Last week had us all glued to news outlets regarding the Boston Marathon bombings following by the capture and death of the suspects. I used Twitter as my main source of getting information about the situation because I could read people’s first hand experiences of the situation and information was spreading quickly. I still watched CNN as well but their information was sometimes delayed. This made me think is social media becoming a better resource then traditional media?
Everyone wants to be the first source of news and has thrown fact checking out the window. For instance, reports from trusted news sources such as CNN inaccurately reported that authorities held a suspect in custody when in fact that was false. Also Reddit had a “FindtheBostonBombers” thread. The site ran innocent people’s name through the mud, but Reddit has since apologized, which you can read here.
With the creation of social media networks, such as Twitter, news is received faster, but some are quick to call it an untrustworthy source. But how can we discredit a person’s real-time photos, videos, or accounts about what they were experiencing and witnessing. Those are real facts unless otherwise proven false. This proves that the power of sharing information now rests in the hands of everyday people rather than reports.
Personally, as of late I’ve been getting my news from Twitter. I knew about the Boston Marathon bombings at least 2 minutes before it became breaking news on television. I also got excellent first hand accounts about the pandemonium in Boston Thursday and Friday from two great on scene Boston reporters (@sethmnookin and @taylordobbs). Both were providing detailed, accurate accounts of the situation going on in Boston. I felt like I was right there with them as opposed to the fog the television networks were leaving us all in.
With this new style of social media “reporting” do you think traditional media is a thing of the past?