Sal Fallica isn't exactly sure how social media will affect journalism in the next 10 years, but Wednesday morning at Adelphi University he got a good look at those who will answer that question.
"This is a really new environment that the young people in front of me are going to negotiate," Adelphi adjunct assistant professor Fallica said during a panel discussion at the university in Garden City with more than 20 Long Island high school newspaper staffs, part of "Press Day 2011."
The event ended Wednesday afternoon with Adelphi presenting its Quill Awards for outstanding high school journalism. But the morning session, which covered how social media is affecting journalism, went over what some of those award entries might look like down the line.
The discussion delved into how more young people get their information from entities like Facebook and Twitter, and how that affects perspectives of what is the norm in mainstream publications.
Paul Thaler, the panel's moderator and a senior professor of journalism and communications at Adelphi, agreed that what people want is changing.
"There really is an expectation of opinion," Thaler said, while adding that combining opinion and straight news is a "dangerous notion."
Liza Burby, publisher of "Long Island Parent" magazine and a Newsday contributor, reminded students that despite the slippery slope this new era presents, it also presents opportunity.
"You are the Facebook generation, and the new media is just part of your life," said Burby, adding that a career designing phone apps can as easily be attained as one collecting bylines.
Julia Felicione, a 16-year-old junior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, said the rise of social media can be "distracting from the actual news." But she also doesn't want to fall behind.
"[Today is] definitely a wake-up call to try and evolve," she said.
Pictured above: Students check out high school newspapers from around Long Island on Wednesday during "Press Day 2011" at Adelphi University. (March 16, 2011)