Facebook Live Makes Journalists Look Alive

By Meredith Kestel

With the changing times, news media also adapts and changes. One example of this is the use of Facebook Live.

Journalists have always needed to be aware of the changing times that surround the profession and use them to the best of their abilities. In the past months, one fad has become a very popular tool that is changing journalism in many ways. That fad is Facebook Live.

Facebook Live is a tool on Facebook that allows you to live stream a video feed from your camera onto your Facebook feed. It has become very popular for not only journalists, but for the average day people as well.


One of the first big story coverages with Facebook Live was when the Democrats sat on the House floor in protest to ending session before they reached a conclusion on gun control. The station that has a live feed of the House, C-SPAN, ended their stream once the house adjourned. As Democrats staged their sit-in the only way the had to stream out to the public was via live streams on things such as Periscope and Facebook Live.

While there are great uses for journalists to take advantage of the new technology there are some drawbacks they see as threats.

Andreas Haffar, senior in journalism and General Manager of ISUtv has been using Facebook Live with his club for a few weeks.

“We have started using Facebook live much more frequently this year. We have seen a small impact with our use but it’s a lot more convenient with breaking news or something happening on campus especially when we don’t have immediate access to equipment nor the time to go get a camera and get set up because in that amount of time, the moment could be gone or you miss something big. Everyone has a phone and many people have Facebook so it helps a lot.”

With everyone having such convenient access to a phone and Facebook it also makes everyone else an on scene journalist as well.


Haffar says, “It has changed reporting in the timeliness aspect but i feel it has also increased the number of citizen journalist and clouded the distinction between real journalists and someone with a camera and an outlet. While it is helpful to get the video out immediately, presentation and accuracy are hindered in that process. I also feel as if being prompt over being accurate is still an issue in the journalism field. I think Facebook live can be seen as an extension of the 24-hour news cycle and the interconnectedness of the internet, but a step farther.”

Broadcast isn’t the only media that has been changed by Facebook Live. Newspapers, such as the Iowa State Daily, has also adapted the social media tool.

“Reporters have always had a sense of urgency, but it’s as if we are chasing a deadline that is impossible. With the internet, there’s this expectation that we have to get up information as soon as we possibly can, to beat out other news sources and to get the information to the public. However, with these advances in technology that information is coming out faster and faster and that might be affecting our accuracy as well,” says Sarah Muller, Digital Editor of the Iowa State Daily.

As times change and technology changes we will also see how the journalism field adapts and changes alongside it.


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