An experts view on the impact of social media comes from Vicky Taylor, Commissioning Editor, New Media at Channel 4 News.

An experts view on the impact of social media comes from Vicky Taylor, Commissioning Editor, New Media at Channel 4 News.

Vicky discusses the implications of social media for news gathering and delivery and the role that social networking sites and services have in creating new audiences for the station’s news output. She also talks about the ways in which the programme’s presenters, Jon Snow and Krishnan Guru-Murthy, use services like to Twitter to reach and interact with the audience.

A consistent theme in all of the interviews that we have conducted to date with journalists is the rapid shift away from set-piece news delivery. As Andrew Marr, a self-confessed “slow adopter” said recently in a blog on the BBC News website, the days of news consumption have changed irrevocably:

“I felt I was the last of the news romantics, only at home with a mound of coffee-stained newsprint, always on the sofa for the Ten O’Clock bulletin. Now “they” have got me – the shaven pated, T-shirted, Maori-tattooed gauleiters of the digital future.”

The lesson for communications professionals is that we live in an age of “always on” engagement with the media. No wire service can compete with the immediacy, the reach and the conversational intensity of a medium like Twitter. By my reckoning, more than 80% of the UK’s opinion formers now have some sort of presence on Twitter and are engaged in a never-ending discussion about the issues (from the serious to the prosaic) of the day. Are you?

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