By DREW CASFORD
Feb. 10, 2012
Social media can be good, and bad, said a sports journalist Feb. 10 during a sports journalist panel at Holland College.
The panel, hosted by CBC Radio’s Matt Rainnie, included three well-known sports journalists who fielded questions for Holland College journalism students.
Tim Wharnsby, a journalist for CBCsports.ca, said he was reluctant to join Twitter and other forms of social media.
“It is something I am warming up to. I think Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a big deal.”
Social media is a different form of journalism, said senior producer for CBCsports.ca Kent Wolff.
“It is a brand new world and all of us are trying to figure it out.”
It is now a crucial way of communicating, he said.
“You can get information fast that you can share instantly. It is inevitable and we as journalists have to figure it out or we won’t exist.”
CBC sports reporter Bridget O’Toole said social media, such as Twitter, is an efficient way for journalists to communicate.
“It is a tool that will be used and that we do use.”
Wharnsby said his favourite part of the new form of journalism is easy editing.
“Now I can go back [to the website] and add things two hours later.”
Although there are benefits, Rainnie said Twitter is one form of social media journalists need to be cautious when they use it.
“It is immediate. You can’t have a brain fart.”
O’Toole agreed Twitter is like sending an email in a moment of anger.
“Later on you may have sober thoughts, but on Twitter your post cannot be deleted.”
Wolff said the quickness of the Internet can, at times, be its downfall.
“The difficulty is it’s so quick and sometimes people don’t care about that.”
All four journalists agreed the Internet is a non-traditional form of journalism that has its good and bad sides.
“I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but the world is changing,” said Wolff.
Filed under: Drew Casford