Journalism and Social Media

I’ve been thinking a lot about journalism, the celebrification of journalists, social media and the amateur celebrity. Now, you’re probably all familiar with the first three, but the last concept has been half-baked in my head for a while, help clarify it if you can. The amateur celebrity is the person who attains some status from social media – I’m one, you’re one, we’re all one if you’re publishing on the Internet. There needs to be some distinction between the producers and remixers of content, the pure recyclers of content (usually those who just post links without commentary) and the consumers. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pure consumers – not everyone has something to add to a discussion, although that doesn’t stop them from putting in their two cents regardless. I think the act of publishing and producing content, even remixing content, is very close to what journalists do – take a remix for instance. One takes existing content, puts their own spin on it and publishes. Isn’t that what an editor does when publishing for a newspaper or online source? Take the written piece, select an appropriate image from one of a several news wire service, ┬ámaybe tweak the written bit to fit for space and style…

So what separates journalism from social media publishing? Accountability, research, time… certainly a lot of the blogs I read put in many hours just to publish a couple paragraphs, the owners of those blogs have a reputation and have an expertise in the subject, so what’s the difference? It’s hard to say, but it’s got to be a fundamental reason that newspapers are down as well as other traditional media.

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