Twitter accelerates the spread of news

Posted By Monica Worsley

Screen shoot taken of Twitter. com #meterorite

In 1957 the Soviet Union became infamous for starting the ‘space race.’

With the launch of Sputnik the country made headlines worldwide.

On Feb. 15, 2013, news of outer space related events once again funneled out of the former Soviet Union. A meteorite struck in Chelyabinsk, Russia, damaging buildings and injuring residents.

In the ‘age of social media’ there are noteworthy implications of the event for those other than scientists and Siberians.

As Steven Hendrix of The Washington Post reports in his article “In a modern world, meteorite’s impact is instantly global,” technology changes have accelerated the speed of news circulation. An event that may have passed under the radar in the past was rocketed to the top of world news due to its instantaneous popularity social media.

And less than one week since Twitter posts and Youtube videos launched the news into cyberspace there have been over two million view on just one of the several Youtube clips and the #meteorite became a new hashtage.

Gone are the days of ‘headline making news.’ In this day and age it is all about Youtube views and hashtage use.

Any thoughts on a new term to describe newsworthy events?


6 responses to “Twitter accelerates the spread of news

  1. Really interesting post, Monica! I like how you mention that the way we measure the proliferation of news has significantly changed in the wake of social media’s emergence. Whereas in decades past, an event like the Russian meteorite might make paper headlines across the world, today, the story’s internet presence is what defines it. I also really liked the notion of how global news has become. Because of the technological capabilities, it is now possible for immediate worldwide news to break simultaneously in internet formats all across the world. As we’ve been talking about in class, it’ll be interesting to see how journalists continue to deal with the changing world of news distribution.

    • In my opinion, the changing news distribution is probably the most challenging aspect of a journalists’ career. It amazes me how journalism has changed from newspapers laid out by hand to an more internet based field. I am scared that ten years from now I am going to be just like my parents when they try to record television shows, totally out of touch with the new technology. It changes so quickly and it learning to adopt the new technology is something that will define a journalists success in the future.

  2. I really liked the quote you pulled from Steven Hendrix- it’s totally true! Anything that happens around the world, usually goes viral. Nothing happens anymore without everyone knowing or at least making a hashtag trending. I personally think it’s awesome and gives people so many options of being informed, but at the same time- is it too much?

    • Sometimes stories that go viral are really interesting and full of important news content. Other times they are just a means of entertainment. I think the news of a meteorite in Russia was newsworthy and I appreciate that was quickly spread worldwide. Maybe I am just too serious, but I would prefer the ratio of news to entertainment stories that go viral favor the news more than it does as this point in time. Nonetheless, Twitter and Youtube are great resources.

  3. This post explains the capacity of the internet. I found out about the meteorite through Twitter myself. News is becoming instantaneous. Although I’d like to point out the fact that this news emerges from citizen journalism, which I think is interesting. Then news sources take from all this information and build upon it, which seems to be becoming a standard. I think it offers journalists a wealth of information at hand and I think it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out with other big stories like this one.

  4. You make a good point in mentioning citizen journalism. I think the Arab Spring started to draw attention to that means of reporting and that this event was a great continuation of the trend. For a journalist the initial citizen journalism makes fact checking, reporting and writing a challenge because it is different from what they may have done in the past. I think it has made journalists more resourceful and adaptable.

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