The Use of Facebook in Journalism Context: Literature Review

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This chapter review previous studies conducted on the facebook usage in journalism context. Literature was selected and presented accordance with the context of current study to examine that at what extent and how journalists use facebook in their work globally. As a social network facebook is not only a platform to develop social contacts but it is also beneficial in the practice of journalism for searching news and sources. This review of literature was divided in to various segments related to journalism like sharing news, contacting sources getting story ideas etc.

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Various studies have found that social media have become everyday tools among journalists. Social media particularly Facebook have developed and strengthened the concept of citizen journalism. In which information flows from multi directions which help journalists and readers to consume, search, and participate in issues of mutual interests. According to Cision and Don Bates (2010) the study was conducted regarding the public relations and strategies indicated that most of the journalist get information from social media and depend on it. However, it was also showed that most of the journalist search stories from social media such as Facebook, it has also provided new approach to increase the source of information to access the news and connectivity with other information about different issues and problems of the society Picard (2009:11) explained that through social media it is commonly observed that journalists get news and valuable feedback from the people who were connected with them on this social network. Social media connects journalists easily to the people and information also it provides easiness to the public to take part in ongoing discussion and divert their focus towards important issues that were overlooked by traditional media organizations. He further added that Social media provides an opportunity to its users to express their personal point of view on any subject more freely and help them to connect with mutual interest audiences.

Migichi Mary Wanjiku (2014) conducted a research study in Kenya and found that journalists and media houses use social media for breaking news, following developing stories, getting sufficient ideas for feature stories, sharing stories and increasing their knowledge about various issues. Before the advent and common use of social media journalists wile performing their job faced difficulties to identify and approach people as a source to information. Therefore in their traditional role as journalist they were mainly focused on searching news and information and up to date on news. Social media provides journalists an easy way to identify and contact sources. The social media is online platform that help journalists to find information at great speed and it provides diversity of sources, people and opinions inspite of it there are some risk associated with the use of social media use like reliability and credibility of information are always questioned.

Moreover journalists regarded information shared on facebook as trustworthy if it comes from a source known to them is considered as credible. However, in the context of journalism it is further obligatory to verify such information because in certain situation that information can be filtered or biased. According to the findings of Pew Research Centre‘s Journalism Project getting news on Facebook is an incidental experience. 78% of Facebook news users commonly find news on Facebook while their basic motives behind facebook usage were primarly not for news. News topics on Facebook are broad, among those diversity of topics entertainment news tops the list. Level of engagement with the news plays an important role in the social media news experience. With the growth in mobile devices social media users besides sharing news stories also contribute in certain portions to the reporting by taking photos or videos.Searching information on facebook.

Cliff Lampe, Jessica Vitak, Rebecca Gray, Nicole B. Ellison found in their research study that social contacts and engage with people as a source of information are considered the main indictors of information searching behavior; moreover, to the difference between users who primarily use facebook to search information and those who use facebook for other purpose is dependent on their demographic and usage behaviour differences.

News sharing through facebook

Anna Sophie Kümpel, Veronika Karnowski, and Till Keyling in their study define term “news sharing” to particular type of information sharing instead of describing it as a general activity of information sharing. Thus, news sharing involve the sharing of particular content and not applied to collective activity of sharing. By clik on share button facebook help media organizations and journalists to exchange information more easily. Online news sites due to its easy nature of usage are more depend on social media such as facebook to increase their website traffic, article views, and ultimately their economic success. Social media play its effective role of online news distribution and consumption.

This idea was supported by Ju, Jeong, & Chyi (2014).They found in their study that all US newspapers with a weekday circulation of more than 100, 000 are using social media as supportive vehicle to share information online.An, Quercia, and Crowcroft (2013) find in their study that in common users were more likely to share such stories which supports their idea while those stories which come in the contradiction to their mentality are not shared by them. Whereas Morgan, Lampe, and Shafiq (2013) have different and opposite viewpoint in this regard they concluded that users often share those news stories from media organizations that differ from their personal thinking.

Furthermore, Bakshy et al., (2011) focused on interest value of information as a dependent factor for news sharing activity. The worth of news with reference to the interest on one’s social network determines the level of sharing. They indicated that beside the interest value of the content of news story quality of the news source also plays an important role on sharing behaviour of social media users. Additionally the trust on the sources of a news may effect the news sharing activity. Boczkowski and Mitchelstein (2012) point out in their study that environmental and external factor may affect news sharing behaviour of journalists. They found that during periods of heightened political activity, public affairs content (featuring politics, government, or economics) is shared more often than non public affairs content (featuring entertainment, sports, or crime).

Facebook in news room

Suzanne Lysak, Michael Cremedas, and John Wolf (2012) found in their study that television stations are moving their concerns towards implementing social media in its news rooms to connect with news consumers and uplift their organizational profile in the community also it was found that media organizations encourage their staff to be present on social networks. Stassen (2010), in research study concluded that news site mainly uses social media mainly for sharing micro stories also it is used as a source of story ideas, information, and to view the participatory behaviour of the news consumers. Furthermore social media was considered as a channel to promote the image of the news agency. The survey report conducted by Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in 2010 indicates that while just over three fourths of television stations are integrating social media on their websites, a somewhat smaller number of stations (58%) are incorporating it into storytelling. Only about 1 in 10 stations (9%) said they are doing nothing with social media.Garrison’s (2001a) study found journalists working in Internet connected news organizations could quickly access large quantities of valuable information; as a result, some newsroom managers and reporters felt the Internet gave their organizations a competitive advantage.

Traditional-media news organizations also began using the Internet as a news distribution channel. News websites proved to be beneficial because newsrooms could publish more content without the time and space constraints that were present in TV news broadcasts and print newspapers.

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