Excerpt: Using Social Media to Spread Vital Information

As some may know, I am currently in the finishing stages of my IDC (Interdisciplinary Course of Knowledge) Honors Contract. For this contract, I had to construct an 8-10 page research paper, including interviews from professionals in the fields of journalism, meteorology, and civil service (although all of my respondents so far are meteorologists). Additionally, I conducted an online public survey that was used in comparison to the research used within the paper. Since I have yet to present this project in its entirety to my classmates and professors, I must refrain from divulging all of the secrets. However, a little “teaser,” paraphrased from the main ideals within the paper, has never hurt anyone!

With the use of social media escalating, many news and other information sources are making the transition to social networking platforms. The concept of getting the information out to a large amount of people in a small time frame has become attractive to many media outlets. Additionally, social media platforms can also be used to make reports or information updates from those in the affected areas. However, many remain skeptical of the use of social media due to problems associated with the viral spread of misinformation, commonly attributed to citizen journalists. With the use of professional interviews, current research done by the Pew Research Center, and an online public survey, this paper will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using social networking platforms to disperse and obtain vital information.

My favorite part of this research project so far has been the interviews. Being able to connect with professionals I have looked up to for years has been such an amazing experience. The insight they provided has shown how those media fields, specifically meteorology, are making the transition from the television to social media. The harder portion of the project would be gaining the responses for the survey. However, with some help from wonderful professors, friends, and fellow weather-enthusiasts, the response goal is realistic and I am optimistic about the results.

This will likely be the last time I reach out for responses through my blog. Please, if you haven’t done so already, take the time to complete this short survey. The responses will be closed on Saturday evening (12/7). Following the completion of the survey, please also share the link with those who follow you! Thank you once again for those who have participated so far with this project. It has been an amazing experience and I am beyond enthusiastic to attain the results!

Take the survey here!