Mobile and Social Media Journalism (post a response by Tues., May 4th)

Hi Journalism Students:

Thank you for uploading your OpEd pieces to the dropbox, which cover a range of important issues. Please review my comments and edit them, a few of which I hope to share with the class next week.

For this week, I also ask that you read pages 1-15 of “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” by journalism professor Anthony Adornato.

Social Media Journalism

I want you to think about how social media (Twitter, Insta-gram, Facebook, iphones) has reshaped journalists’ relationships with news consumers and how news is now produced. This is an extremely significant shift from the “one-way” manner news has historically been delivered. It has changed how journalists today find and create stories, in which audience interactivity becomes a significant part of the story and process. While, in some ways, social media has helped journalists perform their work better, there are also some disconcerting drawbacks to social media journalism, which the reading also addresses.

By next Tuesday, I ask you to read pages 1-15 and then post a comment to a topic or section you found particularly interesting and/or useful. Alternately, post a response to one of the readings below:

I also ask that you read this linked article on the citizen journalist who captured the murder of George Floyd by Office Derek Chauvin on her camera. Pay particular attention to how the police initially reported this incident – as compared to what truly happened — as only a video can verify. Can you think of other current examples of citizen journalism that have played an important role in documenting a news story?

Another important story that covers both social media and student free speech is an illuminating case being adjudicated by the Supreme Court this week. It involves a high school cheerleader being expelled after posting comments on the squad on snapchat.


  1. Aminata Kane

    An article called “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” written by Professor Anthony Adornatio, has made great statements on the correlation between social media and journalism and how it impacts each other in a positive or negative way. Before social media took effect, many people were getting their news by reading the newspaper. As time passed, people did a combination of reading the newspaper, to watching tv and listening to the radio. Presently, many people are streaming the news, reading articles from different websites and now taking the shortcut by hearing people’s thoughts through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. To back up this claim Adornatio states “ From the printing press to computers, technology has always changed how journalists perform their craft and where the public turns for news…… Journalists were now able to bring the audience to the scene of news through the use of audio, video and live reports” (Adornito). As stated previously, the advancement of social media has allowed people to connect with one another and receive the news from different sources.

    The negative effect of journalism through the use of social media is the spread of misinformation. One of the biggest sources that many journalists turned to is Twitter. On twitter, we have many individuals who have made false information, that then spreads like wildfire. The danger of this is many journalists lack discernment and integrity, which to an extent can lose their crediton. To back up this statement it states, “Journalists must verify the accuracy and authenticity of the information… In my nationwide study of news directors, a third of respondents indicated their stations had reported information from social media users that was later found to be false or inaccurate” (Adornito). Many journalists have an extra workload to make sure that the information they are getting is factual. If the information happens to be unfactual, they must report that the info was incorrect. The article went into detail and explained how journalists should not rely on social media soo much. As stated previously, it’s important that journalists practice the importance of integrity. Is that always the case, no, it’s not. However, it’s very important that journalists state where they got their information from, even if it’s from a social platform.

    • Mark

      Excellent and thorough analysis of key elements of Ardonato’s article, Aminata.

  2. Karen K. Navarro

    The article “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” which was written by Anthony Adornato focuses on how mobile devices and social media as a whole changed the way we as the reader receive news and how the role of just being the reader has shifted. Having a smartphone has clearly made it easier for anyone to take pictures or videos on the spot about anything. For example, in the article he writes, “Krums had shared his dramatic photo before any journalist could get to the breaking news scene. Within a half hour, the tweet spread like wildfire well beyond his 170 Twitter followers” (Adornato 5). In layman’s terms, because he had his smartphone, he was able to post something then and there, way before any news outlet could ever. This to me shows me how fast news can travel very quickly from one person to the next to the next and so on.

