28 June 2016

51% prefer social media as a source of breaking news

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In 1966, NASA published the very first image of the planet Earth as seen from the moon. This made people realise that we’re all living on the same planet and sharing the same resources. Fast forward to 2016, where a social media is changing the way we look at the world. This was introduced first by Facebook, where all the relationships are shown on the social network. For the first time in our human history, anyone can share consistently what we know, what we think and what we feel. Social media has become our preferred source for breaking news.

According to a recent global poll designed by Reuters Institute, 51% use social media such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter as a source of news each week. The report also revealed that Facebook is playing an increasingly significant role in the distribution of online news, with 44% of respondents saying they use it as their source, followed by 19% who use YouTube, and 10% using Twitter.

The study said these new trends are “putting further pressure on the business models of traditional publishers and new digital born players as well as changing the way news is packaged and distributed.”

“Across 26 countries, we see a common picture of job losses, cost-cutting, and missed targets as falling print revenues combine with the brutal economics of digital in a perfect storm,” stated the study.

The countries scoring highest for using social media as a news source were Greece at 74%, Turkey at 73%, and Brazil at 72%t. Trust in news was highest in Finland, at 65%t, and lowest in Greece, at 20%. 

In Britain and the US, the use of smartphones to access news has overtaken the use of computers and laptops for the first time. The highest levels of smartphone use to access news were found in Sweden with 69%, Korea at 66% and Switzerland, 61%, the study revealed.

However, it is time we stop looking at traditional news and social media as separate entities but rather two forces that despite their obvious differences, work together for a common goal of spreading the word. In fact, building a global network where we are all connected, where we can all share knowledge, problems and solutions, it’s probably the biggest human endeavour.

We are no longer just spectators watching the news.  This time we’re a part of it, can contribute to it, this time we have a voice, we have a say. We all have a role to play in society.  In a world where real time social media have become a platform for journalism at its best, should we consider these networks to be a news outlet in itself? What are your thoughts?

To read more about the global poll results, click here.

The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.

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