This is an excerpt from a post I recently reported for Mashable.com. Read the full piece here.
A Facebook-only news organization? It was only a matter of time.
The Rockville Central, a community news site in the Washington, D.C., area, will move all its operations and news coverage to its Facebook Page starting on March 1. This risky move by the site’s editor, Cindy Cotte Griffiths, highlights Facebook’s growing role as a platform for journalists to use for social storytelling and reporting.
When it comes to journalists using social media, Twitter has been the go-to platform for real-time reporting and reaching out to sources, largely because it’s a public platform and most of its content is accessible. But with Facebook continuing to scale and in some ways becoming more public, it offers journalists an arsenal of content types beyond 140 characters and an alternative destination to connect with new sources of information.
Though Facebook did receive a lot of credit and praise in aiding Egyptians in organizing themselves during what’s become known as the January 25th Revolution, it has also been highly utilized by journalists reporting on the events surrounding the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. Riyaad Minty, the head of social media at Al-Jazeera English, said the events have demonstrated Facebook’s important role in journalism by enabling reporters to actively monitor the unrest and situation on the ground.
Minty said it has helped Al Jazeera English track what is about to happen, such as planned protests, gather valuable information in real-time and find valuable sources who can then talk on air with Al-Jazeera journalists. Though Twitter remains the prominent social platform for journalists to adopt into their toolkits, a quiet shift is taking place toward Facebook as reporters discover its utility and application in their work.