Every journalist today understands the value of social media with regards to story development. While  accuracy may not be guaranteed, social media ‘news’ can be a starting point for further research in achieving a balanced story.

As much as this is true, for many campus or young journalists, their relative age in life and in the profession is a burden. Many do not know how to distinguish their own voice from the voice of the organization/platform the write for. This is  not just a problem of the young ones, we have found few matured, adult media professionals falling into the same trap.

Many campus journalists still have problem creating a balance in the time they spend on social media and the one they should spend on their assignments. Many of these young professionals have social media addiction problem. Social media has lots of distractions and many of them always ‘try to stop every dog that is barking on their way’.

Beyond this, many campus journalists often use social media to their own disadvantage because of their inability to distinguish between facts and fictions. They want to be everywhere, proofing a point to anyone that cares. That social media is growing tremendously is not a reason to be everywhere.

To get the best out of social media, a writer suggested the followings:

  1. Get the purpose right: The best way to start this is to use social media to get education and relevant information which will enhance your work as a journalist.
  2. Use it to build important connection: You need not associate or follow everyone. Be specific in your journey. Only connect with important people who can help you to get the job done. Avoid the distraction of wanting to be everywhere.
  3. Privacy issue and other laws: Be in the know, search for knowledge on what constitutes elements of privacy online: personal and public.
  4. Master the art of content promotion and marketing on social media: one vital advantage of social media tools is that it help to get your content across to the targeted audience. Learn from the pro if need be. Use social media tools to your own and organizational advantage through clients’ satisfaction and delights.
  5. Research and development: Of course there is no way you will not use social media for research and development. It can be for personal development in the area of copy writing, story development, content and clients’ engagement.

Be at the forefront of professional excellence. Do not let social media become a tool which deter your professional progress. No one rewards a lazy professional. The values you bring to the table is what is rewarded in a decent environment.

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