Social Media: Is it the New Journalism?

Following our discussions in class, please read the following interview with the founder of Twitter and be ready to answer questions for your test. Also do not forget to comment on this interview.

Copy and click on this link to read the interview.
Keep in mind that on Saturday you have to answer the simple question: What is journalism and does anyone need journalism in this day and age?


About Samir "Mr. Magazine™" Husni, Ph.D.

Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine™, is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. He is also Professor and Hederman Lecturer of Journalism at the School of Journalism and New Media. Dr. Husni is the author of the annual Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, which is now in its 28th year. He is also the author of Launch Your Own Magazine: A Guide for Succeeding in Today's Marketplace published by Hamblett House, Inc. and Selling Content: The Step-by-Step Art of Packaging Your Own Magazine, published by Kendall Hunt, Magazine Publishing in the 21st Century, published by Kendall Hunt, and co-author of Design Your Own Magazine. He has presented seminars on trends in American magazines to the editorial, advertising and sales staff of the magazine groups of the Morris Communications Company, Hearst Corp., Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Meredith Corp., Reader's Digest Magazine, ESPN the magazine, Sail Magazine, American Airlines Publishing, the National Geographic Society, the Swedish magazine group Bonnier, the Finnish magazine group Sanoma Magazines, Southern Progress magazines, New South Publishing, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Magazine Editors, Vance Publishing Corporation, the Florida Magazine Association, The Magazine Association of Georgia, the National Society of Black Journalists, the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association, and the American Press Institute. He is "the country's leading magazine expert," according to Forbes ASAP magazine, "the nation's leading authority on new magazines," according to min:media industry newsletter; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him "the planet's leading expert on new magazines." Dr. Husni has been interviewed by major U.S. media on subjects related to the magazine industry. He has been profiled and is regularly quoted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other newspapers nationwide, as well as the major newsweeklies and a host of trade publications. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, CNNFN, PBS, and on numerous radio talk shows including National Public Radio's Morning and Weekend Editions. Dr. Husni has also served as an expert witness in several lawsuits involving major media corporations including Time Inc. and American Express Publishing among others. He has been a judge of The National Magazines Awards, The Evangelical Magazines Association, The City and Regional Magazines Association, and The Florida and Georgia Magazine Association Awards. Dr. Husni is the President and CEO of Magazine Consulting & Research, a firm specializing in new magazine launches, repositioning of established magazines, and packaging publications for better sales and presentations. Dr. Husni holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. When he is not in his office reading magazines, Dr. Husni is at the newsstands buying magazines.
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30 Responses to Social Media: Is it the New Journalism?

  1. Megan says:

    After watching these two video clips from the Charlie Rose Show, the first thing I did was look up what Square was. I have never even heard of Square. Twitter, on the other hand, I have heard of, and have one myself. I’m not as fascinated with Twitter as I am with Facebook though. One of the main aspects that I find fascinating about Twitter is that you can follow and see what celebrities are doing, something you can’t do anywhere else besides maybe magazines. However, I do not think Twitter will be the next big Internet success story. Yes, you can have immediate access to information about where people are and what they’re doing. But you also have that access of Facebook. I think that Facebook has way more options and features than Twitter does and I just don’t see Twitter being able to beat that. Facebook is already ahead of Twitter and is just going to create more and more features. For example Twitter has Foursquare where you can check into places, Facebook has Check-In which is essentially the exact same thing as Foursquare. I know this isn’t a debate on Facebook vs. Twitter, but I’m just trying to make my point on the fact that I do not think Twitter is the next Internet success story. Finally, unfortunately, I am beginning to think that Social Media is the new Journalism. I don’t want to think that but it is the 21st century, Social Media is just going to get greater from here. I think the appeal of Social Media instead of Journalism is what is attracting people. I think that the iPad creates interest because it’s not just a simple newspaper or magazine, it’s technology which is attractive. I think that our generation and the generations above us and below, are interested in Social Media and what is arriving on the market, not simple textbook Journalism so to speak.

  2. Sam Wilson says:

    I had never heard of “Square” until reading the interview. I think that is a great idea, as there are many situations where paying with your credit card is much more convenient. Taking a small percentage of every transaction that is used on “Square” will make the owners a lot of money, so it’s a great idea. While I personally don’t use Twitter either, I can see how big it is becoming. I was watching ESPN last night and they were talking about a controversial “tweet” posted by Lebron James. Since the initial break of the story about his “tweet” I have seen at least five more follow up stories. Most celebrities and even politicians now have Twitter accounts so people can see what they are doing on a moment by moment basis. I think both of these social medias are extremely creative and will be around for years to come.

