How Facebook is stepping up and serving as a tool for journalists

4 Apr

For journalists trying to navigate the new ways of telling and finding news, Facebook offers options different from those offered by Twitter, and those options should be explored also.

Twitter is very useful for breaking news. There is no option but to be concise, and the way it supports conversations is great for discussing news.

But Facebook is making its own place in the journalism world, especially with the creation of pages rather than just profiles. In addition to the Facebook Page specifically created for journalists, Facebook gives the option for journalists to create their own personal pages.

With Facebook Pages, it’s possible to continue using Facebook the way it was originally intended, which is as a way to personally connect with others and have a personal profile, but it also allows journalists to separately and effectively promote their work and “brand.”

Also, because Facebook is interconnected, meaning posts from Facebook Pages for businesses, TV shows, writers, etc. are not separate from posts from individuals’ profiles, everyone in a community who “likes” a journalist will that journalist’s news on their feeds.

It doesn’t seem to have the same conversational appeal as Twitter, but the ability to comment and spread information, especially with the new use of Facebook apps, is still available and it has the ability to reach a very large group.

I do have one futuristic idea for Facebook’s tie to journalism, and that’s Facebook creating a separate tab for a news-only feed. Similar to Google News, the feed would show news from only journalists and the Facebook Pages of news organizations you chose to like.

It would be like a combination of Twitter and Google News, but right on a social networking site that has already gained large popularity (unlike Google Plus) and allows for longer posts/photos/tags with regular names (unlike Twitter).

Like most ethical issues stemming from new technological uses, there’s the possibility of giving or receving false information when a tool like Facebook is heavily relied upon. But on the plus side, it gives a lot more personality and openness to the news organization.

Personally I use Facebook to promote my blog. I created a Facebook Page for it, and the page allows me to post information outside of what’s posted in the blog, and I can also promote my name because it should turn up in more searches. My blog is also linked to the page so everytime I put up a blog post, my Facebook Page also posts that I added an entry.

The next step is to get people to see my page and like it…

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