February 21, 2012

Online friends are the new news authorities

View more PowerPoint from Debra Askanase

News becoming more social as publications turn to apps & hubs

Target audience: Journalists, online news staffs, Web publishers, news consumers, nonprofits, foundations, businesses, educators.

Debra AskanaseEarlier this month I gave a presentation for the New England Press and Newspaper Association‘s winter conference on how social media is impacting journalism and the newspaper industry. I appeared on a panel with Boston Globe reporter Milton Valencia and “Crowdsourcing”d author Jeff Howe. Milton spoke enthusiastically about why Twitter matters to journalists, and Jeff explained the virtuous cycle of reporting and online community that makes reporting better. During the presentation, I identified four areas impacted by social media: the changing definition of an authoritative news source, the concept of news participators, how news is shared, and the changing news cycle.

Authority = trust

In the age of social, a newspaper and its journalists must earn authority; who is an authority is now decided by news consumers. For decades, even centuries, there’s been a “paper of record” that has been considered the authority on what is news. No longer. According to the Pew report Understanding the Participatory News Consumer, 30 percent of Internet users get news from a combination of friends, journalists, or news organizations that they follow on social networking sites. Moreover, half of social network users who also consume news online get their news daily from people they follow within social networks. Continue reading