Assess the role of twitter in disrupting established concepts of journalism using relevant examples.
As an increasing amount of people have gained access to the internet, with incrementally faster-paced networks, it has found itself an exceedingly popular platform in which users have the freedom to discuss topics of choice to an extensive and unlimited viewership. Consumers of the news have adapted to forms of new media, such as online news, blogs, social media sites, and microblogging sites such as Twitter, which not only have the potential to give users content and information at unimaginably high speed, but also the opportunity to share their own personal material. This allows for everyone to become a 'journalist' at a low (or free of) charge at an even faster speed that traditional media organisations, therefore incorporating a grassroots dimension to the media.
Networked technologies such as Twitter provide a huge social platform for audiences of the media to make a shift from their role as a consumer, to having the potential in which to become 'produsers'. 'We are moving from a traditional "news cycle" dominated by journalists and professional sources to a more complex "information cycle" that integrates ordinary people in the ongoing construction and contestation of news.' (Chadwick 2011, cited in Newman, N., 2011). This touches on the significant change that consumers are able to contribute to content, participate in debate with journalists and other consumers, and sites such as Twitter enables users to share their own opinion, images and videos, essentially becoming citizen journalists in their own right. I aim to explore traditional journalist concepts, how they are being disrupted through new mediums, and to study in particular the effect that Twitter has had; essentially aiming to conclude if new media has threatened traditional media or complemented it.
Twitter is contemporarily one of the most successful social mediums and is a perfect example of a platform for networked media environments and a prodigious contributor to the shift from traditional media. Twitter is a social media site that allows it users to 'tweet' 140 characters, including images and videos to the twitterer's 'followers'. 'Since Twitter's launch in 2006, users have developed practises of gathering and spreading the news using microblogging tools.' (Chichifoi, 2013). Twitter has more than "645,750,000 active registered Twitter users" (Twitter Statistics, 2014), engaging with the site, for a range of purposes, from friendly conversational means, to sharing important news. 'Digital media technologies such as Twitter facilitate the instant, online dissemination and reception of short fragments of information from sources outside the formal structures of journalism.' (Hermida, A., 2012.)
It is these media technologies that initially prompted the public to turn towards participatory forms of journalism. 'The individual journalist has become more visible as the traditional media landscape has exploded and fragmented. In a social-media landscape, the voice of the individual becomes clearer.' (Cook, C., and Knight, M., 2013.) Thus, it is necessary to note that the internet has redefined the concepts of 'citizen journalists' and 'participant journalists' whilst adding new proportions to their meanings. 'The online audience has the means to become an active participant in the creation and dissemination of news and information.' (Bowman, S., and Willis, C. 2003). Citizen journalism is vital in its duty to gather information,