Friday, October 14, 2011

Stay Informed With Social Media

For the most part the mainstream print news industry has shunned social media like the plague, despite the fact more people are using it to keep themselves up on current events.

That's right. Today more people get their news through social media than just about any other medium. With more than 1 BILLION people using social media it is plain to see that if you want to spread information social media is a great place to start. You can find information at other sources of courses. There are plenty of news sites to choose from. But if you want to stay current--get the latest unfiltered, unmoderated news, social media is the place to go.

Not all mainstream news sites have avoided using social media to get their message out. Sites like CNN.com and FOX News have coordinated their social media efforts with their posted news to successfully leverage more viewers. This is not exactly the same as getting your news straight from the source-. If you want to see video shot by someone actually at the scene of the fire, or the battle or the protest, there simply is no substitute for social media.

I am not sure why the print media continues to eschew social media, but it is definitely to their detriment. There are a number of print media reporters using sites such as Posterous and Twitter to post links to their stories and report live from the scene of the action, but for the most part these are uncoordinated efforts aimed more at promoting the individual than their organization.

As time goes on the relevance of news media may come into question as more and more people turn to social media to stay informed. Or, perhaps the mainstream media will reverse course and learn to love what so far they have considered to be their enemy.

The online social network has caused news and information to spread like wildfire. Like all giant media revolutions (the telegraph, TV broadcast, etc.), people harshly criticize the newfangled way of obtaining news. The biggest difference in this particular news format is that it’s a huge public display of opinions.

Never before have people been given such easy access to publicly share their ideals — it’s just a few typed words and a mouse click away in an unrestricted forum. The thing about social media is that opinions are so heavily influential that sometimes it can get in the way of what news is about: sharing unbiased information.

What is most likeable about this whole trendy news phenomenon is simply the fact that news is trendy. In my head, the equation goes something like this: Social media is trendy. Social media has a special focus on the news. Therefore, news is trendy. The fact that this generation of students is actually enjoying getting information and learning about current events is delightful. It doesn’t matter if it’s from 15 Facebook statuses about the verdict of a court case or a Twitter timeline filled with play-by-plays of the big game. Frankly, students are being supplied with information and being equipped with what they need to form their own opinions and conclusions.

Click here to read more of Ashley Reid's views on social media news.

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