Social Media and the News

Social media plays a huge role in our daily lives. Almost every digital writer is connected to social media in one way or another. As digital writers, we can learn a lot from social media and its influence in our lives.

For example, social media has had a growing influence on world news reporting. It has affected how we receive the news every day, which has caused reporting itself to change. News reporting has evolved since expanding to social media because of how far-reaching social media sites are as a platform. The fact that social media users themselves are also spreading news themselves is an exciting change to traditional reporting. As digital writers, we can learn from all of these aspects of the relationship between social media and news reporting.

News Usage in Social Media

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Example of News on Facebook. Courtesy of Facebook.com

Traditional news reporting has changed forever thanks to social media. Now, a majority of U.S. adults receive the news through social media- 62% to be exact. And according to journalism.org, this number has increased since 2012, when 49% of U.S. adults said they saw news on social media. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook is the “news powerhouse” among the social media sites. Just under half of its users say they get news from the site. According to pewresearch.org, following Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the next most popular sites for news coverage. One more statistic that is notable on the topic is the amount of social media users who actively report news themselves. Again from pewresearch.org, half of social media users have shared news stories, and about 14% of users had even posted their own images of news events to their various social media sites in 2014. These statistics show just how much news has evolved through social media.

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Example of News on Twitter. Courtesy of Twitter.com

Why is it Important to Us?

The reason that social media’s effect on the news is so important to us as digital writers is because it provides us with an example of how content has adapted to fit an online platform. The news as a media content has evolved from more traditional methods of delivery to a digital and modern one. For example, in the past, people most commonly got news from a newspaper, but now many go to social media. If we study this change, we may be able to apply it to other traditional content.

This evolution of news media reflects the overall change that traditional writing has seen throughout recent years. While traditional writing is still present in our media today, digital writing has changed the ways that people give and receive information. News reporting is just one example of this change in traditional writing.

The relationship of social media and the news is also important to those of us digital writers interested in journalism. As journalists, it is important to realize that means of communicating reports are changing and evolving. Using social media for reporting will be a key tool for any future journalist. This is why, as digital writers, we should pay close attention to this relationship between news reporting and its new home in social media.

Sources:

How social media is reshaping news, pewresearch.org
News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016, journalism.org

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