For the past two decades, the web has revolutionized the storage, publishing, and consumption of information. The ripple effect has spread not just to the businesses and industry but also to politics, medicine, cultural boundaries, and media. However, the greatest wave of web innovation since Google in 1998 is social media. Social media involves communicating and networking through the use of texts, videos, blogs, pictures, and updates of the status through the use of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Nevertheless, of greatest interest is the way social media has become an influential tool in both communication and news-breaking tool. For instance, in 2009, the US government had to request Twitter to delay its scheduled maintenance because the platform was being used by protestors who were angered by Iran’s election (Mersey 2010). Since then, other major activities have used the popularity of social media to reach more people.
Journalism in the age of social media can be well understood by analyzing the old versus new media. News consumption today has changed tremendously after the entry of social media. Initially, people used to wait for morning papers or sit down at an appointed time for the evening news on televisions. Initially, people used to tune to 24-hour channels in order to get information on what was happening all over the world (Macnamara 2010). However, this aspect has changed. A growing number of listeners, viewers, and readers are shifting towards social networks for information. Initially, the circulation of information was limited to a specific geographical location. In addition, setting up a radio, print, or television station was an expensive venture. This is because these media houses required strong transmitters to transmit the signal around the whole country, region, or the whole world. However, journalism has changed with the penetration of social media which has enabled the users to connect to the internet in order to get access to a platform that is global and free to use. Initially, one had to have permission from various authorities in order to transmit the information (Zion & Craig 2015).
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