Blogging and Social Media: Social Media That Journalists Use

As you’ve seen in previous posts, there are a wide variety of social media available online that can be used by anyone. However, only certain social media is used to a large extent in journalism. How a journalist or news organisation employs a particular form of social media is largely influenced by how its (the social media) features contributes toward providing rich, quality story-telling. This post will only concentrate on those, however, you are always welcome to add more suggestions that you use and/or that can be used for journalism.


Facebook can be used by a journalist or a news organisation through a page that people can like and so, also, comment on. Here longer forms of interaction often takes place between the journalist and/or the news organisation like commentary, discussions, uploading additional information related to stories (through direct statuses, pictures and/or videos), longer form updates on stories they are working on, a place where readers can interact and connect with each other about stories, where the audience can add to the page, etc. A local examples include Leanne Manas and City Press.

Source: rapidlearninglife


Twitter is a micro-blogging platform (updates contain 140 characters or less) that journalism has adopted as a platform that can be used to push headlines, provide short bursts of information on breaking news, information where the story is constantly changing and so requires constant updates, live-tweeting (where a journalist tweets information live from a story or event), for curation (collecting tidbits of information and creating a story with and/or adding that information to the story), sharing information between news organisations and journalists, to interact with the audience, for finding stories, for story ideas, to connect to sources (official sources and/or eyewitnesses), for research, for commentary from the audience, etc. Local examples include Carien du Plessis and Times Live.

Source: leelefever


From my personal experience with Pinterest, I believe that news or media organisations are still playing around to find the best uses for this form of social media. It is often best used for magazines because magazines are more of a visual medium. However, examples like The New York Times has found a way to incorporate it into its online presence by “pinning and remixing visual inspiration”. I did, however, not find any South African newspaper examples that I can refer you to. Do you know of any? But I do know of magazines like Huisgenoot and YOU, Cosmopolitan and Visi, to name a few. SABC News also has a Pinterest account but does not have much activity. You can also read:

How Journalists Are Using Pinterest

Source: Andre Oentoro


Vine is a video app launched by Twitter for iPhone and Android users that allows users to create short 6 second GIF-type videos. Unfortunately, I have no experience with this app because I am a Blackberry user. From what I gather, though, there are mixed views on Vine’s usability:

How Vine Is Changing the Face of Online Journalism

How Media Outlets Are Using Vine to Deliver News – Some Better Than Others

How Journalists Can Use Vine 

Turkish Bombing Footage Shows Why Vine May Not Work For Journalism (Yet) 

Vine Represents Another Level of Citizen Journalism

I haven’t found any South African examples. Do you know of any?

Source: itech224


Keek is a video app that allows you to record 36 second videos (keeks) from webcams, Windows, iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones that can be shared online and that people can respond to through video comments (keekbacks). I also have very little experience with this app since I only signed up for it yesterday. From the research I’ve done, it does not seem as though it has been used in journalism at all. However, I do think that it is a better alternative to Vine because the video length is much longer, it is not only limited to iPhone and Android and you can share your keeks on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and/or embed it on your blog. From what I can tell, it is a social network that work similarly to Twitter but the difference is that it makes use of video. Do you know more about keek? Please share with us.


Google +

Google Plus is a social network available through Google that allows you to connect to people in the same way as Facebook does. However, it provides you with a more organised social network that also has additional features that have proven to be particularly useful for journalists. Local journalists on Google Plus include Vauldi Carelse. I am still learning how to use it but here are a few useful links:

How Journalists Are Using Google +

Five Ways Journalists Are Using Google+

Eight Google+ Tools For Journalists

Ten Ways Journalists Can Use Google+

How Journalists Can Start Using Google+ Now

Source: Epipheo


LinkedIn is a social network that allows you to connect and network with working professionals that are useful contacts to have. Journalists have been using it to stay in contact with other journalists and important sources (people and organisations) that can provide them with important and useful information. Local journalists on LinkedIn include Chris Roper and Mandy Wiener. Some useful links:

LinkedIn For Journalists

10 Ways Reporters Can Use LinkedIn

How Journalists Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

How Journalists Can Best Use Linkedin – Podcast

10 LinkedIn Tips For Journalists

Five Mistakes Journalists Make On LinkedIn

Source: ggllive


YouTube is a video sharing and watching platform that also helps you to connect with other people.  Journalists tends to use it as a source of news and also a place to distribute news through videos. I have also seen an increased use of the YouTube Channel feature by news organisations, where they have created their own channel to which they then upload their video content. SABC News and e-News Channel Africa  are examples of these.


Flickr is a platform that allows you to organise and share your photo and videos. It is a tool that is particularly useful for photojournalist, however, I do think that it can be used by any news organisation as a photo and video sharing platform. The question that does arise, though, might be why should you use Flickr if you can use Facebook to upload photos and video, for example? I found that Mandy Wiener uploaded pictures from her book launch and Morning Live posted pictures of their New Age Breakfast Sessions

Source: yahoo

Source: Digital Charlotte


Instagram is a photo- and, more recently, video-sharing app available on the iPhone and Google Play. I do not have any experience with Instagram since I am a Blackberry user, however, you can read:

How Journalists Are Using Instagram

Instagram For Newsrooms

What Journalists Need To Know About Instagram Video

Instagram Video VS Vine: What’s The Difference?

I didn’t find any local examples of media or journalists using Instagram as part of their reporting. Do you know of any?

Source: pbsideachannel

Source: PhoneAds

Source: Digital Charlotte

RSS feeds

An RSS feed is a platform you can use that delivers all new or updated information, from websites or blog, straight to one place without you having to manually check each blog or website for this new or updated information. This can be particularly useful for journalists who need to be in the know of new or updated information but do not always have the time to check relevant websites. It can also be way in which journalists distribute their new information to their audience. The RSS logo is usually available on most websites or blogs. Read this:

What RSS Is And How Journalists Should Use It

Source: leelefever


Foursquare is an app that helps you locate or find nearby places (coffee shops, museums, shopping malls, etcs), share places you’ve visited with your network and find recommendations from other people. I’ve just recently discovered this app and I love it. It’s such a useful location finder. I would say that it might be useful for location-related pictures or crowdsourcing information relating to a particular place or experiences at a particular place or event. I haven’t found any uses of it in South African media. Do you know of any? Here are ways to use it as a journalist:

7 Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare

How Journalists Can Use Foursquare For Reporting

What works For News Orgs On Foursquare?

Source: startupdaily


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