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SAScon 2012: How Social Media & the Internet is Changing the Media

This SAScon session is “How Social Media & the Internet is Changing the Media” with:

  • Martin Bryant, Managing editor, The Next Web
  • James Carson, Digital Marketing Manager, Bauer London Lifestyle
  • Sarah Hartley, Journalist
  • Gordon Young, Editor, The Drum

Our takeaway points from the session can be found below:-

How has social media affected media jobs specifically?
- “It seems a completely different world.” The ease of technology has changed everything “beyond belief” (SH)
- The liberation of social media has revolutionised journalism (SH)
- Establishing a voice using social media is extremely liberating for a journalist (SH)
- Big print brands are still very interested in how people interact using social media; it can inform their work (JC)
- A lot of the stuff that journalists do will no longer be used because of social media (GY)

Journalists as personal brands because of social media?
- Everyone is now a publisher (GY)
- To The Drum, Twitter is much more valuable as a gathering resource (What should be covered etc) (GY)
- Someone at The Drum sits on Twitter all day, engaging with followers and looking for breaking news (GY)
- Monthly/weekly periodicals have more latency now thanks to social media; they no longer break news, but offer opinion on it instead (JC)
- Branded Twitter accounts for publications and personal Twitter accounts should have a crossover. The idea that this can’t happen is “nonsensical” (JC)
- Twitter accounts for journalists are “personal spaces (SH)
- Authorship and Google+ encroaching on writers’ time is “just the way it is now” (JC)

What rights do publications have over writers’ social media accounts?
- Journalists needs personal space (SH)
- It’s very hard to control corporate and personal space, but nobody has any control anyway so it evens out (GY)

Is social media ‘killing journalism’?
- Social media does kill certain aspects of journalism; latency especially, but choices based on authority can get more from print (JC)
- The Daily Mail, for all its traffic, is still not breaking even (JC)
- Broad lifestyle brands that don’t sell stuff won’t do well on desktop (JC)
- “We are going through a third industrial revolution.” (GY)
- Journalism won’t know if social media will overwhelm it until it overwhelms it. Not possible to predict how it will do it (GY)
- The rate at which the media is saying “x is dead” is speeding up! (JC)
- Print companies will have to expand into other media (i.e. the web) (JC)
- You couldn’t want for more innovative activity and opportunity (SH)
- Journalism isn’t in danger of being killed by social media, more the business model supporting it (SH)

Where will Facebook and Twitter fit into the media landscape?
- Twitter is more useful for The Drum/publications (GY)
- Facebook is harder to get value from; it’s journalists’ content they’re selling (GY)
- Privacy issues may unravel Facebook (GY)
- To not push for integration with Facebook and Twitter would be a big mistake (JC)
- Print/media brands must make sure they engage with social media, and look at how to monetise that (JC)
- There’s an opportunity to make money and build up a big, strong audience using social media (JC)
- It’s less obvious to see how Twitter will become a media entity compared to Facebook (SH)

Q&A
Should people be paying to access online journalism?
- Compare online article to what’s in a magazine. SEO has a lot to answer for with this (JC)
- People don’t want to pay for access (JC)
- Advertising will play a role in the future of subscription journalism (JC)
- Some content will always be free, and it will be difficult to charge for ‘the news’ (GY)
- The Drum’s news will always be free, but a content hierarchy may be put in place with charging (GY)
- What the customer thinks and wants, is what journalists and the media will have to deliver (GY)
- Cash is not the only currency readers can offer publications (SH)

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