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.