Social Media Outshining the Mainstream

by Shanice Ross and Camille Cruz

new media v. old 1

With social media becoming such a huge part in everyday lives, it poses the question: is mainstream media irrelevant because of social media?

In the days of short attention spans and immediate satisfaction, some people find it easier to look to social media sites to retrieve their latest updates. It takes less than 30 seconds to type 140 characters on a cell phone and that’s all you need to publish information. Social media sites are a bundle of information about anything and everything, all in one place. This takes away from the use of traditional news mediums such as newspapers, radio and television broadcasts.

Social media leaders such as twitter and Facebook each reach about 554,750,000 users daily. With such a large demographic, the content is updated constantly. Since the applications are available on the web and on the phone, the information on these networks is portable and accessible at any time. For students and children growing up in this technology dependent world, many of them find it easier to get the information on portable devices such as cell phones and tablets. With a few simple clicks, they can access tons of information from just about anywhere in the world.

However, for some, mainstream media is a more reliable and trustworthy news outlet. Since almost anyone has access to publish information, finding credible sources on social media sites may be a little more difficult. Allowing anyone access to publish information has also created a shift in professional journalists versus amateurs. It is harder to find actual and reliable news stories, containing more fact than opinion.

Social media can break news faster than mainstream media, however, mainstream media can go more in depth and provide more detailed information than a tweet of 140 characters. They can also update viewers more frequently and get exclusive interviews with the key people in a news story.

Mainstream media continues to remain relevant by adapting to the tech savvy society. News apps such as NYT & CNN allow their publications to be taken on the go. By incorporating social media, when producing news content, mainstream media networks can maintain and increase their audience. Instead of competing against each other, these outlets should continue to work together to ensure the necessity of both.

For more in-depth information, check out this report from the university of Oxford.

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