Can Social Media and Journalism Coexist?

In his article for The Guardian “Why Facebook is public enemy number one for newspapers and journalism”, Roy Greenslade argues that the filtered news content that Facebook provides it’s users is destroying the essence and importance of journalism and the news.

I thought the most compelling point that the article made was the harm Facebook was causing by  using an algorithm to tailor the content that their users see and experience. What are the possible effects of seeing only news that is specifically designed to be pleasing to the reader. How important is it that people read and are exposed to news and other content from view points other that their own?

Greenslade also sights another article that mentions how Facebook and social media can create “superficial engagement”, and a space where people like and share articles without  taking the time to actually read and process the news. What sort of implications could this type of lackadaisical news reading have on news about public health and the environment? Does it increase the possibility that sensationalized or incorrect headlines could saturate  newsfeeds, and replace actual well researched news?

Although I felt like the article presented interesting points, the author didn’t include any quotes from sources of the opposing view point, which in my opinion weakens his overall argument. Without considering the opposition, I felt like the author missed the opportunity to allow his readers to for a well rounded complete opinion.

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5 Responses to “Can Social Media and Journalism Coexist?”

  1. This article took a very interesting point of view on Facebook and its influence on media consumption. It was very easy to relate to this article because most people do have Facebook accounts, making this an especially relevant article.

    I also thought the absence of quotes from the opposing viewpoint weakened the argument. However, the author did acknowledge an opposing side that did add value to the argument as a whole. The writer states,

    “It has always been the case from the dawn of media that the controllers of news outlets – newspapers, TV and radio, online – make choices about what to publish and, more significantly, what not to publish. So is there a real need to be especially concerned about Facebook?”

    Although this isn’t a quote, the writer does a good job addressing why people may not view Facebook as different from previous news outlets. After this, he goes in to talk about how Facebook is different from news sources of the past and why people should be worried. Therefore, this acknowledgement of the counterargument was effective. This counterargument, however, would have been stronger is there were quotes involved.

  2. Grace:
    You picked a great article to critique and asked engaging questions. I thought your point about not having any outside perspective in the piece was a valid one. However, I thought this was written more in the manner of an editorial/opinion piece and was not a typical straightforward news article that quoted others and included many viewpoints. In a way, the type of journalism that this writer practiced is becoming all too common in the modern media landscape. Journalists are often encouraged to blog and assert their opinion on on issue without quoting others in the story and the coverage can suffer as a result. There’s less of a delineation between opinion and objective journalistic coverage. That can carry its own set of consequences. It will be fascinating, as you sit in on the news meeting this week, whether any aspect of this dialogue plays out among the Free Press editors.

  3. I’ve seen a lot of pieces like this, and I do tend to agree with them, however I think there is often the argument for the other side – that Facebook actually does wonders for some people who may not consider reading the news important. I often find a lot of articles of interest on Facebook, through people tagging me in articles or just by following the relevant news outlets that I prefer. I feel that the other side of the argument was not accurately portrayed in this piece, but I guess that’s what you expect from an opinion type piece such as this.

    On to the actual format of the piece, I think it was a bit link heavy, and that it was written in a very “doom and gloom” manner. I think this actually made the piece hard to read, as it was hard to empathise with the view point. However, I do think it was ended well, and that it did consciously make you think about the subject matter by including so many quotes from other sources.

  4. With the pervasiveness of Facebook and social media, this article did a good job of provoking thought around the very prevalent realm of everyday life. Delving into the idea of news and journalistic exposure, the article presented an interesting viewpoint with an argumentative tone. As a news consumer, it is important to think about the sources and perspectives of the news that being read. Filtered and tailored news could unintentionally create an incomplete understanding and experience for audience. This type of reporting could present a large issue for public health and environment issues as it could limit the audience and distribution of important information.

    I agree, the article would have been more resolute with the inclusion of alternate perspectives, especially the opposition. It also would have been more exhaustive to see more statistics and facts surrounding this issue for readers.

  5. I think that this article, though it brings up valid points, feels lackluster in terms of statistics. I think that the opinion of the author is clear and makes a compelling point. And the topic is certainly relevant. However, I would agree that the author’s view seems pretty one sided.
    Additionally, the links were extravagant. It seemed like the author didn’t want to synthesize the information presented in the links into the article and they felt like an easy way out. In terms of content, I agree that Facebook’s algorithmic way of presenting stories is problematic and the author makes a compelling argument, it just felt under-researched in terms of differing opinions.

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