How has social media changed the news? It’s a question so big that it’s almost impossible to answer, but it’s one that a panel at the Social Media World Forum tried to get their teeth into today.
In a session titled “social media and the news” speakers picked out a few core areas in which social media has altered – and is continuing to alter – the way journalists work.
- Breaking news
Starting with the most obvious point, social media has revolutionised the way news can be broken and how fast it can be spread. Peter Bale, vice president and general manager of CNN, used the classic example of the way that reports of Osama Bin Laden’s death spread on Twitter to illustrate how quickly news can now move on social networks. Anthony Simon, senior digital campaigns manager for the UK Prime Minister's Office also pointed out that “it’s difficult to embargo stories for a long period of time” in the modern media world. Both sources and journalists have to adjust to this new reality of fast-moving news.
- The proliferation of sources