Nearly 30 percent of Americans get their news from social media, according to a recent survey from Schools.com, which found that, among them, 59.5 percent of respondents get their news from Facebook, compared with 19.9 percent from Twitter, 12.7 percent from YouTube, and 11.6 percent from Google Plus.
People are getting more breaking news than ever, sometimes as it happens, thanks to rapid-fire social networks such as Facebook. Often, such reporting is produced (or, uh, posted) by unofficial news sources (the reality is that anyone can report a sighting, an event, a comment heard), as the distinction between what is, and what is not news, grays.
“Nearly one-half of all Americans get some form of local news on a mobile device, and 46 percent of people get their news online at least three times a week,” found the survey by online school search site Schools.com.
Social media is fast replacing traditional news sources. However, many news outlets, such as newspapers and television networks, are making the leap to where the readers are to announce their news. Notice we said traditional news sources, because Facebook and Co. are now publishers, as well as news outlets, so to speak.
Many, when asked generations down the line where they were when they learned that Osama Bin Laden had died, will report that it was from a social network such as Facebook or Twitter (yours truly included).
What it means for traditional news outlets, as we see it, is that those that broadcast on social networks such as Facebook will remain familiar to us and top-of-mind when we think of the term “news.” Those that are not on social networks will vanish from the collective consciousness. Pure and simple, seeing is remembering.
To be clear, it’s not the news that is dying here — it’s the method in which news is delivered and received. Knowledge is and will forever be power. We just may not need to tune in to have someone read it to us much longer, no matter how fabulous their voice and hair are.
Readers: Think fast and name five news networks. Do those that you look at on Facebook jump out? Tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine, and we’ll compare notes.