Innovative Technology Rekindles Relationship Between Journalists and Social Media

12 07 2012

By: Jonathan Dailey  (@Jdailey7354)

The rapid growth of social media has transformed the platform into a source of basic news for many people. Many key stories leak on social media sites as soon as they happen.  This has created an opportunity for professional journalists to roll out a story much faster than the mainstream media.

Ironically, one major problem journalists are facing is the ease of creating and sharing information through social networks.  Today, anyone can take control over the credibility of content. This has raised concerns about how easily there can be a spread of misinformation by non-professional journalists, whether it be accidently or intentionally.

Since professional journalists need to act ethically and hold responsibility in reporting the truth, using social media has become difficult.  It can pose as a real challenge to filter out false information from true stories, especially when it involves the hottest breaking news. However, this problem may eventually become one of the past due some innovative breakthroughs in technology that are starting to take place.

Researchers at Rutgers University and Microsoft Corporation have teamed up to develop a new program called Seriously Rapid Source Review or SRSR.  This program is still under development but when fully completed it will give journalists access to accurate, breaking news like never before.

The program will act as a “sieve” sifting through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook searching for things like: credible eyewitnesses, reports, images and video in order to sort the credible information from the false.

Nick Diakopoulos, one of SRSR’s project authors, stated in a blog post that: “the program was built to deal with how much news is breaking on social media these days… Its features should help journalists distinguish accurate and trustworthy sources.”

In my opinion, the sky is the limit for what can be accomplished using social media, especially in the fields of Journalism, Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations. It’s going to be very exciting to see what other innovations lie ahead in the future, while SRSR serves as just one example of an innovative technology developed to overcome the obstacles in the field of journalism.

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