By Suzy Smith & Terry Heifetz, Ball State University
Social media has changed the way we interact within our communities. We use it to keep in touch with our families and friends, to connect with people who have common interests, to inform our social and professional groups about upcoming events or happenings, and even to share instant information about our feelings, our whereabouts and even share advice about places to go and things to do.
The news media has a long history with social media, although it is not obvious to most. From the early beginnings of the industry news has encouraged interaction between the audience and the news organization. Letters to the editor and phone call-in shows to the broadcast station are just two of the many ways that audiences in the past have played a part in interacting with the news. Technological advances have now made that interaction instantaneous. Discussion boards, twitter feeds, citizen journalism websites and Facebook groups, what we call social media, are among the many new outlets that provide audiences a way to take an active role in the news industry. [Read more...]