Audience Shaping the News

As we discussed last week in the module, modern day media allows everyday people to play a large role in the news. From posting about what they’ve seen or even posting a photo or video of something that just happened, citizens are now able to break the news before large news networks or trained journalists. This leaves room for error and false information to be spread, but it also gives everyday people a power and a voice they’ve never had before. This article  by Mashable titled ‘9 Breaking News Tweets That Changed Twitter Forever’ discusses the different times that news was spread on Twitter before it spread through major media conglomerates. One of the examples that stood out to me was from 2008 when China experienced an earthquake that people across the world read about on Twitter before it was officially confirmed. While this doesn’t offer people a 100%, foolproof coverage of news, it influences the way we hear and receive information in the present. Often when a news story breaks on television or online, the report will refer back to the tweets that broke the story or were spread around the most quickly. A more recent example is the Boston Marathon bombings (as well as the shooting in Paris, like we discussed in class), which were posted about on Twitter minutes after the explosions. It blurs the lines between audience vs. participant, journalist vs. citizen, news vs. speculation. It also brings us to question what this means for the future of journalism and how to ensure news can be spread in the most accurate, unbiased way possible.


1 Comment

  1. I completely agree with what you have written here, I see news sites use Twitter as witness sourcing and for information all the time. However while this is great because it helps us know what’s going on, it also has big drawbacks. People have been known to post fake information which can be counter productive and lead to mistakes


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