  3. Matthew Jones says:

    As stated by some of the other comments, I had not heard of square until this interview either. Honestly I think it’s a great idea and one day could be very common. When you think about it, as Jack Dorsey said, how many times do you not have cash or a check readily available? But somehow we never seem to go anywhere without our plastic. I think it is only a matter of time before square really takes off or something very similar is created and improves on what square has already done. As far as twitter goes, as a twitter user, I can say it is probably the number one place I get my news. I follow the New York Times columns that specifically interest me, politicians that I like, my friends, and even some of my favorite athletes and celebrities. I always find myself, in my downtime, checking my twitter account. One thing about twitter that I really like, besides I can get in on my blackberry, is that I can see the headline with the link to the story. If the headline interests me, then I will click the link. If not, I move right along. I think Twitter is definitely helping pave the way for a social media revolution.

  4. Katherine Ridgeway says:

    I think Jack Dorsey is extremely innovative. He seems to have a good feel for what people want and can put that feeling into motion. Twitter, goes hand and hand with mobile devices. A majority of my friends send tweets everyday. If they website continues to grow, facebook may have competition.

  5. Grace Pittard says:

    I agree with Katherine that Jack Dorsey is very innovative. I recently just got a twitter, and have not fallen in love with it quite yet. Sometimes I find what people tweet about as unimportant as some of their status’ on Facebook. I don’t always care what everyone is doing at that moment, and I have a hard time deciding what I want to tweet myself. But at the same time it is interesting to follow celebrities and other public figures. My overall main question though is the true safety of Twitter. Can letting people know what you are doing or where you are constantly be that safe in the long run? Im still contemplating my true opinion on tweeting.

  6. Ramsay Quinn says:

    I found both interviews to be exceptionally documented. Like Mr. Dorsey stated, “It’s really complex to make something simple.” The thought of making a portable credit card device (Square) for the phone/iPad is technologically savvy. Who would ever come up with such a tool that would automatically bill the phone company while nonetheless making small businesses prosper? This man undoubtedly simplifies life for the average person, which is why Twitter has also exploded in the past few years. It’s remarkable to finally embark on discoveries that keep people easily connected, and in the eyes of Jack Dorsey, both inventions (Square & Twitter) will exceed all traditional motives. It’s sad, but our world is constantly changing, for the better? who knows? But we should all point out how much our lives are becoming technologically oriented. Networking and networking alone has just about everything to do with common trade, so why not expand the gap and broaden the horizon? Almost every adult in this world owns a cellular phone with Internet access…therefore the possibilites are endless with the right network!

  7. Elizabeth O'Connell says:

    I got a Twitter a few months ago but never really new the story behind it like I knew about facebook, so this was really interesting to me. I’ve also gotten where I enjoy Twitter a lot more than Facebook. I get bored with Facebook, and Twitter is a great opportunity to share quick information. It’s a quick and simple experience whether it’s a funny tweet from a friend or celebrity or it’s breaking news from around the world. I don’t watch the news on TV, and unless a major news story is on the AOL homescreen I don’t hear about it until somebody mentions it to me. I don’t go to news websites because it’s all too much information for me. I want to know what’s going on in one quick sentence, and Twitter can give me that. If I want more details then I can look them up myself. I would never get rid of my facebook because I like the type of communication it offers, but I get bored with it easily. I find Twitter to be more fun because it can lead me to exactly what I’m interested in. So I think Twitter is a great new thing. It doesn’t do what facebook does so I don’t feel like they’re competing with each other, but Twitter is something I really enjoy.

  8. Suzanne Coulter says:

    I got a Twitter at the beginning of school because my friend kept showing me all of the funny tweets my high school friends would write. However, I don’t feel that Twitter will pass Facebook. Even though every time I check my Twitter account (which isn’t often) that new people pop up, I believe that Facebook is so much more interesting. Though Twitter can tell you important information, I can’t stand the ones that tell you exactly what the person is doing because frankly..I don’t really care. On the other hand, Facebook informs you with interesting pictures and that mini feed. I don’t have anything against Twitter and I can see that a lot of people like it and Jack Dorsey seems to be an extremely intelligent man, I just can’t imagine it amounting to anything close to Facebook will. I also found the Square to be really interesting. I never knew that existed but it’s a really creative idea that I think will go far.

