Word of mouth is an important aspect of journalism. It is what began the sharing of information from person to person and is still used for that same purpose today. But with the growth of technology and social media, word of mouth has dramatically transformed.
There are now various platforms in which information is shared, and this is not solely limited to print newspapers and magazines.
The internet is blossoming with numerous platforms for people to share information. Along with social media and blogging websites, platforms such as The Odyssey, HerCampus, Elite Daily and other media content hubs mainly geared towards millennials allow for individuals to use their voice and unique perspectives to spread knowledge and information. This is much like the messengers who were assigned to spread information by word of mouth back in day when they would have their own unique flare in their storytelling.
While some of these content driven platforms do raise questions of credibility since almost anyone can write and submit to these websites, it begs of the question of: in today’s age, is everyone a journalist?
I think the answer to this question is kind of.
I do not think that just because you write a blurb and post it online that you instantly become a journalist. However, because information can be spread in so many different ways, everyone at some point in their lives becomes a source for content and spreads it in some way. Someone could tweet about attack they witnessed (or just retweet it). Someone could write a blog post about their personal experience with sexual assault. Someone’s video of a presidential rally could go viral within minutes. An article about an incident can be shared on your facebook wall. The possibilities are endless.
We are all walking media content hubs at this point and if we are smart about it, that can be used to our advantage. We can use our unique perspectives and personal experiences to add depth to the conversation. Our voices are very powerful and are being heard, so let’s use them wisely.
Our developing word of mouth is what is and will continue to transform journalism and create some great journalists in the process.