Participants differ on role of social media in journalism

Some participants at the ongoing 5th Social Media Week (SMW) Lagos, have differed on whether the role of social media on journalism is competitiveness or complementary.

The participants were discussing on the theme: “The Rise of Social Media Journalism: Competition or Complementary?” at the SMW 2017 in Lagos on Friday, scheduled to end on March 3.

The session was hosted by Corporate & Financial Porter Novelli, a Public Relations firm.

Mr Fisayo Soyombo, a former editor of the Cable Newspaper said that social media journalism was competing with the traditional media.

Soyombo, however, said that the competitive nature of the social media journalism would not lead to the extinction of the traditional media.

He defined social media journalism as the gathering and dissemination of news with or without a trained journalist.

According to him, social media journalism is more of an individual forming an audience around the story articles being put on the internet.

“Social media journalism is more of a competition than a complementary journalism to traditional media.”

“The traditional media must delve to interpreting the news more, rather than just reporting stories taken over by events.”

“The competitive nature of social media journalism does not have to do with any impediment in the traditional media, it is just because of the rise of the internet,” he said.

Soyombo said that social media journalism had led to plagiarism as people just copy and paste stories without bothering about credible sources.

He said that social media journalism was parasitic on the traditional media as 80 per cent of contents on the social media were from the traditional media.

Soyombo said that 70 per cent of revenue of the traditional media was now going to the social media journalism.

Mr Anthony Osae-Brown, the Editor of BusinessDay Newspaper said that the social media journalism was the future of journalism, hence, was it neither competitive nor complementary.

Osae-Brown said that it was not strange that the traditional media seemed to be lost to the social media because the social media was a form of disruptive technology.

He said that it had been difficult for the traditional media to transit to the social media because they were afraid that it might not pay their bills.

“Social media is the future; it has changed the media stage. Anyone can now set the agenda.”

“Since everyone has a voice, the outcome of social media journalism can be good and bad, positive or negative, since public discourse cannot be controlled,” Osae-Brown said.

He, however, said that the traditional media remained the credible check for social media journalism.

Ms Tosin Ajibade, the founder, said that social media journalism was gradually taking over the traditional media.

Ajibade said that the social media journalism worked with time, speed and verification.

She, however, urged social media audience to double check a story before accepting it as truth or false.

SMW Lagos is a weeklong conference that provides ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world.

The event featured a central stage for keynotes and panels, multiple rooms for workshops, master classes and presentations, and an area dedicated for co-working, networking and interactive session.

SMW Lagos 2017, which ended on March 3, brought together IT experts and stakeholders in various fields including education, health and politics to discuss the benefits and implications of social media on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.





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