  9. Katie Williamson says:

    It is almost scary to think that companys have this much information about the customer. With square they can monitor every transaction and with twitter they can see exactly what your thinking with every update. The hightened level of personalization in advertivising is creepy thought that could have come from George Orwell. It will be intresting to see how the personal information that is available will be utilized by current journalist. Will magazine companys be subscriping to their readers and facebooking the customers? Social Media has drastically changed the way we do business.

  10. Holly Crosthwait says:

    Social media is definitely changing journalism, but it is too early to tell if it is for the better. When looking at both sides of the picture, it is obvious that social media is important because it is a great way to find out what is happening now. But, I do not think that everyone who blogs or tweets is a journalist. In the future, I think that as technology advances, editors will have an increasingly difficult job ahead of them. They will have the arduous task of sifting through the excess of opinions that social media creates in order to find out what is factual. Personally, I think that social media and traditional journalism must coexist with one another. Journalism is more than ink and paper now, but it should not be limited to blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates.

  11. Mary Liz Cronk says:

    Unlike most of the previous comments, I was introduced to Square about three months ago when my good friend had the device mailed for free to his house. It took me almost an hour to fully grasp the idea surrounding the Square, but once I understood the concept I thought it was brilliant. What is great about it is that almost everyone can get use it. If I owe my sister $20, I can swipe my debit card on her Square and transfer the money immediately. For someone who owns their own business, they no longer need to carry around a device that accepts cards. Going to the ATM is unnecessary with this product. Focusing my attention on Twitter, I do not find it that revolutionary. It is almost the same thing as the status updates on Facebook, except it is much more dangerous. Should high schoolers really be posting where they are at all times online? Seems like it makes them a little too vulnerable. And I feel like that goes for everyone who uses Twitter.

  12. Andrew Oswalt says:

    I think square is a great idea for small businesses, because now they don’t have to wait till they get enough customers to justify getting a credit card machine. They can just simply use this new device. By using it they can make a profit without having to inconvenience people by having a sign saying cash or check only.
    Changing subjects i think Katie brings up a very valid point that these new technologies are allowing companies to have tons of personal information about us. This is a scary thought i mean do we really want these companies or even random people knowing about every purchase we make or where we are at all times? Sometimes it seems to me that if you get to carried away with sharing information about yourself over the internet you could just be setting yourself up as a target.

  13. Camille Condrey says:

    this interview has a lot to say about twitter. As someone who has a twitter, it was a nice reminder of what it is supposed to be for. Theres so many people on there my age who just tweet about the most random things that no one would ever care about like “im so bored” or “ready to get off work”. I’m reminded that there is a higher cause for twitter and what seems to be more important than tweeting yourself is following others that are important in this world and that have a voice that matters. I think that the square is an amazing invention and I’m so happy they were able to create something that simple! I cant wait to use it.

  14. Kristin Mathis says:

    The first thing that we learned in this class is in order to be a journalist you need to be a content provider and experience maker. By doing this the media needs to be humanized. After reading this interview, I believe that twitter gives people and journlist the opportunity to be content providers and experience makers in just a few sentences. They are able to tell a story that is actually happening at a given momen, and when people read other’s tweets they are able to visualize what the tweeter said. What I have learned in this class, I think that Jack Dorsey explains my arguement well in these paragraphs from the interview, “Yes. I think that is a great point. I think we’ve put a lot of emphasis on tweeting when a lot of the value is actually following people. And anything you’re interested in the world whether it be Charlie Rose or JetBlue or a public figure or your local coffee shop, they’re on Twitter and broadcasting what is interesting to them. They’re broadcasting about the organization, what they’re doing. So I can go and get immediate value from these things that I care about. And that’s the most important thing is being able to get in immediately and being able to follow someone I love, like Kanye West or like Barack Obama or any politician serving my particular state. I can see them immediately.

    But then there’s another hook — you can actually participate with. You can reply to them, and they may reply back. They’re human again. And we spend so much time putting these organizations and public figures on this massive, massive pedestal, but we have to remember they go through all the small details of live that we do. And you can make them human again and you can interact with them.”

    There is content, there is an experience, it is personal allowing it to feel humanized.

