“Did you hear that Bieber is dating Kim Kardashian’s sister?”
“No, I only heard that he broke up with Selena Gomez.”
Social media is now determining what is deemed newsworthy. Gone are the days of finding information by watching television news or reading a newspaper. Now it seems as though we only know what’s “trending”.What is deemed newsworthy by one tastemaker may not be newsworthy to another. I think it’s a matter of timing. What’s interesting at a given moment. A video of a woman falling off of a scooter could go viral if it’s made visible by Steve Harvey or by Justin Timberlake via Twitter or Instagram. Something so simple can become the next big thing because if who posted it. What does that say about society today? Are we truly the “squirrel!” generation. Are we becoming distracted by trivial things like cats in sunglasses or parodies of popular music videos?
What does that mean for our traditional television news anchors and radio broadcasters? I think now that we are bombarded by videos, Facebook and Twitter posts we may be losing sight of what is really important to us and following what’s trending in our news feeds.
Are trending hashtags reliable? Are these news stories or media events based on facts. Who is fact checking? What are the repercussions. The evolution of social media is astounding. The reach of online posts and performance measurement has come a long way. My mom told me not to believe everything I read. Now I tell my children not to believe everything they read online. Is social media the new word of mouth, considering how quickly a post can travel and how quickly the story can change.
Social media has undoubtedly changed the way we receive news. According to Kevin Allocca, videos go viral three reasons:
1. Tastemakers- the people who post the video or talk about the video;
2. communities of participation – who is sharing the video; and
3. unexpectedness – timing.
The same can be said in determining the newsworthiness of a story, blog post, video, etc.
To be honest, I believe that Kevin is right. It’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time.