Q and A: Baltimore Reporter Talks About Social Media in Journalism

(Photo Courtesy of CBS Baltimore)

(Photo Courtesy of CBS Baltimore)

I decided to interview Mark Viviano from WJZ-TV because he has spent much of his career covering sports. Mark Viviano was a graduate of the the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  Viviano is currently the sports director for WJZ-TV.  Most recently, Viviano was a studio anchor and national correspondent for CNN-Sports Illustrated.  Viviano has had an illustrious career and even was the journalist who broke the story of the Cleveland Browns’ relocation to Baltimore in November 1995.  I have recently gotten the opportunity to ask him a few questions about how social media is incorporated in journalism.

TB– “How has social media changed the journalism landscape in your opinion?”

MV– “Yes, I believe social media has significantly changed the journalism landscape.  Journalists can provide more information in more formats (especially mobile) and provide it more quickly than ever. The widespread use of social media has led to media entities altering their manner of disseminating information as they adjust to the demand.”

TB– “How has social media positively affected journalism?”

MV– “Among the positive impacts of social media on journalism is the immediacy that information is now provided. Reporters can transmit news/information from the scene as events are happening in real time. Another positive aspect of social media is that news/information can be shared/spread more quickly among those linked to the media. Social media users become part of the dissemination process.”

TB– “How has social media negatively affected journalism?”

MV– “The immediacy of information disseminated by journalists via social media has increased the incidents of inaccuracies in reporting in the race to be first to put out news/information.  The speed with which news can be shared has gone from hours, to minutes to seconds and with that speed has come less time (or in some cases- less priority) in fact-checking for accuracy before reporting.”

TB– “How often do you use social media for your job?”

MV– “I use social media daily in my job.  I use Twitter primarily as a platform for reporting, promoting information that will be broadcast on TV and for engaging in opinion/debate on sports subjects of the day.”

Me– “Do you believe social media is a necessity for today’s journalism?”

MV– “Use of social media by journalistic entities is pervasive enough that I believe it is a necessity today, yes.  Those who don’t use social media will be missing a significant audience and fail to maximize the distribution of news.”

TB– “If you could use only one social media platform what would it be and why?”

MV– “I personally prefer Twitter.  I find Twitter to have a significant user base and ease of operation that I have seen to be useful for my job.”

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