With Election Day quickly approaching, it is necessary to address the importance of quality journalism.
New media changed the field of journalism.
Social media tools and the camera phone made it possible for any individual to share information and shape the way people perceive events around the world.
Some describe this as the rise of citizen journalism.
Others believe the field of journalism is simply evolving.
There is a difference between the professional journalist and the so-called citizen journalist but that is not the point.
The point is that despite their differences, they have a common goal in sharing information with the public.
Having access to tools is simply not enough. People need to be taught how to correctly use the tools.
With social media being commonly used as sources of information, it is crucial that journalists and the citizen journalist interpret a tweet or Facebook post correctly.
As I mentioned in a previous post, social media has made it easy to spread fake photographs and share false information.
Journalism has always been about sharing information with the public as quickly as possible.
Poynter published an article about the six social media mistakes that journalists need to avoid on Election Day. One of those is moving too quickly.
Social media makes it easy to share information quickly. Therefore it is important to be extra careful and ensure that accurate information is shared.
As the Poynter article pointed out, social media has increased the potential for errors and false information to be spread.
Whether you are a professional journalist or a citizen journalist, it is important to analyze and think critically about information before sharing it.
Most professional journalists are trained to do so and have a strong grasp on media literacy. However, they are human and can make mistakes.
Besides it does not hurt to reevaluate the importance of media literacy training.
It is important to think about where we get our information and make sure it is accurate.
Failing to do so will result in poor journalism and will only hurt the public.