Credibility and trust are the key issues in today’s information(overload) age where news emanates from multiple sources, including sources other than journalists. More so than ever, news is also real-time and unrelenting: there’s lots of it.
Here, below, I created this pyramid which helps demonstrate news hierarchy and flow in the social media age. It proposes that journalists have an important role to play as interpreters, fact checkers and guardians of accuracy in this new paradigm of fast, unrelenting, real-time information. It suggests that media’s value lies decreasingly in being first with a story, because for breaking news stories they’ll mostly be beaten every time by their own readers: the millions of users out there.* These are users plugged into social networks, blogs and social media sites. These are users armed with cellphone cameras, laptops or computers.
Journalists are increasingly relying on social networks, blogs and myriad other web-based user-generated content sites as sources. While using these new real-time sources to enrich the reporting process, journalists should never forget their important role: the value of media, it seems, could lie in providing interpretation, context, analysis and understanding around a story — being that further stamp of credibility and mark of accuracy on raw, real-time news and information that often originates from untested or unknown sources.
Is this media’s role in the social media age?