Think Before You Post: Mainstream Media's Increasing Reliance on Social Media

Apr 14, 2014

What should people be thinking before they post photos or updates to their social media accounts?
Credit Pat Williams / Flickr


As national media reports about the attacks at Franklin Regional High School began to unfold last week, a story of one of the injured victims taking a selfie from the hospital quickly went viral and prompted a range of reactions. Was the student showing off or simply communicating to his circle of friends?

Gordon Mitchell and Brent Malin, University of Pittsburgh associate professors of communication talked with us about the importance of media literacy and the evolving relevance of social media in our lives and in mainstream news.

Mitchell said it's important for people to be media conscious with what they post, especially students.

“Nate Scimio and Micala Myers, they used Instagram and Twitter respectively, which are social media tools that are connected to the internet and so news organizations and the whole world basically can access the content. Facebook has privacy settings that restricts circulation. There are other apps that are actually coming online partly in response to recent experiences with protest activities.  So you remember after the Iranian elections in 2009, the so called twitter revolution? Twitter was used by the protesters to organize their events, but then quickly the government actually because of their access to the internet, used all of the content to prosecute many of the protestors."

Malin said social media users should think about the potential context of their posts and the most important things is to be self aware and thoughtful in general about how your online reputation. 

For more information on the references Malin and Mitchell used during the interview visit their reference page