The discussion topic for my group on Tuesday October 26 was, at what point should professional journalists and news broadcasters be given sole reporting authority for a story? In today’s whirlwind of social media and the endless ways of connecting and publishing on blogs, websites, etc, I don’t think there is a way to give broadcasters the sole responsibility of reporting. Even if broadcasters were the only ones reporting a story there would still be people who would find their own way of reporting, via their facebook, twitter, myspace, or blog account. Ben Lorica reports that there are over 300 million active users on facebook right now and with that enormous amount of users and the numbers growing, there’s no way to control the surge of amateur reporting.
And what happens when there’s nothing unique about publishing anymore, because users can do it for themselves, as Clay Shirky states? I already see this happening, especially in the magazine industry. Every celebrity magazine from Star to People has almost the exact same cover story, worded differently yes, but nonetheless the same information. The cover story is usually about the hottest celebrities troubles. Has our world become so consumed in the rich and fabulous that we secretly revel in their demise? It’s sad that reporting for magazines has taken a turn, not in news reporting, yet in gossip reporting. Don’t get me wrong, I like gossip and I think it’s safe to say, so does most of the world, but when is enough, enough?
I though it was interesting that Lorica reported growth for facebook remains fastest among those aged 45 and older in the U.S, yet Shirky explains that people with a professional outlook have a hard time understanding how something that isn’t professionally produced could affect them (Shirky 56). I would think that most people who are in their forties are professionals, so I find it interesting that those most involved in facebook could potentially be those professionals who have a hard time understanding why this social media site could affect them? I think that control over media, stories, breaking news or anything deemed relevant is less in the hand of the professionals (Shirky 59). With so many ways for civilians to report news there is no way that all professional outlets are the go to for media information.
As the years go on there will be more people who invent social media sites and control the mass public just as friendster did, then myspace, and now facebook and twitter. I think social media is just as fast as fast food is to the food industry and it’s sweeping the public by storm.