Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2017

School

School of Communication

Major

Communication Studies: Journalism

Keywords

Facebook, journalism, reader engagement, crowdsourcing, Facebook Live, Instant Articles

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Journalism Studies | Social Media

Abstract

Journalists use Facebook as a tool to distribute information to the public. Over recent years, Facebook with its updated features has changed the way journalists interact with readers and sources. Facebook Live and Instant Articles have increased reader engagement. Journalists use crowdsourcing and conversationally-toned posts to gather information and connect with readers on a personal level. The journalistic process has accelerated since the addition of Facebook because news is disseminated almost instantaneously. Yet the rise in fake news challenges journalists to effectively use Facebook as a platform for news dissemination. Facebook is using fact checkers and increased awareness to fight fake news as well as better equip journalists and readers. Though Facebook denies it is a media company, Facebook has been transformative to the industry of journalism — fundamentally altering the way journalists gather stories and sources and then spread the news to the community. The relationship between journalists and readers and the nature of social media allow journalists to reach a wider audience, thus securing Facebook’s place as a benefit to the news industry as a whole. This paper will examine how Facebook has changed the way journalists distribute information, the speed at which the information is distributed, and how readers can interact with journalists on a more frequent and personal level.

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