Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why social media is crucial to journalism

Two recent research studies that I ran across today -- appropriately enough, through Twitter -- are all the evidence anyone in journalism today should need with regard to how important social media and mobile access are for the future of the craft.

Study 1: From the University of Maryland.
UM students were asked to go without media for 24 hours and write about the experience in a group blog, which was analyzed. Many students described the experience in terms of an addiction that had gone unfulfilled. The university described the study in a news posting and summarized some additional details (again, appropriately) in a blog posting. (I especially like the Wordle summary.)

Study 2: From the Pew Research Center.
For teenagers, online text messaging has become the dominant form of social interaction -- surpassing even face-to-face contact with close friends.

Findings such as these are so important because these are the news consumers (I am deliberately avoiding the term "readers") of the future. Understanding and addressing these media usage habits is necessary for anyone developing future models of journalism

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