Masato Kajimoto

[IBWSC13 Feature Stories] Social Media and News: Participating in online news

August 14, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

In a Tuesday afternoon session,  Masato Kajimoto, lecturer at Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) HKU,  discussed social media and news with the students at the IB conference at HKU.  In his lecture-style workshop, he explored ways in which citizens are helping create news and pitfalls to avoid when engaging in news on the Internet.

The increase use of social media “changes the way we think about news”, Kajimoto said.  Social media creates citizen journalists, who can source stories for journalists.  He stressed to the students that they are no longer simply passive news consumers.

“You, not news organizations, control news story distribution. You are active participants in the news cycle now,” Kajimoto told the students. “What you like, share, tweet, post, write will all have a social impact and consequence.”

Putting that right into play, the students were then presented with a priceless clip of Bruce Lee playing table tennis. The authenticity of the clip is unclear, but was used by Nokia in an advertisement. Kajimoto asked the students if they would like, share or comment on the clip – and more importantly, whether they care if the clip is authentic or not.

While the general consensus from students was that “it didn’t really matter”, Kajimoto introduced the students to websites (www.snopes.com and www.thesmokinggun.com) which can help students verify authenticity of claims.

He offered 2 quick tips on how to avoid being scammed by fake news stories:

1. Click around: read other articles and watch other videos on the matter.

2. Get to know your sources. If it’s on Twitter, see what else the user has been sharing, or if it’s an organization, read the “about us” page to find out more.

Joanne Lam, from JMSC, HKU




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