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Twitter and YouTube And The New Field Of Journalism - Rafael Galicot and Gregorio Galicot
Communications and journalism, in a sense, are no longer about the journalists (Gregorio Galicot), the deadlines or the traditional styles of reporting. There is no waiting time, there is almost nothing left to the imagination. We are now kept updated to the second, given access to links, sidebars, visuals and interaction to any story — regardless of media.
The keys to this world of information — when and how we need it — are two things that are the opposite of strangers to today’s society. Two words: Twitter and YouTube.
The two may be the poster-children for what is “wrong” about communications today and most likely have many fingers pointed in their direction for murdering print media. But, in laymens terms, they sure are fantastic.
I ask you to look beyond annoying — ahem, “recreational” — Twitter accounts such as LordVoldemort7 (“Osama Bin Laden & I share the same death day. Organising parties is going to be awkward, we have so many mutual friends. Dibs on Hitler”) and TotalFratMove (“What do my golf clubs and a pledge have in common? I forget they are in my trunk until I slam on the brakes. TFM.”) Consider the Twitters of the media, companies and organizations.
I am a journalism student in my senior year. While I do subscribe to @CNN and @USAToday on my Twitterfeed, I am also concerned with @TheDailyCollegian, my university newspaper, and @pennstatelive. Regardless of size, content or author, these sites provide me with the information I need to know at the — bear my cliché — click of a mouse.
My generation, along with our parents who we’ve taught to understand this technology, has learned that information and access is not something to wait for. Twitter is a direct result of that desire and, often selfish, demand to know the who, what, when, where, why, how and WTH? (what the hell?) answered.
Twitter gives provides 140 characters to tell a story, describe a mood, rekindle a friendship, ask a question or give a thought to anyone who has the 30 seconds to spare it. But it also gives news sources such as The Washington Post, the New York Times and even Cosmopolitan to give previews of an upcoming story, provide updates on what has already happened and keep the public from waiting until tomorrow’s tangible issue for what needs to be known today.
The power and grandeur of Twitter are evident on days of breaking news, elections and even sporting events. My newsfeed was impossible to keep track of on days such as that of the World Cup, the premiere of Glee and especially on the days following the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
But the moment that this historic advance in the war against terrorism occurred, I wasn’t in the comfort of my apartment. I wasn’t even in America. I was in Barcelona, Spain sound asleep after a night of sightseeing. I didn’t even have my Blackberry on me.
I awoke that night at 5 a.m. to my friend, Matt, checking his own Blackberry. After rubbing his eyes and rereading his messages, he sat up and woke us all up. “Guys, Osama Bin Laden is dead. We got him. And I heard their rioting at school. My friends just tweeted me.”
In no other day and age and with no other form of technology could we have received such news. It most likely would have struck us via newscast or word of mouth. But, at that moment, we were caught up with the rest of America and fell back asleep in amazement. Twitter made me, after four months abroad, feel so close to America — and in only 140 characters (Rafael Galicot and Gregorio Galicot).
YouTube. What does that even mean?
No definition needed. YouTube is mini-newscasts, music videos and viral clips that turn everyday 13-year-olds into the co-star of Katy Perry’s newest video. If you lost me after 13-year-olds, you haven’t heard of Rebecca Black.
Simply, YouTube is videos. It is visuals. And it is accessible to anyone. No need for a special search engine or keyword. If you want to watch a goat yell like a human (“Goat Yelling Like a Man”) you can get just that. The same goes for those who may want to witness world record-breaking events (“Ussain Bolt Rips the 100 Meter record”).
Access to the news is no longer something we can only read or hear. We don’t need to imagine what it would have felt like to be in Vancouver after the Canucks won the Stanley Cup. We are now only a search away from seeing newscasts from the 2001 attacks in New York and Washington D.C. and remembering where we were when those first happened.
Nearly every story now has an attached video via YouTube or a link to get you where you need to be in order to visually feel a part of the story. Unlike Twitter, YouTube sees no limits. There barely a time nor content restriction (except for the obvious slurs and inappropriate images). If someone — average Joe or American news source — sees the need to post, there is a more than likely audience that needs to see it.
While reading a print story, we all admittedly still have a few unanswered questions. How loud were the cheers in Vancouver? Does Ussain Bolt look as fast as the clock says? How in the world could a goat sound like a human?
YouTube picks up where the pen — well, keyboard — leaves off. Or even where a story has barely even begun to be told.
When we heard about the killing of Bin Laden, the newsworthiness was obvious. We figured that the military found him somehow and did what it took to kill the man that has lead to the death of far-too-many Americans. But the thing that intrigued us wasn’t that Bin Laden was dead, but it was how our fellow Nittany Lions were reacting.
Riots. What a word for a college student. To say that we’ve never seen riots in our small town of State College would be a lie (search: Penn State Ohio State 2008 riot). But it was, none the less, something that sparked curiosity.
A friend of mine reassured me that he hadn’t forgotten me when I saw that a YouTube video was posted by him on my Facebook wall later that day — “Riot at Penn State to celebrate America's victory over Osama!”
With that, I was able to see what my friends did when they heard the news as I was drifting back into my Spanish dreams. But it wasn’t just seeing the riot, it was seeing America that felt so special. In a pivotal point in American history, how were the Americans reacting? I certainly have a different perspective of this event, given that I was in a foreign country.
This riot put Penn State into the news, the rankings for best reactions and into the minds of concened citizens. We assure you, we won’t cause riots like this once we leave college.
At that moment, those riots were the news. And YouTube put me there celebrating alongside my friends.
From the 20-year-old student studying abroad to the families and friends of those in Japan praying for an answer - YouTube told us the story.
It’s more of an advancement of storytelling then it is in technology — but the ability to make these happen is incredible. Communications, to many, is limited to radio, print and television, but the Internet is where we’re headed. Internet journalism, by way of Twitter and YouTube, is providing us with immediate answers and the ability to see the story. For the journalists, it’s an effective way to tell the story. For the public, it’s the best way to receive the story. Good story telling is what journalism is all about. We’re just skipping the boring details and getting to the fun pictures and the best lines, and we’re doing it now.