Years ago colleagues used to say I was wasting my time joining discussions in the online forums for towns and villages in our patch.
Even when I tracked down someone who was evacuated from a building next to Buncefield Oil Depo as it exploded, they were still sceptical.
Time and technology move on. When I created My Space then Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Worthing Herald colleagues dismissed them as pointless.
I introduced Twitter in 2008. By the time I left the Herald in 2011 everyone in the newsroom asked my advice as they set up their own accounts.
Both Twitter and Facebook have proved useful tools for news gathering as well as distribution.
Facebook community pages and groups help reporters keep up with people’s concerns from cashpoint card cloning to inconsiderate parking and potential child abductions.
Twitter is a great way to keep track of politicians, community groups, local government and events.
Even though the internet isn’t a new thing and social media is an established tool.
When I asked journalists how they would encourage resisters, there was an assumption the nay sayers were old.
I have taught online journalism skills to NCTJ students in 2009 and in every group I’ve had at least one person say, “I’m not interested in this”, “I don’t want to do online journalism”.
One student who didn’t turn up to my first class in 2009, but ended up working with later summed up the situation very well when I spoke with him at an event in 2013.
“You were the first person I knew talking about Twitter and bit.ly.
“You are right, we need to know this stuff, it’s essential for journalists.”
Below is a link to a Storify explaining why journalists should use social media.