Industry Blog

by davidamelotti

As a mass communications student in the 21st century, it is a known fact that technology is continuously being enhanced daily. It seems as if a new phone that is thinner and faster is released every week with more apps available than ever before. Not only are the devices rapidly evolving but so are the methods in which people utilize to stay connected with each other or with the world around them.

One of those methods is social media and not only as a recreational avenue for tech savvy individuals to vent after a stressful day at work or an awkward encounter with a past lover at the grocery store. Technology, in the world of journalism is being manipulated in fashion today that ensures anyone who is in reach can be instantaneously informed about anything from the largest global crisis to the smallest case of theft at one’s local convenient store.

Recently I read, “Journalist’s Dilemma: Combining personal and professional social media” by Debora Wenger where she shares information gathered from various interviews with media professionals who incorporate social media in their professional and personal lives. Interestingly enough was the tendencies of male and female professionals that were uncovered. A fascinating case was WTVA-TV anchor/reporter, C.J. LeMaster who uses his Twitter account for both personal and professional use. However, Jeff Cutler, who is a representative of the Society of Professional Journalists, acknowledges the intelligence of LeMaster who questions every post he writes on whether or not it is appropriate to be shared with his followers.

On the opposite side of the spectrum was WJTV-TV anchor Erin Pickens, who has two Facebook accounts and two Twitter accounts so that she has both a personal and private account on each social media platform. It is acknowledged in the post that more times than not women tend to be more conservative in online activity which is contrary to men who seem more comfortable. As said most concisely by Cutler, “Guys are much less protective of their info.”

If you are interested in reading the full article or wanting more examples of media professionals utilizing social media, you can take the time to read the article by clicking the below link.

Maybe you would like the business perspective? If so, check out this video with Case Foundations VP of Communications Allie burns discusses the benefits of employees having both an organizational account as well as a personal account on social media.

Where the last story discussed social media, a service that can be accessed on most technological platforms, the smart phone is the topic of this next article. Being one of the most quickly evolving devices, the smart phone is now being utilized by journalists as a way of being able to keep followers updated at a rate that is nearly instantaneous.

The growing concern of this approach to journalism is how this large amount of information being consumed by the reader is. It seems as if with so much information being made available at such a rapid rate those consumers would become overwhelmed by the flood of details being posted.

In the article, “How reporters use mobile newsgathering,” posted by Debora Wenger on, insight is offered to the transformation occuring in the world of journalistic reporting as reporters across the nation and undoubtedly the world are utilizing their cellular devices beyond the basic function of dialing phone numbers.

In the article, reporter Rachel Beech is interviewed on her approach to journalistic reporting with her smart phone. Using an iPhone, she has been able to establish an online presence by consistently and efficiently posting news informing her followers.  The goal with this method is not just to make a post before a rival but to provide factual information.
One aspect of incorporating smart phones I found fascinating was the multiple tasks that reporters are expected to perform with their phone. Not only are they responsible for gathering information for writing their story but a post to followers stating what story is about to be covered is routine. Multiple photos and even video is expected to be provided. Some phones even have a high enough quality where the footage could not only be placed online but could be found on a a live newscast. I believe this was so intriguing because through three years of college education, the concept of being able to write, speak, shoot and edit has been preached. There is a vast appreciation for an individual who has a wide skills set. To me, it is mind-blowing that all these tasks can be completed successfully using a smart phone and that such a simple device to a 21-year-old can satisfy requirements for professional news broadcast.

If you are one that finds the incorporation of smart phones in journalism fascinating, then follow the link provided below.

If you want to see Multimedia Journalism at work, check out this video made by students from BU who covered the Boston Marathon. The entire piece was done using cell phones.