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    • I'm sure you're all aware of something that I call "social media journalism". Basically, it's when a random internet user with a smartphone (which could literally be anyone) decides to "report" on a certain event that either happened to them or around them that they deemed worthy of sharing, with the intention of it going viral so they can enjoy their 15 seconds of fame. Clips of people fighting in the streets, of government workers sleeping on the job, fast food outlet employees not adhering to health and cleanliness regulations, you know the kind. This type of "journalism" is rampant in Malaysia, with the phrase "I'll make this go viral!" often accompanying the shared clip uploaded by said "journalist". Now I understand that this is an inherent issue with social media. It gives people a platform and a voice to be heard, and so I'm not entirely bothered by that (well, I am, but that's not the point of this discussion). What bothers me more, is when real news organisations (traditional news organisations, the kinds which have newspapers and slots on TV) actually pick up these social media "reports" and parrot them, seemingly validating the "work" of this social media "reporter". Again, this is also rampant in Malaysia.

      Here are a few examples of viral social media posts that have been reported by one particular newspaper publication in Malaysia.

      First, footage of a woman who lost her temper when her car was about to get towed.

      A doctor was filmed shouting at a patient who refused to wait their turn and instead barged into his office while he was seeing another patient. In this incident the infamous "I will make this go viral" claim was made.

      Probably the worse offender? A conversation between a man and his mother about how pampered their cat is made the news. Why? No idea.

      I know that newspapers need to adapt to the digital age. I even wrote a post about how Malaysia's oldest newspaper has stopped print productions and would be going fully digital. I also know that clicks are what generate revenue, which is why these news publications need to post news stories that will generate interest and be shared on social media. Unfortunately, drama sells in Malaysia (as well as cute cats), so these news publications feel the need to report on these issues, especially if the stories originate from social media and have gone viral.

      Is it just me, or does this sort of "journalism" bother you too? How much does it happen in your country?

    • For a period of time several online news sites in New Zealand were quoting Twitter posts from random people as if they were some sort of authoritive opinion or source of information on the topic in question, with how many times something had been re-tweeted being quoted as if it gave some sort of creedence to the tweet.
      This practice seems to have largely stopped now.

    • I sometimes will watch the local news before the television show Saturday Night Live comes on. Invariably, one of the stories will be of a video that’s gone viral on social media. Twitter even makes it easy for news departments to find such content: in their search menu they have a tab called “Fun,” which curates all of the tweets related to newsworthy items like this.

      You literally could create a news segment just by showing all of the related videos and images and tweeted comments from eyewitnesses.

    • Same here. News reports would often state "at the time this article was published the post (referring to the viral post) has been shared xx times and received xxx views", as though those numbers make it newsworthy.

    • I am prepared to go further and say Twitter has ruined our knowledge of events (past and present) and well as news reporting. Just cause someone says so on Twitter does not mean "this event" ever happened, or even happened in that way.

      I got rid of my Twitter account as I found it was taking up too much of my actual time and worse I was actually wasting "emotional time" on a platform where no one cared what anyone else said or did.

    • I disagree that this is journalism. The problem isn’t that journalism is being ruined, the problem is that people no longer know (or care) what journalism is and why it’s important. So it’s not the journalism that’s being ruined, it’s society.

    • I am alarmed at the trend showing up in traditional journalism outlets of hyped up headlines. Some of the headlines are absolute rubbish, meant to play to people’s emotions rather than give an accurate glimpse into the topic of the attached article. This bugs the crap out of me. Ugh!

    • I see page after page of clickbait crap on web pages of what I thought at one time were reputable magazines or newspapers - most annoying! I really resent being approached like that

    • Too often people are out to get clicks as opposed to creating quality content with substance. That’s why I like Cake. Way more substance on here than other sites.