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Newsroom changes brought on by social media

By Selma Ikela

The practice of journalism has gone through incredible changes and social media has redefined the way it is practised, not only in the country but worldwide. These changes have seen traditional media houses partially or entirely shift to online platforms by combining the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to publish or broadcast news. Radio and television stations have embraced opportunities availed by digital affordances and have incorporated social media in their operations to actively keep their viewers and listeners informed and engaged 24/7. Equally, Namibians are increasingly using social media to obtain and consume news. As a result, OneAfrica television adopted these changes and embarked on a social media marketing strategy to keep up with current times.

Change is never easy. As expected, there was resistance by some journalists in the newsroom who suggested that we should be mindful that not all our viewers are on LinkedIn or Twitter, while others felt their stories were not getting the attention they deserve. These are of course legitimate concerns. However, our engagement on social media is slowly picking up which means we are reaching out to our intended audience. The ultimate plan is to increase our reach and advertising through these platforms.

Finally, these changes brought about by social media serve as a reminder that change is inevitable and that traditional methods of reporting news may have to be adjusted. It is also a reminder that we should accept change, after all, everything constantly changes. Simply think of the seasons changing, the performance of the economy or the introduction of online classes at universities following the Covid-19 pandemic.

As I was preparing myself and reading on a few topics about change, I read something that stuck with me: “true wisdom comes from wanting to learn. So be teachable and trainable. Choosing to learn will always enrich your life. In essence, this is what change means".


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