Social media redefines journalism for The Dart, creates forum for STA community | by SYDNEY DEATHERAGE
Blog this. Tweet that. Facebook it all. Welcome to social media: the newest and fastest-growing facet of journalism. Welcome to STA’s own Dart News Online.
In 2009, social media, especially Twitter, have made leaps and bounds to provide news organizations with fast-paced breaking news, with more grassroots and community connections than ever before.
Social media is designed for social interaction: it is published and accessed on user-friendly platforms and reaches the masses by means of virtual networks. Some common social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn and hundreds more.
The Dart is jumping on the bandwagon. After a summer of construction and training, Dart News Online’s web staff has produced this revolutionary news publication that you’re clicking around on, using the print version of The Dart as our foundation. We expect to forge a path for high school journalism, especially in the metro area. One of the major ways this will happen is through our use of social media, blogging and community forums on our site.
Dart News Online is catapulting 10 blogs, and perhaps more, into the ‘Blogosphere,’Â a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections, according to Wikipedia. We’ll be blogging about everything from spirituality to pop culture.
We couldn’t find a better way to define ‘blog’Â than the way Blogger.com does: ‘A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.’Â
We invite you, our loyal readers, to become a part of our Dart News Online mini-blogosphere. Follow your favorite campus blogger, post comments, start discussions. There is no easier way to get involved in our STA community, and we think you’ll find the blogosphere to be quite addictive.
It’s hard now to even hear a news broadcast without hearing about what was said on this or that Twitter feed. Just to put it in perspective, the following news organizations are on both Twitter and Facebook, and probably oodles more social sites: CNN, Fox News, NPR, The New York Times, BBC, USA Today, The LA Times, our own Kansas City Star and many, many more. News organizations could be treading dangerous waters if they aren’t active on networking sites, considering their importance in today’s journalism.
According to www.twitter.com, Twitter is defined as a ‘social networking and microblogging service utilizing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface.’Â In layman’s terms, Twitter is like blogging, except in 140 characters or less and via text messaging or internet status updates. Following in the paths of many major news organizations, Dart News Online is embracing Twitter’s use as a microblogging service, ‘microblogging’Â meaning blogging news and opinion in short snippets.
Follow our twitter feed. We’ll be tweeting game scores, all-school reminders, news snippets, and exciting things like ‘Snow Day!’Â
Ahh, Facebook. Social networking that every last one of us teenagers are familiar with. Facebook used to be just that: social networking. However like other social networking sites, it has also expanded its use to news organizations, including Dart News Online. Our Facebook page, “Teresa Dart,” will be our way to stay in contact with our readership, facilitate discussions and forums, send news updates, reminders, news analyses from different wires and events to the STA community. Look forward to Dart News Online contests via our Facebook page! Please, friend us on Facebook and become a fan of our page!
An important part of journalism has always been to voice the opinions of the public. At Dart News Online, our mission is to facilitate forums galore so that the voices of the STA community as a whole are heard. This is why, for almost everything on the website, there will be the option to post comments and ‘share’Â items to others. In addition, our readers can look forward to discussion boards where we will post topics to be up for debate and discussion, as well as much reader-submitted content. Everyone can be a journalist for STA with this kind of inclusiveness on Dart News Online.
In fact, this concept is not only the most important but also the coolest aspect of Dart News Online. Our readership (you), instead of being simply an audience of news, can become reporters and analysts of news: by creating Twitter feeds (we will follow you), following our Twitter and Facebook feeds, posting comments on articles and podcasts, discussing and debating in our forums and more. Be a part of the Dart at 3 a.m. in your bed after a long night of homework, or take a click around in the library during a free. The more people involved, the merrier the community.