Need one more piece of evidence that knowing social media’s increasingly part of being in the media? Well, Twitter-resister, listen up: “Learn to organize and socialize,” writes Deborah Potter on her Advancing the Story blog. Potter argues in a shrinking pool of local TV news jobs, people who have multimedia skills have the edge, no matter how good your walk-and-talk liveshots are: “In the digital journalism context, it means knowing how to organize information from a variety of sources and how to push information out via social media, from Digg to Twitter and beyond.”
The Poynter Institute’s Joe Grimm says with so many experienced journalists competing for fewer and fewer jobs, the folks doing the hiring want that “something extra,” and the newsers who have it get the gigs: “Increasingly, recruiters are looking for that X factor, X being for extra. What can you do in addition to your base skills? Can you make a slideshow, gather audio, shoot video? Can you help us grow?”
And then there’s Mike Elgan’s argument: social media, more and more, does news better than old media do: “Almost every day, I take a break or two from my PC, where I’m constantly monitoring social media, and I check out CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news or, if it’s the right time of day, the network news on ABC, CBS and NBC. I’m always appalled by what I see on TV news. It’s pathetic.”
Elgan says local and cable newsers are trying social media, but not in ways that take advantage of the immediacy and power of the emerging social media platforms. It’s worth a read. And one more argument to at least go and get on Twitter. With the other guy Twittering his brains out making connections and finding stories, you’re truly hurting yourself by sitting on the sidelines.
But hey. Use your best judgment.