search engines, social bookmarks, aardvark and book marking are all out there to enhance our journalism and help us be more aware of the issues that surround our audiences.

“Social media is an umbrella term which captures the millions of conversations that are going on now.” This enables us to interact with our audience about relevant information that they themselves are interested in. The role of journalists is still the same – to understand, listen and empathise with the reader, and social media tools allow us to do exactly that, in a much more efficient way. In short, we can tell “better, more informed stories, develop stronger relationships with existing audiences and connect with new audiences.”

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