Yesterday we saw a heroic pilot steer an Airbus plane into the Hudson River saving the lives of 155 people. Many traditional forms of media were not quick to respond.
I first learned of the story via a post from Twitter. Janis Krums posted this message shortly after the plane splashed into the Hudson River. In the span of the next several hours, the photo he took was viewed over 150,000 times and he was interviewed by MSN moments later. Social media is increasing its role in the mainstream world.
That role is (in part) a new form of journalism. News reporters are seemingly late to the scene. Economic woes have caused reductions in newspaper staff and what they can deliver. Journalism needs new ways to send the message.
That new form, Citizen Journalism, is becoming the new way of reporting the news. In short, Citizen journalism is people “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.”
The bankrupting newspaper industry should embrace these citizen journalist. They can fill the pages, help the bottom-line – and sometimes, create the best reads in the paper.
Social media is emerging as a credible form of media. It has changed the way we market by putting the power of communication into the hands of the audience. And, the results have been amazing. It has engaged people, started conversations, and made meaningful connections.
Journalism has the same opportunites through social media. Let’s see where they take it.