Journalism is at a crossroads, with two distinct groups voicing their opinions.
On one side, many journalists don’t buy the trend toward social media and have their heads firmly entrenched in the sand. They believe in their readership’s loyalty and claim that social media is a passing fad.
One the other side, other journalists have fully embraced the social media tools at their disposal and go so far as to trumpet the death of journalism. They expect newspapers to close up shop; the death knell of print news is a symphony of tweets.
Aren’t they two views mutually exclusive? Which one is correct?
Personally, I believe they are both wrong. Some newspapers will outlast social media and some have already been taken down by it. The basic truth is that some people love getting their news from social media like Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed, while others will never replace their tangible newspaper-with-coffee routine.
This post will explain, however, that newspapers and journalists who use social media – in effect integrate these two seemingly opposing ideas – will likely be the long-term winners. There is no doubt that the old ways are changing. Journalists who refuse to accept that should begin cleaning up their resumes.
But major news networks need not shutter the windows quite yet. Embracing this change could be the key to stopping the newspaper industry’s slow (and recently not so slow) slide into irrelevance.