John Cusack, Twitter, and the Future of Journalism

By Kacie Yoshida

Indeed, the future of journalism is at our fingertips. The vast majority of accessible news is located just a click away on computer screens, smartphone applications, and new developments like the iPad. However, the growing interest in celebrities’ private-gone-public lives through social networking sites like twitter has given major publications something to worry about.

John Cusack posts to twitter everyday often times running out of space in his 140 character limit. So to get his point across Cusack usually posts 3 or more tweets in succession. Furthermore, he takes the time to answer an array of fan tweets that share similar liberal opinions. It’s fair to say that Cusack, along with thousands of other Americans, is addicted to Twitter.

Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paul McCartney are among other celebrities that post to twitter regularly. However, celebrities are not the only ones relying on Twitter to reach broader audiences. Publications like the Los Angeles Times and the OCWeekly post to twitter often spreading news faster than a reporter can write and post full-length stories to the web.

Media convergence, the backpack journalist, YouTube, and Twitter—All of which are somewhat sloppy in their development as a circuit for the news. The Internet has become a laboratory for the new frontier of journalism—especially entertainment journalism.

If direct access to John Cuscak is a simple click to his twitter page, why would a fan seek him in other places that are not the prime source? The same is curious for other celebrities. Before the use of social networking sites, magazines like People would (and still do) purchase paparazzi pictures of celebrities. However, now celebrities are publically posting where they are located, what they are eating, political stances, and in some cases pictures that paparazzi cannot attain. In an attempt to steal back their humanity, celebrities have broken the boundaries of entertainment reporter and have become their own citizen journalist.

Entertainment journalism might never see the same coverage as it did when Twitter had not yet been invented. It is too simple to get direct access to celebrities on social networking sites. Perhaps the future of entertainment journalism is in the hands of the entertainers themselves.

On the contrary, the amount of celebrities that actually use and post to Twitter are slim compared to the huge population of famous individuals. Twitter has opened new doors for the future of entertainment journalism. And while Twitter will most likely fade with time and be replaced by more progressive social networking sites, its influence on the future of entertainment journalism should not be overlooked.

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