Social Media: Curation For the 21st Century Journalist?

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Week #11

This blog is in response to Is Curation the Future of Journalism?, by Shari Weiss on

I feel like the premise of this argument is flawed from the start with a title asking if curation is the future of journalism. Without reporters, columnists, and bloggers, there would be no content for an editor to aggregate. Perhaps a more precise title would be “Is Curation IN the Future of Journalism?” It seems that if information continues to proliferate at its current momentum, there will be an ever-increasing need for someone to gather all the scattered media into organized chunks for easier consumption (i.e. Drudge Report/Huffington Post).

With that said, I think it’s fun to play around with new and juxtaposing ideas to better understand where journalism is headed. For the sake of the experiment, curating information from different sources into one concise location can definitely lead to a greater understanding of any subject. The internet is also making aggregation easier for non-journalists, especially when you factor in social media. Twitter, for example, is essentially the museum curator’s dream, with Tweetdeck serving as the Louvre of social media. Facebook is like the having a curator in the family; placing the home deep inside the art gallery, only instead of art we get a vast array of multimedia in the form of the “update.”

I think it would interesting to take a non-journalist’s Twitter or Facebook account and aggregate their entire tweet/update history into one publication. It could prove that curation can apply to social media in ways we haven’t seen before. I also wonder if a writer would use this method to write biographies. For example, if another Elizabeth Taylor biography ever comes out, will it include her Twitter voice? The process of organizing those Tweets I could see at true curation, because once these personal works have been “published,” they will be open for public “viewing.”

  1. Great article Billy * I completely agree with you on your thought that curating information from different sources into one location will lead to a greater understanding of any subject…I feel as we research a topic we read over so many facts as well as the thoughts of many people, it deffinately leads to a greater understanding.

  2. A.S. Miller says:

    Great point with Curation being IN the future; not just the future! I found it interesting that you shone the light on Facebook for curation; I tend to find it inaccessible because it seems like one needs an account to be able to access anything, but I’m not that familiar with it anymore.

  3. Billy Rivera says:

    @A.S., You’re right about access, but that’s what so great about creating a group or fan page. Anyone with a Facebook account can join or “like” them. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. On point, Billy. Perhaps this issue extends beyond the purview of the journalist, and is the responsibility of all Social Media adepts, as future historians will most certainly demand the curation of relevant content, as well as be desirous of it from the past – we are at the beginning now, so it is important the noise be attenuated, that the entire field might truly be professionalized, and applicable composition maintained.

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