Social Media is the key to the new age of journalism. That’s the message that key speakers at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week stated.
High profile names such as Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow and BBC Look North’s Harry Gration headlined the week, where students listened to key members from the journalism industry. It also gave students the opportunity to put forward their questions, and gain advice in what steps to take in being successful in journalism.
During Jon Snow’s talk he described how his career began and his highlights so far, and mentioned how technology had advanced so quickly in a short space of time within his years as a journalist. He identified that one of the most useful skills to a journalist now is understanding social media.
“I regard Twitter as one of the great journalistic tools. Twitter is not about 140 characters; it’s about leading people to water.”
The event was broadcast through a variety of media, including a live video stream on the event website, and a team of staff reported key points from the discussions on Twitter. They also asked questions put forward by Twitter users following the event that included the hash tag “#LTJW.” This enabled questions to be directed straight to the staff during the talk.
Later on Harry Gration revealed a bit further in depth that those in “higher power” at the BBC, encouraged reporters and presenters to engage with audiences via social media interactivity.
“We are now asked to be on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.”
Another key point came from BBC Home Affairs Editor Mark Easton, who mentioned what he thought was “the biggest change in the journalism industry.” After being asked by a member of the audience he summarised that;
“Social media is the future, and there are huge challenges for print media.”