As a writer and former working journalist, I often ponder the mantra of journalism today which is, “We no longer search for the news; the news finds us.”
In those eleven words you have the recipe for how significantly the news media is doing business today in finding out where the news consumers are hiding and beaming the news to them in those lairs.
More and more, those lairs are on the social media sites of Facebook and Twitter. Reporters and editors are hanging out there, too, and using their posts to tease stories linked back to the news site.
“…the news finds us”
But it is not just a matter of reporters and editors taking promos to the social media sites. In increasing numbers, the actual news events — at least those that can be scheduled — are moving to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter as well.
In the last presidential election, one social media site, YouTube, hooked up with CNN in giving Tubers the chance to interact with the presidential candidates by uploading their video questions that were then addressed by the candidates and shown on the televised debate.
It was a breakthrough in the merger of new and old media, and this presidential season it is being used again, this time with a merger of Facebook and NBC.
Meet the Facebookers
David Gregory will host a special edition of Meet the Press on the Sunday prior to the Republican Primary in New Hampsire that will allow Facebook users to ask questions of the candidates. In addition to being seen on NBC and Facebook, the show will stream live on MSNBC.com and NECN.com.
All politics is social
In a Facebook video, Gregory spoke of the NBC/Facebook merger for the event. “While it’s been said that all politics is local, today it may be more accurate to say all politics is social,” he said.
And NBC News President Steve Capus noted, “What really sets this partnership apart is that we are able to combine the reach of NBC’s audiences and Facebook’s users to connect with engaged, informed communities.”
Facebook’s vice president of U.S. public policy, Joel Kaplan, said in a prepared statement that the NBC partnership illustrates how Facebook is enlarging its role in the presidential campaigns and the country’s democratic process.
Obama opened the door
Certainly the politicians have found a home on the social media. President Obama used it more during the last presidential campaign than any other candidates, and he has continued to use it. Just a few weeks ago, he held a special town hall forum on Twitter, interacting with the public by responding to their tweets.
The special edition of Meet the Press will not air until the start of the 2012 primary season, but that’s not stopping users from suggesting questions now, according to MSNBC writer Cory Bergman. Writing in his blog, “lost remote,” Bergman says NBC newsman Chuck Todd has already held a live roundtable on Facebook’s U.S. Politics page to start the interaction with users.