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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

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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.


I totally agree! Only a few months ago, I was referred to as #twitterlessMaddie, but after jumping on the Twitter band-wagon, I have found myself wasting time scrolling through numerous tweets. But, is it really wasted time? After reading ATVN tweets, I feel full of knowledge on all the latest news! Unlike the tweets about how drunk someone was this weekend, or how their new favorite song is Nicki Minaj's Superbass, ATVN's tweets are so useful. I would never be so up-to-date on all the news about the NBA lockout, nor would I know the random facts about USC floating in my head. Without twitter, communication with people across the country would take a lot more work. Twitter provides a great way for me, as well as my followers who see my atvn retweets, to stay up-to-date on all the latest news!

I feel so fortunate to be studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at USC because there is no doubt that this field is expanding day after day. While some will say that print journalism is a dying field, our generation is seeing a huge technology shift to electronic consumption of the news. There is no doubt that Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular ways people first hear about current events. The second anything huge happens you can expect to see it pop up on your Facebook news feed or Twitter timeline. This is great because people who don't usually check the news, but are still active on social media sites, will not be left out when important news breaks.

You're right about how fortunate our generation is to be growing up in this digital era. I didn't realize how useful Twitter could be like getting that great interview. Those who despise Twitter will now know that it is a much more useful means of communication and outreach rather than just telling people what you're doing at every waking moment. Have you looked at the privacy policy? Twitter shares a lot of information to third parties, so our ATVN tweets are actually reaching further than we even thought! ;).

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