A Constant Need to Reinvent the Wheel


Most recently – amidst the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy — Instagram has become the main service people used to share their images of the storm, and it was also the primary source of pictures for CNN and Time Magazine. By noon on October 30th, more than 300,000 photos had been shared with the #sandy hashtag in addition to 144,999 with the #hurricanesandy tag, and another 23,000 using the #frankenstorm tag – averaging around 10 pictures per second posted.

While this has been a great tool for story telling and activism, as evidenced by the use of Facebook and Twitter during the wake of Arab Spring, it is worth pausing to consider how it affects the paid professional in the journalism industry.

Andrew Ross (2009: 22) argues that in social network content production platforms such as Youtube, Flickr, Twitter and MySpace “the burden of productive waged labor is increasingly transferred to users or consumers” and asks us to consider what happens to labour and the labour conditions of professional creatives in the context of amateur created content. (Banks & Deuze 2009, p.6).

If the journalist is to survive the ever advancing and increasing use of social media, she must reinvent and rethink her approach to creating a story.



Nikki Tuttle


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