    We live in a society where people are so dependent on our phone and we are now able to share every little thing that happens to us. We share our opinions, pictures, our favorite food for everyone to see. And while this is all fine and dandy, not everyone will have a chance to see it because social media sites can now dictate whether or not your post will be visible to everyone. Almost like gatekeeping “Prior to social media, editors, news directors, producers, and reporters were gatekeepers in journalism. They were the guarders of the gates, controlling what information got through to the audience” (Adornato 6). Well by that logic, if those people were considered guarders of journalism, then the trending page on Twitter or the discover tab on Instagram is the gatekeeper of social media as it only shows you the most popular and trending topics and news. I very much enjoyed reading this as it very much layed out how social media has expanded and changed the way we receive news today.

    • Mark

      Excellent discussion Karen. Your point about the new gatekeeper role of social media is an interesting one. Is simply pointing to what’s trendy, however, the same as making sure news is credible and useful? What role, for that matter, do the heads of Twitter and Facebook have in monitoring what’s on their sites? See my recent post for additional reporting on this topic.

  3. Ruthie Zeron

    If the trial of Derek Chauvin has taught us anything, it is the importance of policing the police. What happens when those paid to serve and protect are the ones committing a crime? The police are known for protecting each other, sticking together, and not admitting guilt. We’ve seen it time and time again, and it certainly won’t be the last time.

    To get a guilty verdict when an officer is charged with murder is rare. ( See- I wonder if the verdict would have been the same without Frazier’s video. Chauvin’s lack of regard for a life he swore to protect is confronting, undeniable, and very much black and white. But why must there be footage of it in order to get justice?

    I knew the initial police narrative was misleading.. but I wasn’t aware of the initial statements. I was so angry to read the words “at no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident” published on the police department’s website. As if Chauvin’s knee, the weight of his body and the racism in his heart weren’t weapons he wielded to end George Floyd’s life. What’s worse was to see the words, “no officers were injured in the incident.” Black lives matter, too goddamn it.

    Citizen journalism shouldn’t be the main recourse for justice, but sometimes it is the only way to get unadulterated accounts of what is happening. It has played a big role in politics, natural disasters, and even terrorist attacks. Thorsen, an Associate Director at the Centre for the Study of Journalism in the UK, aptly states, “[citizen journalism plays] an important role in plugging a gap where mainstream journalists have either fallen short or failed to do their duty for whatever reasons.” Reaching for their phones and hitting record is something people are instinctually doing now more than ever during these tumultuous times. AND I AM HERE FOR IT.

    • Mark

      Great points Ruthie and excellent article link. While citizen journalism is here to stay – thankfully — it certainly calls attention to what is missed when someone with a phone is not nearby as well as all the incidents of police injustice before the iphone had been invented. Certainly, traditional media and citizen journalism need to work together to report on wrongs and educate people on how institutions like police forces (and jury pools) actually work.

  4. Mr.Kelvin

    On the article, “Mobile and Social Media Journalism”, they are pretty correct on how much society relies on the internet to get their source of news and how journalist can make use of it to get extra information and details to work on their stories. The convenience of being able to post and give updates on life on the go on sites like twitter, really shows. The examples they referenced definitely show that like when Andrew Kitzenberg heard gunfire near his home and went back to grab his phone and make a tweet about it, even listing the address where it happens, as well as a picture later where bullets were lodged in it. That is live witness information that journalists like to share and interview them about.

    The writer even mentions how people can use social media as a platform to gather complaints towards a product, which I can say is true can be effective in terms of building a mob that digitally protests changes such as why Sony planned to close down their old PS3 store and PS Vita stores for good and, in response, many complained and demanded they cancel that decision and leave those services open and eventually Sony backed down and reversed their choice. This is how many journalist can get interaction and snap shot feedback from people when it comes to certain matters and even link said tweets in their article.
    They even mention how much mobile phone usage for news has increased overtime and I can agree to that. Smartphones are getting better and becoming more accessible for many to use and more convenient since not everyone is willing to bring and carry desktops over or use laptops to quickly check the news when it is much easier to just whip out the phone and take a look from there. Many sites are focusing on making mobile friendly sites just so said phone users have a much easier time using their site.

    • Mark

      Interesting discussion Kelvin. Your point that consumer feedback on digital sites is another new form of valuable journalism is particularly insightful.

