ICE blogs

June 5, 2008

The Facebook of things to come

Filed under: ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism — news_editor @ 1:06 am

Journalists are increasingly discovering the relevance of social networking sites to their lives and work, according to Kelly Wilson, an assistant editor at the American Journalism Review.

Keyy writes: ‘Across the board, social sites are a way for people to interact as they never could before (or at least, never could with such ease). For journalists that means contacting others for ideas and support on tough assignments or connecting with editors for advice and job opportunities. Many organizations have gone a step further to create groups only for members of their news outlets’ networks.’

The dam broke when Facebook became open to everyone in September 2006. For journalists it brought faster contact with their younger sources as well as ethical dilemmas about operating in such an accountability-free environment. According to Kelly, journalists of all ages are getting onboard with Facebook because they fear being left behind. For Jonathan Landman, 55, a deputy managing editor of the New York Times, knowing what is happening online is crucial to his job, and a huge part of that takes place on Facebook. More than using the site much for himself, he told Kelly he created a profile to help him keep on eye on how the site develops.

Kelly concludes: ‘As in any form of journalism, if you don’t understand where the audience is and what it’s doing, you don’t understand the audience.’
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