Saima Mohsin, an international correspondent for CNN based in Bangkok, Thailand, is using social media platforms to distribute news and information around the world. From Pakistan to Palestine, Mohsin reports of the unrest in war torn countries and breaking news across Asia using her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. She does more than just observe and report; she participates.
Here is a look at how one journalist is using social media to report the news.
Real Time Journalism
Mohsin has covered significant news events including the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 plane crash and MH370 disappearance, the attack on Malala Yousafzai and the Karachi terror attacks. With each of these stories, Mohsin has been able to quickly circulate information about these events on social media without having to wait for the nightly news broadcast.
This new technology has placed more demands on today’s journalists. They have to work faster and do much more than those who came before them. For instance, they need to do research, interviews, record video, edit video, and distribute their stories on several different mediums from blogs to social media. And they need to do it all right now. The tweet below exhibits how increasingly demanding audiences have become and how accustomed we now are to receiving our news the moment it occurs.
Behind the Scenes
Journalists use social media to not only share their assigned stories, but also to gather information on developing stories, contact sources and give viewers a behind the scenes look at the subject that they may not be able to share in their network package. This is demonstrated on Mohsin’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
In 2014, Mohsin arrived in the Philippines as Typhoon Hagiput was making landfall and shared this photo on Facebook. Mohsin and her team were headed into the storm in Lezgapi as hundreds of thousands were being evacuated.
Mohsin’s Instagram account is an artful collection of stunning images. Scrolling through them could be considered a crash course in geography, politics and world affairs. Below are some clips from Mohsin’s Instagram profile. Each tell their own captivating story without the need for many words.
Journalism and Advocacy
The way Mohsin uses social media puts her journalism on a different level than most of her fellow journalists. In the Twitter post below, Mohsin shares a very graphic image of deceased bodies following a horrific heatwave in Karachi, Pakistan. Saima goes further by tagging the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party in the post. Did she do this to seek help for those affected or to hold someone accountable for their part in this tragedy?
Her personal outrage at how many people needlessly died during the heatwave led to this op-ed piece where she fiercely calls out the Chief Minister of Sindh for not doing enough to help the people of Karachi.
Mohsin clearly took this story very personally and used her position as a journalist to advocate for the people of Karachi. Much of this activism was done through social media and demonstrates the power of this medium.
It is clear from these examples that Saima Mohsin’s journalism is enhanced by her use of social media. While social media may never replace traditional broadcasting methods, it is sure to continue to be one of the most desired ways to consume the news because it is fast, concise and just as compelling.