Is Social Media becoming primary news source?
I met with a client yesterday. When I walked into her office, she was listening to a local news video stream from her home town in Minnesota on her computer. Seems there was a terrible accident in her old neighborhood.
I found the scene interesting as this is a client who is not at all comfortable with the computer. She loves her Blackberry and her Facebook profile, but becomes completely helpless when she has to access Constant Contact , her Facebook page or her web page through the computer. Getting the news about an incident in her home town was the exception and apparently she’s not alone.
Some studies have reported that nearly half of Americans get some form of local news through a mobile device and forty-six percent (46%) say they get news online at least three times a week. Twenty-eight percent (27.8%) say they use social media as their primary news source and six out of ten (59.5%) of this group use Facebook to collect the news.
Walter Cronkite was the man every American trusted and turned to for breaking news in the 60’s. Today, news is fragmented and comes to us in bits and bites. It’s not the same, but what is one to expect in a digital and mobile world of 140 characters or in an instant video download on Facebook?
There are pitfalls with depending upon social media as our primary source for breaking news as the following infographic from Schools.com illustrates. The integrity of the news source and reliability of the reporter are a few, but then these are legitimate issues with traditional media as well. Robert Murdoch’s scandal with wire tapping in England comes immediately to mind. One could also point to the transformation of the news delivered by objective and unbiased anchors into a source of political entertainment with the advent of shows such as Jon Stewart and Rush Limbaugh, etc.
Social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, are eroding traditional news sources and will continue to play an important role in the distribution of the breaking news, just as they do in all of our communications efforts. But one will need to dig deeper to find the true and complete story. As long as there is Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News and Jim Lehrer of PBS Newshour, we should be okay.
Courtesy of: Schools.com