  5. Farouk

    I enjoyed reading “Mobile and Social Media Journalism.”The reading was filled to the brim with interesting key concepts and ideas. It acts as how I would put a guide to survive and thrive in the new media. Professor Anthony Adornato starts off the first chapter with an anecdote of how NBC correspondent Haille Jackson covered the infamous 2016 election. It shows how with nothing but her smartphone she broadcasted to the masses. She provided the latest news through her social media accounts. This is what journalism is today. We have coursed the threshold from paper to radio to television. Now we live in an era of social media. And now journalists are changing to meet this new shift towards uncharted new lands. One concept I found extremely interesting in this reading is the “shift from one-way communication.”That before news used to be a one-way channel. We got our news and that it. It is like we are listing to someone speak and with the deep desires to reply. We find that we have no voice. That all that’s need from us is to listen. That all we are is a passive audience. But with the emergence of this new era of journalism that has all changed. We are now an active audience. We don’t just get our news anymore. We share it, comment about it, respond to it. Possibilities once unattainable now lay in the palm of our hands. That we no longer just got the news. But we were a part of it sharing live events and ongoing stores in real-time. Like the miracle on the Hudson or the Boston Marathon bombing. We didn’t wait for a news outlet to cover it we just share it immediately. We the people now decide what we count as news.
    So why is it the journalist still has a job? Well just because something is out there on the internet that doesn’t necessarily make it true. With all the good that Social Media Journalism has brought. We must not overlook the ugly parts of it. The great emergence of this new type of news. With freedom of speech, nothing is preventing an individual from spreading misinformation. One could write or post on how the vaccine was developed by Satanists or something. And there is a guarantee that a group of individuals will believe that. We need a journalist to maintain the strenuous work of fact-checking and making sure the story is being told as accurately as possible. Just because the platform is different, it doesn’t mean that the guides and rules have changed.

    • Mark

      You raise excellent points here Farouk, particularly your line that “We have coursed the threshold from paper to radio to television. Now we live in an era of social media.” Your point that we still desperately need trained, professional journalists is also crucial. An issue worth further consideration, however, is the degree to which media consumers are truly more “active” and by extension “critical”? Just as anyone with an iphone can spread lies on social media, anyone willing to believe fabrications of fact are also at fault. An interesting story on this topic is the treatment of Congresswoman Cheney, a Republican who repeatedly–and correctly–tweets how Trump and his followers perpetuate the Big Lie that he didn’t really lose. Leading Republicans have had enough of “the truth”, preferring “lies” and will probably force her out of power. Is there a solution for stupidity?

  6. jawad awada

    When it comes to journalists their main goal is to connect and deliver information to a certain intended audience. As time has passed there have been many new ways for people to connect with one another and for journalists it has become much more convenient to find a way to inform their audience of whatever information they are trying to pass on. In the article, “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” it does a great job at showing that society nowadays relies heavily on social media as being their source for news. This is a clear advantage for journalists given the amount of people that use social media it becomes a much more easy route to deliver a certain message. Twitter specifically has become a frenzy for news. For me specifically I gravitated towards sports related news quite a bit and usually whenever there is major news regarding baseball or soccer twitter always seems to have the stories ready for me to read. This is clearly a positive however this comes with some negative points as well. Whenever you post something on the internet it is going to be there forever and a lot of times for example I would read some baseball “news” that turns out to be totally false. This is a negative element mainly because it does not allow the typical journalist to review and publish his/her’s work which could lead to false information and it happens quite often. It gets to a point where as a journalist your credibility would start to take a hit and just because you want to be the first person to deliver such news it does not allow you to follow up and make sure that what you are reporting is completely true.

    An example from the “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” was when Andrew kitzenberg sent out a tweet that he had just heard gun fire at a certain place. Now this is a clear positive element when it comes to receiving news on social media because it allows anyone near that area to be extra cautious and for other people to avoid that area. So by being the first to send out that tweet it may actually have helped someone who was maybe about to head over to that exact same location. Journalists also have the advantage to break news before certain news outlets get a chance, all you need nowadays is your smartphone and a twitter account and in a matter of seconds you can deliver news that would have normally taken hours to be delivered.

