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Tom Brokaw on Social Media and The Evening News

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Our sister-site TVNewser caught up with NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw recently at NYC’s 92nd Street Y where the NBC newsman interviewed former “Today” co-anchor Jane Pauley on her new book.

On whether the rise of social media adds value to the evening news, Brokaw thinks social is boosting viewership.

“It alerts the country to the fact something is going on, that brings more people to the evening news…that’s a good thing,” Brokaw said.

But the veteran NBC newsman, who didn’t have to deal with Twitter and Facebook during his 22 years anchoring “NBC Nightly News,” says journalists must find the right balance between traditional journalism and today’s social media reporting.

“You don’t want to be held hostage by it on the other hand,” he continued. “You have to be able to turn your head away from the social media, and email, and all the other instruments that are now available to you at a keystroke.”

Brokaw emphasizes the number one obligation for journalists is getting the facts right, and not to rush to judgment: “Too often, with the advent of social media, I think people are too quick to make quick judgments, and they’re often erroneous.”

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