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When Twitter and Facebook launched, they were networking sites. Pictures, wall posts, status updates. It was pure social interaction. As seemingly everyone with Internet access connected with friends and family, businesses, including news organizations took notice. By creating Twitter accounts or Facebook pages, a news organization can reach an enormous potential audience. And by implementing popular interactive tweets or Facebook posts, a news team can expand their resources.
At ATVN, we use Twitter and Facebook a ton of different ways. Since the Trojan network is far-reaching we can reach many people in many places via social media. For example, on Tuesday we covered the Penn State scandal. We wanted a soundbite from someone attending Penn State so we sent out a Tweet asking if anyone went to the school, or knew someone that did. Soon our assignment desk found someone and set up a Skype interview. It ended up being a great interview for our show and we would have never gotten it without social media.
On the other hand, we use social media to ensure our stories reach the maximum number of readers and viewers. Every time we publish a story online we tweet it out and publish it on our Facebook page. By bringing the stories to our viewers, instead of hoping they come to us we can increase the amount of exposure our stories get. In addition, this allows our audience to retweet or share our stories other ways, giving the stories an opportunity to go viral.
I'm glad I'm entering the journalism industry now with all of these innovations taking place. There are so many opportunities for new ways to reach readers or viewers with social media. I don't know how news organizations could operate as effectively without Twitter or Facebook and I'm sure the field will change even more as people and news organizations continue to explore our new hyper-connected sites.