But Twitter users are the “influencers”, says Nic Newman, a former “future media” executive at the BBC who is now a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute at Oxford University. “The audience isn’t on Twitter, but the news is on Twitter,” says Mr Jones.
Thanks to the rise of social media, news is no longer gathered exclusively by reporters and turned into a story but emerges from an ecosystem in which journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information.
- The old order changeth (Tennyson: The passing of Arthur)
The change began around 1999, when blogging tools first became widely available, says Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University. The result was “the shift of the tools of production to the people formerly known as the audience,”
- At first many news organisations were openly hostile towards these new tools.
- But in the past few years mainstream media organisations have changed their attitude.
Newspapers and news channels have since launched blogs of their own, hired many bloggers and allowed readers to leave comments, as on blogs. They also invite pictures, video and other contributions from readers and seek out material published on the internet, thus incorporating non-journalists into the news system.