Q and A: Towson Alumna Speaks About Social Media In A Journalism Workplace

Photo courtesy of: Brooke Buford

Photo courtesy of: Brooke Buford

Since graduating from Towson University alumna, Brooke Buford, has succeeded in the journalism world. Buford is currently an anchor/reporter at KALB-TV in Alexandria, LA. For a year and a half Buford also worked in Portland, ME, at WGME-TV. Buford gained experience while interning for ABC News in New York City, “Good Morning America” in Washington, D.C., and WJZ-TV here in Baltimore.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Buford on the topic of social media, and how she incorporates it into her job. Below is the interview:

AB: While at work each day, how do you utilize social media?

BB: I use social media every single day at work. Getting information out quickly and effectively to the public before airtime is an absolute must. If I waited until after our evening show aired at 6:30, I’d be way behind, not only the other television station, but also the newspaper. As I report throughout the day, I update everyone first on Twitter, then Facebook, then the web.

AB: Does the use of social media make your job harder or easier?

BB: Social media definitely makes my job easier. I’m one of those television reporters that doesn’t take a lot of notes when I’m interviewing someone because I’m so busy multitasking as I shoot my own video. So, as soon as I’m finished, I start tweeting. Those tweets are actually helpful as I write my package each night because they give me something to reference in case I forget details.

AB: What do you think is the most effective form of social media, when it comes to circulating news?

BB: I believe the most effective way to circulate news is through Twitter. Twitter forces you to keep your thoughts concise. By doing that, you must only include the most important information. Twitter serves as a rolling timeline of my day. Facebook can be effective too, because I find in my market people are more accustomed to Facebook than Twitter. But, I prefer Twitter and I hope it catches on more.

AB: Do you believe that it is essential for anyone seeking a job in journalism to be well acquainted with social media sites?

BB: I believe it’s essential for anyone entering the field of communication to be up to speed with social media. Surprisingly, so many reporters and multimedia journalists come into their career and don’t understand the basics and importance of keeping the public aware at all times. Now that I’ve been reporting for about four years, I know that social media has helped me grow my sources. And, in some cases, get tips for a story that I was working on that I otherwise might not have had access to.

AB: How do you feel about citizen journalism? 

BB: I’m split on the concept of citizen journalism. In one way, I’m in favor of it, because it’s always interesting to see what other people are reporting on, even if journalism isn’t their primary career. But, as a professional, I’m more against it. I’ve seen so many errors and libelous things printed about news events by citizen journalists. They don’t always have the same access to reputable sources as professional journalists do, so sometimes, some citizen journalists get sloppy. They often turn into gossip blogs.


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