What is happening right now?

Last Thursday I attended a lecture by Dr Claire Wardle regarding social media and how it’s shaping the journalism industry. She has been Principal Investigator for a number of funded research projects – one in which she examined the use of User Generated Content (UGC) across BBC news outlets.

Claire gave us a well-informed and ultra fast-paced lecture, not sure if she’s sponsored by Relentless but perhaps she should be. The lecture largely consisted of new social networking tools which are helping journalists find out a lot more about what’s happening in the world than ever before.

Tools such as news aggregators, for example Netvibes which enables people to have news brought to them, social network aggregators like Addict-o-matic and new applications to enhance Twitter such as Twitter Grader where you can find where you rank in the Twittersphere, TweepML to find lists of people you may be interested in following and Twitscoop a useful way of using the micro blogging service to see the current trending topics and automatic refreshing of your live feed. These applications help you keep on top of what is happening in the world in real-time.

The sites are becoming vital for journalists to use. Not only because it helps them keep abreast of local and international news but also it makes their lives easier in terms of research (aggregators/Twitter) and contacting sources (social networking sites).

As we are continually being told the face of the industry is changing, and rapidly. The era we’re entering may be as important as the advent of the Gutenberg’s press and these new tools are essential to learn if we want succeed in this ever-changing landscape.

As Twitter encourages people to let the world know what they are doing right now journalists need to pay attention to the news this can create.

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