The Balancing Act of Traditional + Social Media

When social media first came on the scene, some mused whether it would overtake traditional media as the primary news venue. While some of us would declare ourselves social media “addicts”, it has certainly not replaced traditional media.

Both sides are very much needed and can work together quite nicely, but how do we achieve that balance?

I’ve noticed that there are still camps of people who rely only on traditional media for “validated” news because they feel more comfortable with the traditional journalism, fact-checking aspect (yes, many of them are in the older crowd). However, still others are bypassing traditional media in favor of speedy, in-the-moment tweets, online conversations among a group of “friends” or thoughts from trusted bloggers. Now, this is where the lines blur–Technorati’s 2009 State of the Blogosphere survey showed that 35 percent of all blogger respondents have worked within traditional media and that 27 percent of respondents both blog and work in traditional media. This makes it difficult to completely separate traditional from social media, or even to choose one over the other, as they’re spilling over into each other’s cups.

Most traditional media outlets today have a social media presence, e.g., blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages, and vice versa, e.g., links to traditional media’s news coverage from the social sites. This gives us the best of both worlds for balancing comprehensive or more structured media coverage with the immediacy and often spirited delivery of news in a social media setting.  No need to choose one over the other—just realize what they both bring to the table and their constant evolution and intertwining.

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