    • Mark

      Terrific discussion Jawad. Your point about the unreliability of Twitter to furnish consistent facts is particularly intriguing.

  7. Clifton McDowell jr

    It’s interesting to read how journalism and the ways news were brought to the masses are so different then how it is today. I believe with the growth of the internet and social media we have been blessed with being able to retrieve and send information quickly but also are at a disadvantage because that doesn’t separate the correct news from false information. To think about how news of an event would take days to reach the masses due to the lack of technology compared to the seconds it takes to reach out tvs and phone is amazing. I really liked how the article talked about how at first the news was basically a one way conversation, it was only meant to give news and not get anything in return, but in today’s society I would even say a lot of news depends on the viewer more then ever before. News outlets now want to be the first to put something out and grab your attention that they can fail at giving the correct information, and at the same time the audience can now be at a scene before a news outlet picks up the story and can now help news outlets give that information. I know this personally back in like 2012 we got hit with hurricane sandy, and I was driving with my parents on the parkway and was recording the flooded cars and trees blowing and I posted it to my twitter. Within minutes I was being tweeted at from different NY news outlets asking if they could share and use my footage. This is all thanks to the rise of social media and the internet, as an audience we can help get the news out and partake in journalism without even trying and in a way journalism in retrospect of news outlets, now has a wider variety of ways to obtain content to push out to the masses.

    • Mark

      You make great points about the blessings and curses associated with Social Media. Your point about the instant speed in which news travels now is also important. Historically, “fast” news meant at least day-old news. Nowadays, we are bombarded with constant news, which too is a blessing and a curse. Excellent post and keep up the good work on Twitter!

  8. Germaine

    An article called “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” written by Professor Anthony Adornatio, has made amazing statements at the correlation among social media and journalism and the way it affects every different in a fine or poor way. Before social media took effect, many human beings had been getting their information with the aid of using studying the newspaper.Having a phone has genuinely made it simpler for everyone to take pix or films immediately approximately anything. they referenced in reality display that like whilst Andrew Kitzenberg heard gunfire close to his domestic and went lower back to seize his telecellsmartphone and make a tweet approximately it, even list the deal with wherein it happens, in addition to a photo later wherein bullets had been lodged in it. That is stay witness statistics that reporters want to proportion and interview them approximately. that is a terrible detail specifically due to the fact it receives to a degree in which as a journalist your credibility could begin to take successful and simply due to the fact you need to be the primary man or woman to supply such information it does now no longer will let you observe up and make certain that what you’re reporting is absolutely true. Journalists additionally have the benefit to interrupt information earlier than positive information stores get a chance, all you want in recent times is your telephone and a twitter account.We want a journalist to keep the strenuous paintings of fact-checking and ensuring the tale is being advised as correctly as possible. Just due to the fact the platform is different, it doesn’t imply that the courses and guidelines have changed.

    • Mark

      You make a particularly good point in the end of this excellent post: “We want a journalist to keep the strenuous paintings of fact-checking and ensuring the tale is being advised as correctly as possible.” The need for “good” journalism has not gone away!

      Could you please email me your OpEd ( as I could not access it on

  9. brittanyfinger

    After reading “ Mobile and Social Media Journalism “ , I realized how fake social media can really be. It was filled with so many kept concepts and ideas about it. When they spoke about how much society relies on the internet to get their source of news or just anything in general is absolutely correct. Especially in this generation many children and even adults turn to their phones for any source of help , whether it be for news or help with homework or something heath related we always turn to our phone. I can definitely vouch for that because I do rely on my phone for so much and I realize that a lot and I turn away from it. Journalists benefit from this too because they can use it as an advantage to make better stories and watch them blow up instantly. Being able to post anything you want at anytime shows how much people relay on social media. Like for example today a stove or something can catch on fire or a car accident and peoples first reaction is to record and post to social media instead of actually helping the ones in need. Journalists can use this as well because of the live footage, it engages them to want to know more.
    Social media is also the perfect marketing tool. The article had mentioned how people use social media as a platform to get people to buy that special product. I know many people who were victims of that and were disappointed because some things did not actually work like they said , so basically false advertising. Also stated that phone usage of news increased over time. Smartphone are always updating their systems for better service and quality and it makes people want to use it more.

