The field of journalism is one that is constantly evolving. Since journalism is necessary in order to communicate newsworthy happenings to the public, technological advancements that make communication more efficient are especially beneficial to journalists. With the invention of the telegraph, it became possible to communicate with others just miles away. Today, social media sites such as Facebook make it possible to communicate with people all over the world in a matter of seconds. In an online article titled “Eight Key Takeaways About Social Media and News,” Katerina Eva Matsa and Amy Mitchell use statistical data to explain how the internet has changed the way people receive news.
Matsa and Mitchell analyzed several social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn to find out how social media relates to news consumption. Since these sites make it possible to communicate on a global scale, it is only natural for news to be found in some capacity on some sites. The authors’s surveyed social media site users in the U.S in 2013. They found that 64% of adults used Facebook, and 30% got news from the site. However, while half of all U.S. Facebook users got news from the site, 78% of the Facebook news users reported that the news they see finds them; they “mostly see news when on Facebook for other reasons.” I agree! As an adult Facebook user in the U.S. who sees news on Facebook, I agree that I rarely go looking for it. I have never logged into Facebook with the intention of getting my news for the day.
The authors also noted that “the range of news topics on Facebook is broad.” According to a 2013 Facebook News Survey, entertainment was the most popular news topic; 73% of Facebook news consumers reported to regularly see entertainment news on the site. Business was least popular, with 31% who regularly saw business news on the site. Matsa and Mitchell also make the point that “engagement with the news plays a key role in the social media news experience.” I agree that not only are people sharing stories, but now people expect an illustration with everything they read.
In conclusion, Matsa and Mitchell made valid points. Since so many people are on Facebook, consuming news as it comes down their timelines, journalists must strive to engage with Facebook news consumers. There is such a vast variety of news topics on Facebook, so we as journalists must utilize our communication tools to ensure that the news is seen, especially when people are not looking for it.