Big Brother is Watching. Big Brother Also Happens to be a Journalist.

AJ Dimas-Lehndorf October 25, 2016 

For those of you who were not able to attend the second CBC panel between representatives of the public broadcaster and students of MacEwan University, we learned something about the habits of CBC journalists that moderately concerns me. They stalk you. One representative of the CBC explained that, because most social media profiles have relaxed security settings, journalists often peruse profiles like yours to gather information for a story, checking if one of your posts is relevant and accurate. My reaction to this borderline stalking was expressed perfectly in a haiku, as tweeted by Robert Michon, who you may recognise as a contributor to this blog.


Seriously though, journalists are using social media to show a secondary perspective. For example, I was reading a CBC article about the security threats to MacEwan University on social media. The article featured two tweets from students.


These tweets are examples of the biggest opportunity that crowdsourcing presents. Social media posts are first-hand perspectives of people who are in the midst of the story itself as it’s developing. I think that including tweets like these are very insightful for audiences.

Tweets also give the journalist the opportunity to include a concise statement directly from an organization about a particular situation. Global News included this tweet from the Edmonton Police Service in a story about the same security situation at MacEwan.


The journalist can also crowdsource information from people who are not directly involved in a story, presenting an outside opinion.

Crowdsourcing is not limited to tweets. Journalists can gather text posts from across social media, as well as photos and videos that have become public domain.

Because social media posts come directly from the author, it is likely that audiences will trust the story more, or at least trust that the journalist is trying to convey the perspectives of people involved. Crowdsourcing is a great way for a journalist to learn about a story, along with providing more content to include in a story.


3 thoughts on “Big Brother is Watching. Big Brother Also Happens to be a Journalist.

  1. Ha! It is actually interesting, I happened upon their use of my tweet when I was doing research for my latest blog post; I thought that the article linked to my twitter somehow and it was displaying my latest tweet! Suffice it to say, I was NOT contacted by anyone – I guess that means my “Twitter game” is on point. @202robbie

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was not at school yesterday during this, but when I heard the first place I went was on Facebook to read more. I feel like the comments climbed equally as fast as they do on Donald Trumps twitter. As I went through the mass amounts of comments I had to really pay attention to the different views people took on the situation. I don’t think people fully understand that you can’t believe everything you read on social media! I ended up unfollowing the Grant MacEwan book exchange page because my Facebook was blowing up with peoples reactions. I can’t image being a journalist and having to shift through these Tweets and comments. I really enjoyed this article AJ! I didn’t attend the CBC panel but this makes me wish I did.

    Liked by 1 person

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