    • Mark

      You raise excellent points about the many uses and abuses of social media today. I had to laugh, however, with your line: “for example today a stove or something can catch on fire or a car accident and peoples first reaction is to record and post to social media instead of actually helping the ones in need.” Perhaps we are too obsessed with our new technologies! It also calls to mind the important role citizen journalists do have to not only report the news but to play an active role in society.

  10. Erika Gissel Naranjo

    The article definitely highlighted how social media really does get to us and in a way also talked about the way it distortionated journalism. Profesor Adorniato also added fun relatable facts i had not known about how a reported covered the 2016 election entirely through her phone, something i find reasonable and very realistic in today’s times. I have seen students and teachers on entire vacations still be able to attend lectures online and what not so the fact that this was done in 2016 amazes me!
    Social media is such a topic to encompass because i could talk for days. I like. many others consider it benefitial and also not from and not from personal experience. I love how in a way it allows me to brand myself as a person and really make a personality out of me but i dont appreciate the downside it brings to our mental health and how it really makes us think we have to be raised up to a certain standard to be appreciated or worth value.
    Likewise when it comes to family i enjoy watching and knowing they are alright but i dont enjoy them critizining what i choose to show on my social media.
    I include the perspective of my 10 year old sister that in midst of the social media her and girls her age feel extremely self conscious of their bodies, leading to bulimia and anorexia.

    Then again when it comes to the news i definitely can say i receive mine through social media. It did take me a while to establish a credible source since pretty much anything is on the internet but i have about 4 instagram accounts as my go to for news and i know my family uses twitter for things like official accounts.
    Official social and community accounts are also amazing because its a businesse’s or entitys way of broadcasting helpful information or news regarding them especially when it comes to restaurants in a way even promoting themselves. It could be considered free advertsing in a way if the owner has knowledge over social media or it is even considered a very important high paying job as a social media manager.

    • Mark

      You raise so many important points here Erika — you should make this your OpEd in fact.

      We’ll be talking much more about branding the upcoming lesson. Stay tuned…

  11. Zahira

    In the article entitled “Mobile and Social Media Journalism” written by Professor Anthony Adornatio, there have been some great statements that allow us to see in a better view the relationship between social media and journalism and the different impacts they both have whether in a positive or a negative way. Once upon a time what seems to be so long ago there were no social media to go to when in need of getting news, the ways people would get there the news was through the tv, the radio, and the newspaper. Nowadays there is not much of a need to be home or in your car to receive the news, now people are able to get their news on several different websites like the New York Times or they get it through a quicker way by just simply going in their social media and seeing peoples opinion on what they think medias such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In claiming this Adornatio states,” Welcome to journalism today. The tools of the trade are now in the palms of our hands. With a single mobile device, journalists produce and share content across different platforms- social media…. these interactions fueled by new technologies, are reshaping journalists relationships with new consumers and how news is produced.” With that being said as stated before, the improvement/growth of social media has given people a way to view a different media world where they receive news from all kinds of distinct sources.

    On the other hand, the adverse effect of Journalism through the use of social media is the spread of false news or news that has been made to look a certain way to create drama/gossip. If I had to pick which of the social media platforms journalist use to spread their word I’d have to choose Twitter is quite literally the place people go, to share all their good and bad opinions and thoughts, such as all the drama that includes the misinformation, among other things and it becomes this and it seems to not have an ending like the sea it keeps growing non-stop. With that said it becomes a hazard for journalist start to lose their credibility, and their reputation and integrity goes to a downfall. ” Journalists responsibilities went far beyond stories for print or TV … You can see that each new technology has affected how and where people get their news as well as how journalists do their jobs.”(Adornatio) Social media is something you either hate or love it has its advantages but also its disadvantages like anything else in the world. But is up to us as the readers to be able to see the right from wrong and to always have an opinion of ouw own and not let it get clouded by anyone elses.

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