At face value, journalists not only benefit from the exposure that digital environments bring, but also have unlimited amounts of information available at their fingertips. 

Moreover, there are millions of conversations taking place over a multitude of platforms, meaning that those working in this field need to be online to stay in the loop.  

On the not-so-bright side, the Internet and social media are polluted with a ton of fake news and misinformation. As everything that spills into the digital void can't be fact-checked, it can be difficult to separate the facts from the falsities. However, despite these hindrances, social media has done a lot of good for the journalistic field.

Here, media update's Taylor Goodman looks at how social media reshaped journalism. Let's investigate: 

Social media helps journalists build a reputation

Although it can be difficult to imagine a society without social media, it was not that long ago when journalists had to break boundaries in their field or win major accolades to have a stellar reputation.

Nowadays, it's a lot easier to make a name for yourself due to how fast information travels online. You have the ease of sharing a news story as soon as it breaks — or as soon as you write a piece covering it, at least. 

As a source of information and knowledge for your followers, you can regularly share your pieces and build a following of loyal readers along the way. After all, most publications have writer profiles that include their social media @ handles these days anyway

Although, it doesn't have to be strictly business on their social platforms. Journalists can use social media to foster a more intimate connection with their followers. They can share insights on trending topics, chat with their readers regarding their content or liaise with those also working in their field. 

The more a journalist engages on social media, the greater likelihood that they will make a name for themselves — both in their industry and with the public at large. 

Social media allows publications to expand their reach

These days, everyone is on social media — which means that the number of consumers you could possibly reach is limitless. After all, it is predicted that there are going to be 3.96 billion social media users worldwide in 2022. (Insert mind-blown emoji here).

Given this wide net of potential readers, journalists and publications have the opportunity to reach thousands (if not millions) more readers by simply sharing their content on social media. 

Twitter, for example, is considered to be the complementary social platform for journalists and publications because it enables them to share breaking news as soon as it happens. For this reason, many consumers use this platform to follow news stories or to chip in with their own two cents when something is trending. 

By sharing accurate and authentic content that users crave, you can expose your work to a whole new world of readers and expand your reach over time. Say hello to journalism's next big thing

Social media opens the door for more diverse conversations

As mentioned, everyone and their mother is active on at least one social media platform. This means that these digital environments are populated by diverse groups of people who enrich the online space with their unique perspectives. 

As a journalist, you probably know how important it is to be learning constantly and expanding your levels of awareness. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are highly discursive and also widely used, making it the place to be for journos. 

Why do we say this? Well, because of the diversity that social media brings, journalists can use it to ask questions and learn about different cultures, experiences and opinions. 

Think about it — instead of having to put together a focus group when crowdsourcing, journalists can just ask their followers to share their thoughts on social media. Look how far we've come

What are your thoughts on the rise of social journalism? Let us know in the comments section below.

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*Image courtesy of Pixabay.