Posted October 7, 2019. By Blakelee Cannon, public relations major.
Allen Wallace has been a journalist since 1994 and has seen first-hand how technology has changed the game. According to Wallace, most people obtained news in the late 90s by reading the newspaper and watching two or three local TV stations along with one cable news network. With the creation of Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, social media allowed people to share news on their own.
“The internet changed everything,” says Wallace, who also works as communications manager for the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina. “Now, in a world where anyone can spread news, standing out from the crowd is much more difficult.”
According to Pew Research Center, one in five U.S. adults claim they receive their news solely from social media, which is higher than the statistic of one in seven people who say they receive their news from a newspaper. Although social media is a commonly used news source, Pew says that 57 percent of people using it expect the news they see on social media to be largely inaccurate.
Long-established news outlets all have their content in print and online coupled with a presence on social media. As news organizations shift toward digital content, establishing and maintaining trust with their readers is critical.
To establish trust, media institutions promote accuracy, clarity and truthfulness. Wallace believes that journalism programs play a crucial role in training journalists as the field continues to evolve.
“No matter how the world changes, the ethics of journalism are essentially the same,” he says. “Tell the story accurately and without bias.”