It seems as if you can’t read the Daily these days without seeing mention of Twitter, Facebook or some other Social network. But it’s not just stories about these platforms, it’s stories eminating from these platforms; it seems as if these days all a tabloid journalist has to do is keep an eye on a few Twitter streams and Facebook pages and their stories write themselves.
Looking at the online version last weekend:
Just scanning the front page of the Daily Mail website I can see:
And that’s just in the headlines. Many other stories include details of Twitter comments, pictures culled from Facebook pages and details found on both these sites.
We’ve also recently had details of Gary Barlow’s unfortunate loss, vile tweets that were sent to him, warring couples fighting it out on Twitter, and more.
You could be forgiven for thinking that some of the journalist of this ‘esteemed’ publication were just sitting in the pub all day with their iPhones streaming Twitter and Facebook – surely not?
But it does raise a slightly bigger issue to me. Most of the stories above are ‘celebrity’ stories – general tabloid fodder, and you do wonder how many of them are tweeting in the knowledge that they will then be picked up by the newspapers.
But other stories involving Social networks aren’t about so called celebs. They’re serious human interest stories. The dead baby joke site is disgusting (see our recent blog on this). Eye witness accounts of wars, earthquakes, typhoons and more have broken on Twitter and been reported, way before any journalist could be in place.
So I’m torn between thinking that the journalists are being lazy, or are they making the best use of the media around them?
[Disclaimer: yes, I know many people hate the Daily Mail, but it was an ideal example for this blog. The Telegraph, Guardian and other 'respectable' publications have all been guilty of this too, just not that I could find today.]
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