Getting The Right Story Right

Alan Rusbridger in his speech on open-source journalism at Queen Mary, University of London argues that when the news media and social media cooperate, the true and important stories come out.

People want a voice, but while the individual social media user may have the expertise to tell the story or may even be a witness to the story, they don’t generally have the audience, time or financial resources to get the story out. News media has the wider audience and research and reporting capabilities, but doesn’t always have all of the facts or the expertise to give the story justice.

In combination though, the news media can use social media to learn what’s happening and where, gather many points of view, and gain knowledge without the time and expense of expert consultants. While social media puts pressure on the news media to get the story right, social media also helps the news media to get the story right. Individuals can use social media to focus the news media on stories that are important and contribute their knowledge so that what is reported is true. In addition, social media serves to correct false information after it is published and to widen the discussion on the issues that the story addresses. The wider discussion that results is the point because within the discussion is where the real work of democracy gets done.

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2 Responses to Getting The Right Story Right

  1. Anonymous says:

    This model has strengths and limitations. The strengths are seen with stories like the one he described at the World Economic Forum where the protester got killed and bloggers and protesters with mobile phones helped to get the word out. The risk still remains that it’s still hit or miss in the way citizen journalists get fact checked and in the speed to get things first we often get them wrong. That happened to an extent when reporters on the scene of the Supreme Court last year (both from the MSM and citizen reporters) incorrectly tweeted and blogged that the Supreme Court overturned Obamacare.

  2. DebbS says:

    The news media is still as responsible as before to check the facts prior to going public with a story. Their risk in not doing so Is loss of credibility. But, even if the news is misreported, there are more checks and balances that will eventually get the facts right when social media is involved. The reality is that either the news media will work with social media or social media will work against it.

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