I have to admit, I wasn't a big social media user until I started working for Annenberg Media in my sophomore year in college. Before I got into Facebook and Twitter, the only way I accessed news was through the individual news websites. Until one day, after I liked the Facebook pages of CNN, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, etc., I was able to see the newest stories break on my Facebook page every day. That was when I became more active as a social media user. I found that news had become more accessible when I could just go to one platform and see a variety of stories covered by all the major news outlets. So for a while, Facebook was one of my major news sources.

Then Twitter took an even greater role in my news gathering. Major news stations constantly tweet out news that would eventually appear on their websites or newscasts, so reading their tweets allowed me to know the stories before they were published on their websites or went on the air.

As one of the producers for Annenberg Media, I learn most of the breaking news on Twitter, which is also one of the first mediums that I go to for my story pitch ideas Sunday night.

Having said that about the important role that social media plays in our news gathering, these platforms are also crucial for us as student journalists to publish our work.

This week, as the Digital Video and Graphics Producer, I got to produce Annenberg Media's first 360º video on Springfest 2016 using video shot by Crystal, my producing teammate. It was an experiment, and we thought it was a great way to promote ourselves as a digital platform trying out emerging technologies, thanks to Facebook supporting 360º videos.

We have gained audience through social media, and this is definitely an encouragement for student journalists like us, knowing that we don't get stuck in traffic, drive to locations and write stories for nothing. It also encourages us to produce better and more professional work for journalism.