Remember when you could only watch the news? Now the words hashtag, tweet, post, Facebook, and Twitter are all part of the broadcast news vocabulary.
With the rise of social media, new ways of communicating with news networks have emerged. Through the internet and social media platforms, viewers can openly voice their opinions, concerns, likes and dislikes.
If you are a regular viewer of news programming you will notice these changes that have occurred over the last few years. When watching the morning or evening editions, the following are often involved:
- Using hashtags (#) to join the conversation
- News anchors commenting on trending topics
- Displaying news channels’, journalists’ and guests’ Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages to connect with or share
- During interviews, questions can be taken via social media
Hamilton, Ontario’s TV channel uses social media in many different ways. Throughout their news broadcast they will mention topics that are trending online.
One specific show, Square Off, has hosts Mark Hebscher and Liz West debating the issues of the day. Square Off allows viewers to have their say too, near the end of the program time is allotted for viewers to share their opinions. Viewers can weigh in through email SquareOff@chch.com, Twitter @SquareOffCHCH or by phone 905-522-1101 or 1-888-632-6680 ext 230.
CTV Canada AM
Canada AM gets viewers’ day started with the latest local, national and international news, business, weather sports and entertainment.
Twitter accounts/handles are displayed when introducing the news anchors and guests that are being interviewed, allowing viewers to tweet their thoughts, comments, and potentially connect with the host or guest to learn more. Their Facebook page allows viewers to read, share and comment on news posts and stories.
Business News Network (BNN), is Canada’s only all business and financial news channel. BNN features live interviews with CEOs, as well as financial and market professionals across North America and around the world. Through their programming, their hosts take questions from viewers that are interested in the latest business news via phone, email and Twitter. BNN shares news on their Facebook page to allow viewers to comment on their posts as well.
Having viewers take part and have their say through the broadcast engages the audience and encourages them to share their opinion and ask important questions that may be on the minds of others witnessing the program as well.
We’ve moved into the online age and many individuals get their news from Facebook and Twitter. Pew Research Centre for People & The Press, found 33 percent of young adults got news from social networks the day before, while 34 percent watched TV news and only 13 percent read print or digital newspaper content.
Overall, the study says, the major trends driving the growth and change of digital news are social media, as well as the rapid adoption of mobile internet devices. Whether you get your news from watching the daily TV broadcast, online, or a combination of the two, staying connected to the audiences/viewers through social media is now an integral part of TV news programs.