“When you post your opinion online -excuse my language- frankly, no one gives a f**k!” Gabriele Zagni, Producer for Piazza Pulita, a talk show on Italian T.V network LA7, on a speech about TV Journalism and How to Manage Social Media. Zagni talked about the three main aspects that correlate TV journalism, and the mainstream use of social media. If it’s one thing that every person in this world looks for in the news, a Facebook post, or a tweet from their favorite celebrity, it’s whether or not they feel entertained afterwards.
“Feeding your audience” something that every successful journalist has been able to master in order to perpetuate and grow their fan base. The age old adage “everything you post online will stay there forever” has never held more truth than it does today. Any embarrassing facebook photos you’ve posted from 2004, heartfelt breakup tweets, or instagram pictures of you in your favorite Christmas sweater? Every time you apply for a job, or your friends want to evaluate your profile, they are able to see an extensive history of everything you’ve done online leading up to today. Applying to journalism as a credible personality, everything posted online should be thoroughly thought out and strategized to be clear, coherent, cohesive, and sharp. The videos you show, the pictures you take, the guests you interview, and the moments shared, they should all work together to paint the clearest image to your readers so that nothing you say is misunderstood. One of the most detrimental things that can happen to a journalist, is that they are misinterpreted by their fans and an unintended image of themselves is presented in spite of the originally intended message.
Imagine a successful freelance journalist, whom in the peak of her career built up such a substantial fanbase that she was offered a prime time television slot on the BBC as a decorated anchorwoman. With three shows completed and her fans exponentially growing, a tweet surfaced in which she talks in depth about her affiliation with various progressive fascist groups. No matter how much she tried, it was irrefutable that the things she said were true at some point, and that the majority of her fanbase was discontent with continued support of her show. From that moment on, her rating plummeted and although she was regretful and neutral about the whole situation, it further concretes the idea and importance of the character and the credibility of a journalist.
No matter if you’re young and wild, or a CEO of major company, your online legacy will always proceed you. In our growing age of digitalized information, your cyber footprint is one of the most important things you can look after.
By Harley Derrickson and Salma Ibrahim