  15. Bruce Miller says:

    I have never once heard of the square, the chip that plugs into the iPhone 4. That is probably because I have never had the need to use the device or been around it before. From the interview with Charlie Rose and hearing what Jack Dorsey had to say about how it works and why he invited it really impressed me. I thought that is something that is very useful to businesses and making it simple not so complex to scan somebody credit card. Not only was the first interview interesting and insightful but so what the second with Charlie Rose and Jack Dorsey. I wonder what he means that Twitter has a lot of work to due it comes to Facebook because Twitter only has 200 million users and Facebook as 500 million users. I’m interested in were Twitter will go in the future how it will modernize. I believe Jack Dorsey will continue to come up with ideas and I look forward to hearing about them down the road from now.

  16. Mary Cosby Parker says:

    Although I do not have a twitter myself so many of my friends do, and they all seem to love it. Personally I find some of the stuff that people tweet about as unimportant and pretty dumb. However, I also know some people that have a twitter but do not tweet, they just follow. Twitter is definitely the next “big thing” right now, and it won’t be long till almost everyone is tweeting. On the other hand, I have never heard of square until reading this article. Square is a really good idea and I think it will be great for small businesses around the world.

  17. Bailey Sloan says:

    I have to agree with Katherine when she says that Dorsey is very innovative. He saw how to make this complex world a little more simple, and not only that, he found it in areas that no one else would have thought of. Take “Square” for instance, something I have never heard of, but a great invention! I do believe that Square will become something that not only small businesses use, but it will grow to larger companies and well as expand and grow itself into quite another invention. I do not have a Twitter account because I don’t see the difference in that and Facebook. Facebook seems to have all I need in the way of social networking, although I am aware that some others might not feel that way. “Facebook me” seems to be a more popular phrase than “Did you read so and so’s Tweet?” My old Blackberry phone only came with a Facebook app, but my new HTC phone came with a Facebook and a Twitter app. I’d say, despite my opinion of it, Dorsey also made a good invention with Twitter because it is becoming more and more popular.

  18. Bentley Harvey says:

    I think that Square is a great idea! Apple has a bulkier version of a credit card swipe on their iPhone’s at the Apple store that they use to check people out. But Square seems a lot more versatile and can be used on more than just an iPhone. If I owned a business or store I would definitely invest in the Square. On the other hand, I am not a huge fan of Twitter..Sorry Dorsey. Although I have a Twitter I rarely ever use it, much less even know how to use it. I think that many people have Twitter accounts because it’s something that is free, can keep you connected, and almost 200 million people have them but I bet many of the accounts are not active. This could be just another fad that people have to have but never really use, but maybe not.

  19. Michala Burman says:

    Dorsey’s innovation of Twitter was a good creative idea. Twitter is becoming more and more and popular, and I feel like it is becoming the “new facebook” of social media. I like his idea that “It is really complex to make something simple.” Twitter is simple to us but is a complex innovation of social media.

  20. Haley Morgan says:

    While i was watching/reading this interview, I realized i had no clue what square was. At first i thought it was four square, but then i realized it was something totally different. In my opinion, i think square is a good idea, but i think it would work better for big companies rather than normal people. I guess I just didn’t fully understand the concept of having your credit card on your phone. I would have to research it more, but i think it could potentially be a good idea.

    I have a twitter, and I’ve had it for over a year now. At first i didn’t understand it and not many of my friends used it. Over the year, more and more of my friends got twitters, which made me enjoy and use twitter more. I think twitter is a great invention. I like knowing what my friends are doing, thinking, or where they are. I also like how we are able to be in the know of what celebrities are doing. I use twitter as my status update more than i use facebook for status. Now that i have both, i see twitter as more of a “status updater”. Twitter is becoming more and more popular. Although it will probably never be as popular as facebook, it is still a great social network and in my opinion, more people should try it out.

  21. Madison Featherston says:

    Like many of the other readers, I had no idea what Square was at first. After reading about it, I think that it’s a brilliant concept with the potential to become very popular. I think it will be very successful for individuals and especially, small businesses. If I had owned a business I would definitely invest in Square. I think that Dorsey needs to publicize this item a lot more to bring more attention to it. I do have a twitter, and I think that it’s not only a fun tool, but also informative. I can keep up with what my friends and celebrities are tweeting, but I also follow major news organizations, anchors, and also my hometown news now has its own twitter. I feel that it is a good way to get news because the messages on twitter are small, but if interested you can either click on the link for the full story or google the topic to find out more. I’m not sure if it will ever reach the popularity status that facebook has, simply because facebook has reached so many more demographics in the world, and it has so many more options for users. But I do think that twitter is successful, very popular in my friend groups, and that it will continue to grow in popularity.

