Trend number 6 in the 2015 World Editor’s Forum’s Trends in the Newsroom report is – Chat Apps – Riding the new wave of social media. This trend is really important in 2016 as within the rise of technology and social media, journalism is taking a drastic change.
It is constantly said and heard that ‘journalism is dead.’ But that isn’t the truth, journalism isn’t dead, the platforms of journalism are changing and journalists must change with those platforms to keep their news active. Journalists must and can use these platforms to their absolute advantage.
Chat apps are growing through the technological boom and are main resources used, especially throughout the younger generation to connect with one another. Not only are these applications used for personal interactions but also to pass on news as it is accessible through these platforms. With the technological boom, people expect and want to receive their news via portable devices and in a quick and easy matter.
Apps such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are all apps that have introduced a chat aspect to their app. On Facebook you can like different news pages. On instagram you can follow different news pages and snapchat has a discovery section with different news companies with different stories each day. All these apps give you the opportunity to read news that you want to, you can pick and choose what you see but then also gives the opportunity to share it with people and make the news go around.
As said in the Trends in the Newsroom report “It’s a bold move to launch content exclusively on a platform that has no sharing function and depends almost entirely on word-of-mouth.” Sharing is the most popular feature of social media applications and is how news is spread around.
In a study by Pew Research centre in May 2016 it was seen that 66% of Facebook users get their news from their Facebook timeline. 23% of users get their news from instagram and only 17% get their news from Snapchat. This is an issue of people keeping interested as well as entertained while using an app made for other reasons, for news. Journalists while in this changing and ever expanding platform, have to be able to maintain audience viewings by surveying and discovering what the people want when having their news delivered by some of their favourite apps.
One of the biggest stories of 2016 was the Orlando shootings where nearly 50 people were killed. Social media platforms were the leading contributors of releasing news as it was received. People while in the club were releasing statements via Facebook during the happening also. The people wanted and needed the news fast and social media was able to mediate the news to all and do it quickly.
Applications with chat aspects help journalistic goals by being able to release information and let the people talk and share about stories that need to be spoken about. A journalist has the obligations of a story being spread when moved to a social platform. These apps are very important for journalists in this time as they are what people are using often and they need to be used properly.