Social media platforms necessitates a more nuanced understanding of the craft of journalism and content provision.
There is no denying the scale of change wrought upon the journalism industry in the wake of recent information communication technology (ICT) developments. Increasingly, the hand wringing and worrying is ceding to recognizing the opportunity that comes out of any crisis.
Author Josh Sternberg argues that “the art of information gathering, analysis and dissemination has arguably been strengthened over the last several years.” Furthermore, he advances the idea that social media and accelerations in ICT have witnessed the rise in importance of the journalistic curator. The journalistic curator can occupy the gap left by increasing rates of filter failure:
“a vacuum has been created between reporter and reader — or information gatherer and information seeker — where having a trusted human editor to help sort out all this information has become as necessary as those who file the initial report.”
Journalistic curators are gatekeepers of a different ilk, and there are three factors upon which their success hinges: the issues of trust, taste and tools are key. The distinction between journalistic reporter and journalistic curator become quite marked within these areas. For instance while all concede that being regarded as a reliable source of information is essential to the trustworthiness of curating some disagree on the need for curators to adhere to a code of journalistic standards similar to those who create content.
In addition, when a journalistic curator determines what is newsworthy their methods will differ from a reporter:
“When a curator gathers information for their community, the content is something they are passionate about. Reporters, as we’re taught, are not supposed to be passionate and interject opinion into their story”
Better tools to filter the masses of content will also be essential to the rise of journalistic curators in years to come but the trustworthiness of curators, (with regard to their informational veracity and ability to provide interesting information) will be the determining factor in their success.