Is your favorite radio station Twittering? Does your local newspaper have a Facebook page?Kathleen Culver with the UW School of Journalism & Mass Communication says newspapers, TV news – and even radio stations – have come up to speed, considering most popular social media sites didn’t even exist a few years ago. “I think mainstream media, newspapers in particular, are well aware today of a fact that they seemed to miss five years ago. And that fact is that they can’t afford to be in a single medium,” says Culver. “They need to be trying to reach audiences in as many ways as they possibly can.”
Culver says the two way communication of popular sites like Facebook and Twitter comes at a crucial time for more traditional forms of news delivery. “When you have a shrinking newsroom, you need to be sharing that information with other outlets, because you can’t afford to be doing everything on your own anymore,” she says. “When 40,000 jobs have been cut in journalism, there aren’t nearly as many bodies as there used to be, to develop these stories.”
“Now that we’re on this 24-7 news cycle, and we have social media in the game, you have reporters moving much more quickly to disclose what information they have, what stories they’re working on,” Culver says.