Exploring Periscope as a Tool for Journalism

I began using Periscope for the first time after class. In fact, I had not even heard of the app prior. However, once I put in my Twitter information, I realized some of the journalists I get my news from often use the app.

Since I follow a number of journalists on Twitter, a lot of the scopes I watched were from reporters. I watched one reporter as he arrived on scene of a breaking news story. As he was seeing what was happening for the first time, so was his audience. The audience asked questions about what was happening and he responded vocally to as much as he could. He also mentioned at the end of his live stream what time he would be on live television with the latest information. He encouraged his viewers to watch his live shot on TV to find more answers to his questions. In this instance, I think the reporter successfully used Periscope. Although the viewers were not getting the full story, they were able to see for the most part what was going on. The actual footage of the immediate aftermath, of what had been a building collapse, could be seen by anyone. Although the reporter could not successfully give the audience as much information as a formal news package, he was able to give them an idea of what he was seeing. If people were not able to turn on a TV, they could still get some information right through their phones. By essentially teasing to his future package, he gave the audience information about how to get all the details of the story.

In my opinion, Periscope can be a great way to get people connected to stories quickly. Each time someone I follow on Twitter went live on Periscope, I was alerted and could watch from anywhere. This is definitely one of the positives of the app. The app allows people to essentially see through the same lens as a reporter.

It also adds to citizen journalism because anyone and everyone can be at the scene of a breaking news story and start live streaming.

There are negatives that come with using the app as a tool for journalists because so many people can live stream and have access to the comments. There is a lot of censorship aspects for sure. However at first glance, I see Periscope as a great way for journalists to get information out to their audience, especially live on a scene.