So much focus on the use of social media in journalism and publishing has been on marketing over the last decade: traffic, clicks, branding, awareness, reach, etc.
The smartest journalists I know who live and work online, however, understand not only the profoundly multi-directional nature of social media (beyond broadcast) but its utility for finding sources.
For instance, I remember Andy Carvin talking about using Twitter to find someone in Haiti in 2010 that an NPR reporter could contact via Skype years ago.
Search is generally how I open a skeptic’s eyes to the power of Twitter. If and when Facebook opens up search for public updates, I expect journalists will be some of the earliest adopters of the feature.
“Imagine what your perfect source would tweet, or what you yourself would tweet in that situation, and search for the words that would probably be in it.”- Daniel Victor