It wasn’t long ago that when big news broke, television programmes were interrupted by a news flash.
Newsflashes disappeared when rolling news channels got underway and the thought of Moira Stewart or Nicholas Witchall bursting onto our screens with a grave face and serious news seems so very archaic now.
The changes in how news is shared and how it’s gathered in the first place has changed immeasurably in the past few years.
Social media and mobile technology have revolutionised the news process to a point where we’re all journalists now. We can upload phone footage to Sky News in the click of a button and share images and audio like never before.
But just because we’re all capable of sharing content shouldn’t mean we do it without a second’s thought.
If you’re tweeting or sharing as a business, or even as an individual, then your opinions could affect how your company or employer is perceived.
I’ve got a few golden rules when it comes to social media.
- Scrolling through Twitter , Facebook or even LinkedIn after a glass or two of wine is risky. By all means scroll but think very carefully what you type.
- If you’re angry, then cool down before taking to social media. Or at least devise a draft and wait 10 minutes before posting. Don’t do what Curtis Woodhouse is alleged to have done!
- Think hard. Deleted tweets don’t disappear. Followerwonk is a brilliant site for tracking social media activity and collating all those Tweets you’d forgotten about. Checking your usage will also remind you just how virulent social media can be.
- What you write is permanent and public so be cautious particularly on Twitter– you might only have 20 followers but you are effectively Tweeting to the world.
So yes, we’re all journalists now but with our new status comes with responsibility.
Ignoring that responsibility and throwing caution to the wind on social media could have very significant repercussions. For you, for your business or for your employer.