  22. frank lawler says:

    I do not have a twitter, but I do know some things about the site. I have never heard of square until now. Its really amazing how simple he makes creating the two sites sound. I do agree about how he says technology should be able to disappear when you are interacting with it. I never thought of it that way. That’s what makes new technology and websites so interesting.

  23. Farrell Lawo says:

    I honestly do not see all the hype with Twitter. Personally, I do not own a Twitter account and I do not see myself falling under the influence to join the Twitter network. I have a Facebook and the whole “status update” thing on there seems to me like the exact same idea of Tweeting. Many people like Twitter because it is free and it keeps you connected but so are many of the social networks out there are free and do the exact same thing. About the Square…I think it is a great idea! Especially if you are working for a big company or something it would definitely come in handy!

  24. Sydney Johnson says:

    Personally, I love having a twitter. I love the fact that I can read what my friends are doing at home in North Carolina when I’m in Mississippi, a few seconds after they post. Twitter is by far better than Facebook, to me, because on the subject of status’s, there are hundreds of people on facebook that I could care less about what they are doing, but with Twitter, people only follow people that they care about what they are doing. Twitter is huge for the social media world and I believe it has taken it to a whole new level of communicating through the media.

  25. Liz Wehking says:

    I have always wondered who started Twitter, so this interview helped me understand more about why Twitter was started. I have a Twitter and I adore it! At first I never understood the point until I got one and I became addicted. It is so neat to hear what people are doing and what happened to different people. I personally like something like Twitter instead of Facebook because is too much information on people, while Twitter just simply says what is on their mind.

  26. Mary Kelley Zeleskey says:

    I agree that some people are defeating the purpose of socail media with facebook and twitter especially when they post a pointless status or “tweet” about how they are tired or that they just woke up. It seems to me like Jack Dorsey came up with Twitter so people could follow a business, bands, or anything your interested in to stay informed with what is happening in our world today. However i do agree that twitter will not be as successful as facebook because facebook just has so much more to do on it t keep people occupied. As for Square, I think that was a clever invention. I also completely agree with the fact that he says it is very complex to make something simple. These days, everyone is so worried about coming up with the next big thing that some of the inventions get so complex that it ends up not being as successful as they had hoped or it just completely fails.

  27. Laura Quittmeyer says:

    Dorsey’s creations are not either that I use, but from reading this interview I can see the success in his businesses. It sounds as if there will be twitter take-over because it is easily accessible by anyone and will soon triumph over facebook’s reign. His work with credit card companies and phones is very practical and will change everything (or so it sounds like). I also like how Dorsey comments on getting content of information to you immediately by the technological advances he’s made, that will prove to be very helpful in the journalism and advertisement field.

  28. Leah Tracy says:

    In reading this interview with Jack Dorsey I found it interesting when he said that “the most powerful technology is the the technology that dissapears”. Aft6er reading that I realized that that statement was quite true. When I am on facebook I do not look at it as the type of computer I am on but what is happening on the page infront of me. I personally do not have a twitter, but I see how people enjoy it so much. Everyone loves to have the capability of knowing what is going on in other peoples lives.
    As for square, I have never heard of it until this interview, but i believe it will be very helpful in taking many businesses to the next level. Many businesses will be able to sell to costumers without the worry of the type of payment.

  29. Erica Marconi says:

    I didn’t know what Square was at all, but after reading about it, I think that it’s pretty neat and could become very popular. If I owned a business I would definitely get Square. Jack Dorsey needs to publicize this item more to obtain more attention to it. Personally, I have Twitter and I believe it’s a great way to keep up with current news that is not only going on in Oxford but as well as in my hometown, Buffalo NY. Also, it informs me with what my friends are doing and I am able not to only follow my friends but follow celebrities, major news organizations, and sports center. It might not get as popular as Facebook but Twitter is still pretty successful. The difference with Facebook is that Facebook has many more features than Twitter. Social media continues to grow every day and changes the way people continue to do things in the business world.

  30. Courtney Smith says:

    I think that Facebook and Twitter are great social networks, but they are becoming abused and used for all of the wrong reasons. People are literally getting hurt and killed because of these sites. If they were used in the correct way, they wouldn’t be as horrible as they are now. Don’t get me wrong, you can find out pretty interesting stuff on the sites, some things that are helpful and others that are harmful. But you got to take the good in with the bad.

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