The managing editor of Aviation Week and American University grad, Benet Wilson, virtually stopped by her alma matter to give us, NSLC and DWOC aspiring journalists, an insightful lesson on the importance of social media. Due to the combination of a lack of electricity and car troubles, Benet could not make the trip personally, but thanks to ever-growing technology, she was able to make a presence through the use of Skype. For those who are unaware, Skype is a way to make Internet calls to another computer.
The most important lesson Benet taught our class was the importance of social media and keeping up with trends. In this modern decade, news revolves in a constant 24/7 cycle. Social media is the platform and continuation of a story. A journalist must send out a tweet updating their followers about important news, then a follow up tweet asking if anyone has any first hand experience. They also should comment on their blog and Facebook. An up and coming reporter must use these sites in order to create their “brand” to sell.
For a journalist, social media’s main purpose is networking. Through websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Blogspot, a reporter is able to widen their contacts. One’s network is important to gain information for stories or get a leg up for job opportunities. As Benet says, “your network is what sustains you.”