The Social Life: New medium for news

By alison king@dailypost co nz

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190813sp9 Rachel Briscoe, left, and Jess Ives. Same-sex wedding ceremony at Rotorua Musueum of Art and History. 19 August 2013 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker
190813sp9 Rachel Briscoe, left, and Jess Ives. Same-sex wedding ceremony at Rotorua Musueum of Art and History. 19 August 2013 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker

These days I take technology for granted. I have my iPhone (albeit an older model), Wifi and a laptop. I have four email addresses, Facebook and Twitter.

It's a stark contrast to when I was first employed in a newsroom in the UK in 2000. I didn't have a personal work email address and there was only one internet computer - and even then it was dial-up and took an age to load a new page.

Breaking news was only exciting to those in the newsroom as readers would have to wait until the next day to read about it, unless it met our deadlines.

This week, I was part of a worldwide news story, which was being talked about on the other side of the globe as it was happening in this city.

The same-sex wedding at Rotorua Museum featured on the front page of the BBC News website in the UK, it was broadcast live on The Edge radio and TV1 Breakfast and will tomorrow night feature on 20/20. The Edge were also live tweeting.

The Rotorua Daily Post also live tweeted and Facebooked from before the guests arrived through to the official declaration. It was a fascinating contrast to what would have been capable if this had it happened 10 years earlier (especially when our photographers were only just switching to digital photography).

As well as my trusty notepad, I was armed with the work iPad. I took many photos and was able to upload them to our Facebook and Twitter accounts almost instantly. Readers and followers were able to experience the occasion simultaneously and our tweets were retweeted across the globe.

Social media is more than about commenting on where you're going for dinner or catching up with a long lost friend. It's a new medium for news, giving people the opportunity to be more involved in an event as it happens.

Facebook and Twitter are not one-way streets when it comes to news, if you hear of a story you can contact us via Facebook, Twitter, email, text or an old-fashioned phone call.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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