The deal with new media

LIKE it or not, social media has become part and parcel of everyday life for most journalists.

Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are common forms of social media that allows people to interact with each other and openly discuss issues affecting their livelihood.

A couple of journalists at The Fiji Times have found this form of communication very effective in generating comments, feedback and news ideas from local, regional and international readers either through print or online.

Some comments from the public are published in our daily and weekly newspapers and can also be found on  The Fiji Times online website. Readers are basically given the opportunity to express their opinion on certain issues.

Features on social networks like instant messaging or chat boxes have made work a lot more easier for journalists in terms of conducting interviews online or getting reactions from a wider and more diverse audience around the world. This has helped a great deal with collecting information before deadline.

Blogs can be an effective way to establish communication and feedback on certain issues. Picture: FLICKR/LISA CLARKE

Another effective way of establishing communication with the public using new media is blogging.

Though this application is rarely used by journalists in Fiji (for print particularly), it has become a source of information and proving daily to be ‘the way to go’ in disseminating fair, accurate and balanced opinions now and in the future.

However, some blog sites focus on specific topics like politics and freedom of speech while others engage reactions from the general public on certain issues like publishing views that would otherwise be censored by media laws openly on social media network, Facebook.

There are pros and cons about blogging or reliance on social media but the onus for the journalism fraternity is its approach to the concept of new media and the impact of changing technology.

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