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What is journalism?
Journalism is basically the production and subsequent distribution of reports on important issues and recent events. A journalist first searches for the facts to ensure the authenticity of the report and then before publishing ensures not to hurt public sentiment as well.
How has it changed?
Over the years with the technological advancement the true spirit of journalism has faded away. Now any person can write about anything and connect with millions of users over the internet. Writers, media reporters, freelancers now write without thinking about the quality of their content just to target specific readers. Many times, the authenticity of the report is left to stray over the cinders. This is because of the reason that to them what they write is correct according to their ideas and beliefs.
This new type of journalism has grown into a propaganda which is created deliberately to spread malicious and misinformation via social media. This has created a lot of social problems and moral outrage around the world. From the neologism of fake news in America to the mob lynching in India and human rights violations around the world.
The Role of Social Media Platforms
The search engines such as Google and social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp deliver personalized content to users. Algorithms are now replacing the news editors and opinion makers and giving a stiff competition to the existing ones. They are getting more and more refined in learning from user behaviour. The creation of artificial intelligence has added only more to increase their efficiency and targeting ability. As nowadays the content has multiplied, hence the social media is primarily focussed on content based on engagement rather than quality.
The more people click, share, like or comment on an article, the more likely it is to be served to someone else. And it is not just because it is the best article available on the subject. The newly created filters on the internet and social media platforms limit people’s access to information, leading to the political polarization and the spread of fake news. Over the world it has started to slowly create an atmosphere of hatred and fear. Many social media platforms also refuse to take responsibility for the misuse and propagation of falsehood.
Some Positive Aspects of Social Media Journalism
There is no denying that there is evil in this world but we must know that in every story the light always overcomes the darkness. It is the same case with social media. Despite its gloomy nature it is also now providing an opportunistic moment for journalists to take full advantage of social media tools like Facebook and YouTube live sessions, Twitter's Periscope that are available to them to connect with their readers without losing the core values of being a journalist and continue to tell stories that resonate the truth to the readers. Also, with the help of new government regulations that are now being set up, social media can provide a virtuous platform for the new generation of journalists who are still lost toward the dark side of the media.