By simply writing this blog post one could argue that I am a journalist. Today, technology allows anyone to publish their work online. You don’t have to pick up a newspaper anymore to find out what is happening around the world– you can simply look it up. But better yet, you can interact with it. You can comment, share articles on social media platforms and tweet opinions about anything and everything that matters to you.
So is a tweet or a blog post considered journalism? Well apparently social media is changing our digital news habits:
News is at our fingertips. It is readily available in many forms. Media news has created an interconnectedness around the world allowing people in Australia to read about American politics or someone in Europe to watch the latest Korean pop music video. People can log into Facebook and watch short clips of breaking news and sort through trending Twitter hashtags to find out what people around the world are talking most about. Our world is becoming more aware because of social media. It is the process of globalization. Media is also being used in tactical ways such as to organize or rally groups of people for a cause. Many of the impacts of instantaneous news are positive.
But social media is also making the job of the citizen more important. Can we trust social media and the “journalists” who publish their opinions online? Although it is the job of a journalist to tell the truth and be objective, the definition of a journalist has changed making readers responsible for filtering every piece of news they consume. The concept of cultural imperialism, as O’Shaughnessy discusses, is also a possible negative outcome of globalizing media. Western ideals and values may saturate the media and although one may think they can pick and choose what they want to read, all the information may be a product of one source or media conglomerate (O’Shaughnessy, 2012, p. 465).
Everyone has the ability to be a journalist today and consume news in whatever format they choose, but it is important to be aware of the influence of globalization and technology on our world so that we can become more critical consumers and mindful social media users.