Before the use of social networking, television, newspapers and radio were our major news sources. However, many news stations are beginning to utilize social media in order to spread their news quicker and to a wider range of people. I believe that in the future this will be very successful because it seems that more people are using social media to find out the news rather than waiting for it to be on television. This allows people to have more access to the news whenever and wherever they want it.
Tom Kelleher discussed timeliness in his book Public Relations Online. He stated, “Timeliness, of course, is a major news value. One way to address the issue of whether the news you post online is seen as actual news, as opposed to ‘archives,’ is to let key publics know the minute you post it” (Kelleher 80). This demonstrates how a simple tweet from a news station can get news out to the public in the quickest way possible. We can simply take out our smart phones and pull up Twitter no matter where we are. Through retweeting and conversations over Twitter about the news, the range of people who view it will continue to expand. For example, this past week was the awful occurrence of the Boston bombings. I found out about this through the news station that I follow on Twitter and from tweets from my followers. I was constantly receiving updates about the event through their tweets and didn’t turn on the news until later that night. I also was able to see that friends of mine living in Boston were able to tweet to let everyone know that they were safe. It is very likely that I am one of many people who found out about these bombings through Twitter. When the news is coming directly from the news station’s Twitter we know that it is accurate and can count on that news to be true.
However, one downfall that is important to take into account is that social media also spreads false news due to people seeing tweets that are untrue about an event such as this. This can be dangerous and make people believe things that really never happened. It is important to go by what the news stations are telling us rather than what our followers are saying they heard. During this event in Boston, many stories were spread that were not true about certain people involved and victims of the bombings. I think that although having news stations utilize social media will continue to be beneficial in the future, I think that some aspects of social media can also hinder our news experience because much of what people hear and post on Twitter may not always be valid news.