The world of journalism has changed dramatically with the dawn of social media. I grew up in the age of television and the 6 o’clock news. Anything worth reporting on or watching was broadcast at 6pm. My family would gather around the dinner table, and Dad had a small TV nearby so he didn’t miss a thing. He grew up in the age of radio news and “tuning in” around a box with no screen. My childhood and the television age was a big advancement over radio. But today’s generation is tuning in live, real time, to breaking news every single second of the day.
We’ve all seen the movies with reporters gathering around smoke-filled rooms and typewriters going 90 miles per hour as journalists worked frantically to get the breaking story and to release it the next day in the morning paper. In the year 2014, however, if a journalist or reporter doesn’t know how to use social media they are in major trouble.
Every day on Twitter and Facebook news goes viral -- some of it gossip, some of it real. It’s not unusual to see reporters frantically trying to keep up with the citizens of a town as news spreads, hoping and maybe even praying, to get some inside information that isn’t already spreading across social media!
Where does faith come into the picture and how can it help the world we live in, when it comes to news?
Faith can mean belief, trust, truth and a firmly held conviction. How do our beliefs about something impact our worldview and how is this impacting how news is spread in the year 2014?
It’s not surprising that gossip spreads like wildfire. One glance on Twitter and you won’t have to look far to find a celebrity in trouble, a business person falling or an iconic figure losing their way. Interestingly enough, however, in the last few years something very revolutionary is happening through social media. I personally believe it is because of social media and how we connect in real time.
Recent studies show that positive news now spreads like wildfire through the social airways many times faster than negative gossip. News that inspires and motivates is now being sought out just as much if not more than news that tears down and is destructive.
Tabloids and gossip are not as successful through social media as motivation and stories of people who overcome odds are. We see this as well in magazines, with major publications featuring the inspiring stories and entrepreneurial lifestyle as positive and not as destructive. As a matter of fact, more than ever before, families are being featured and even women are driving a blazon path in a world that has historically been dominated by mostly men.
In 2010, Psychology Today did a study that said, “We Love Bad News” and they were right. That generation loved bad news and nearly craved what was going to collapse next. In 2013, the New York Times reported that “Good News Outperforms Bad News On Social Networks” and the trend really began to gain momentum. But in 2014 we as a culture and a people are making big shifts and want MORE.
Just because we are starting to change how we think and desire good news, doesn’t mean we are delusional or living in a bubble. Good journalism still reports bad news as it’s a normal part of our everyday existence. But it’s important to note that with every bad report, many are still searching for hope in devastating situations.
Oprah Winfrey changed her entire network when she released Super Soul Sunday and today she is seen traveling to cities to speak about hope, life and how to live a better existence with her “The Life You Want Weekend” conferences. She is a culture shaper and it’s important to pay attention to who leads the way and what they are doing.
Faith works at work.
I’ve been writing about it weekly in my column now for months. Social media is a powerful tool that is transforming culture, changing how we see things, interacting with each other and connecting with each other on a daily basis. The data doesn’t lie and any good reporter, direct response marketer or visionary needs to pay attention: The world wants to live in a better place and is changing what they seek out!
Related: Why Faith Belongs In Your Workplace