A positive impact from the social networking sites: Social-networking sites share breaking news

September 15, 2009 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

That’s my analysis from the article:


The purpose of the article is to show how people are using social networking sites when news breaks to share stories and pictures. Few years ago it would spend many days to obtain detailed information regarding something that would happen in remote areas. The lack of news agents and the difficulty to deliver worldwide information could be responsible for a bad dissemination of the information.

Nowadays, with the use of Internet, sometimes it is possible to obtain information even before mainstream media has had time to crack the story. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr are today source of pictures and stories, especially in big events like plane crashes and terrorism attacks. People see these web sites like an immediate source of updated information.

Issues that occurred in the past could only be presented by newspapers in the next day of the event, today we can be informed few minutes after. Social networking sites like Twitter had more than 4.4 million visitors only in December 2008 (Strow, Adam, 2009) [1]. Facebook has more than 150 million active users and Flickr has more than 34 million registered users worldwide (Respers, Lisa, 2009) [2]. Those numbers shows that these networking sites can reach a range of readers bigger than the largest worldwide newspaper. Moreover, in the networking sites each user work as a journalist, sharing different stories and in loco pictures.

This is not changing only the characteristics of the readers but also the journalists and the news’ agents. Nowadays, the main purposes of the newspapers is to share complete, detailed and organized information, in order to attract even more the readers. Also the newspapers are working in the subject they are expert and they have more credibility, rather than the information spread in networking sites (Krakovski, Marina, 2008) [3].

The article offers an example of an earthquake in southern California. Before the Associated Press post the information about the quake, nine minutes after the happening, the Twitter networking site had more than 3,600 tweets during those nine minutes (Respers, Lisa, 2009) [2].

The impact of technology on journalism is changing the way that the newspapers deal with the news. The new “citizen journalism” became a good source of information. In some cases such citizen journalism is happening almost accidentally with most people spreading the information to their friends. Those sites are informal modes of news dissemination.

Today mainstream media is learning to better utilize online social networking to connect with its audience. This connection can help to gather additional information from numerous sources but can be also to receive a feedback from the articles published already and see the reaction of the readers.


[1] Ostrow, Adam. Twitter’s Massive 2008: 752 Percent Growth. The Social Media Guide. 2009 January.

[2] Respers, Lisa. Social-networking sites share breaking news. CNN. 2009 January.

[3] Krakovsky, Marina. It’s who you Know (Or Don’t). Online Social networks are powerful and ineffectual at once. Stanford Magazine. 2008 July/August.


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