I was surprised at the push-back I received from professional journalists, freelancer photographers, professors and even journalist students regarding the use of social media as a journalist and/or in the newsroom when I presented at the NPPA Convergence.  I faced many questions as to why social media to be used, the ethics of using social media, the verification process, copyright issues and even concerns that using pictures and video shared via social media platforms is taking jobs away from freelancers.  One session ended with a very tense atmosphere.


I came back to Denver geared up to write a series of blogs answering and addressing every question and concern raised in the sessions.  But, before I returned the Iran election was being shared primarily through social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  I saw everything that I had spoken about and all the questions thrown at me being played out on an international stage in both mainstream and social media platforms.  Just when I felt I could jump in on the conversation and use the Iran election as illustrators to discuss my points, Michael Jackson died and the internet felt the weight of demand as so many turned to online resources to find out what was happening.


I choose to believe every journalist and every mainstream newsroom took pause and thought about the evolving landscape of information and how news is captured and reported since June 18.  I hope I won’t have to have future debates on whether traditional news needs to be functioning in social media platforms.  There is no doubt in my mind that journalism as we know it is evolving. 


The Nielsen blog calls it The New News Revolution. “In the two weeks since the controversy and conflict surrounding the (Iran) election, a number of insights have emerged about how the Internet and social media continue to be a transforming force for the News industry.”


“As the Internet draws a generation of fans for the King of Pop, new media is redefining what it means to share an experience - both alone, and together,” wrote CBS News correspondent Daniel Sieberg in Jackson Story Shows Speed of Digital Age.


This speed means journalists will have to at least be aware of the conversations and main topics on social platforms.  I’m not saying in any way that we just throw out everything we know about journalism and reporting.  I believe we will have to evolve as social platforms evolve.  Not only can we evolve, but now is the time for us to define how journalism can function and succeed on these platforms.