Blog 13: What is social media?

How has the social media impacted journalism?

Social media has played an increasingly important role in today’s society. It changes the ways that people communicate with each other and also gather information. Due to the change in the public, social media has a significant impact on journalism and journalists.

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of people who read the news on social media platforms grows every year. For example, only 15% of all American digital news readers read news from two or more social media platforms in 2013, while about 26% did that in 2017. The number is projected to be up in the future.

Meanwhile, the most common way for a user to get news is “through social media and direct visits to websites.” Around 35% of Americans get resources through social media platforms, while 36% would directly visit their favorite sites.

Because more and more people regard social media as the place to get news, many news outlets changed their ways of feeding the public on social media handles. For example, news organizations need to write much more creative captions than before to catch people’s attention so that more people can read their stories.

Comparison between previous posts and current posts

Meanwhile, social media helps journalists in newsgathering and crowdsourcing. Thus, journalists now always use social media to find ideas. They can also find sources directly by asking on social media to see who wants to be interviewed. 

I posted on Twitter to find sources for my story

Besides, when covering breaking news, such as car incidents, social media helps journalists find eyewitnesses quickly because people like to tweet or post shocking things they see. This can make it easier for journalists to track down those who may have first-hand information about the event.

Overall, social media has changed our ways of covering stories. Thus, we need to learn more about social media voluntarily. Feel free to read my previous blogs if you want to know more about different social media platforms. 


  1. Social Media’s Impact on Journalism
  2. Social Media Impact on News
  3. Key Trends in Social and Digital News Media

Published by Lgao

NBC News Asia Desk Fellow Reporter

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