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Two Common Criticisms for Journalists When Using Social Media to Report on News

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The use of social media by journalists for news reporting is not new. Recent surveys indicate that some journalists have criticized the practice. Pew Research Center survey results and a report by the Reuters Institute show that less than half of journalists think social media is a useful source of news. It is unclear whether journalists are positive and negative about social media's use for news reporting. Here's a look at the two most common criticisms of journalists using social media.

Pew Research Center survey

Social media is becoming more popular than ever for news. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, nearly half of Americans use at least one social networking site. Facebook, Twitter (and LinkedIn), Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn all have large user base for news. These sites, however, have a smaller number of news-related users that larger social networks like Facebook and Google+.

Report from Reuters Institute

The Reuters Institute for Study of Journalism is based in Oxford (UK) and has published a study that examines how people use Twitter to consume news. The study surveyed 92,000 people online in 46 media markets including Indonesia, Thailand, India, Colombia, Peru, and the U.S. The report examined topics including the impact on the coronavirus as well as TikTok's rapid growth and misinformation. The report also explored the role of local news, how users view news outlets, and how they perceive them.

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Social media criticisms are criticized by journalists

Five original research articles are published in the Journal of Journalism Studies as a special issue. They examine journalists' use of Twitter and other social media to inform their news reporting. These papers also address how news work is done in different countries. The authors claim that journalists should be capable of adding multiple perspectives to stories, including through social media. The archived social media postings allow for future reference. However, there are some ethical considerations to be aware of when using social networks in newsrooms.


Social media platforms hold immense power over the news sector despite millions of users. They use algorithms to pick content that conforms to the editorial policy. However, these algorithms are often unaware of their role as publishers and information suppliers. It's high time social media companies recognized their role in news industry and respected the role of journalists, editors and human editors. Below, we look at some of the ways in which algorithms are changing the news industry.

Freedom of editorial expression

Arguments against social media as news sources are not without merit. Some argue that social networks should have the same First Amendment protections that newspapers, and that laws that hinder editorial judgment are unconstitutional. These arguments are flawed and would preempt laws without fundamental flaws. However, these arguments by social media platforms have deep flaws. Here are four reasons why they do not. You can read on to discover the real answer.

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Two Common Criticisms for Journalists When Using Social Media to Report on News