AT&D #21. Internet News Consumption

How has the internet changed the way you consume news? Let’s also talk about social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Does social media influence your news diet?

The Internet has changed the way I consume the news in many ways. One instance was when news articles became a widely sought source in the early-mid 2000s due to its accessibility as a tool; I remember that my school always had me look up stories online (whether to present a current event or to cite one for research purposes); due to that time, I grew up in the digital age of the Internet, and as a result, I became accustomed to obtaining news via other means than watching TV (even though today, I prefer watching the news than I did as a kid). Certainly, the most profound aspect I can think of immediately other than accessibility in consuming the news is timing. Case in point: Facebook and Twitter.

As social media networks go, Facebook and Twitter are sources for inter- and intra-personal communication; such communication can generally focus on personal to more mainstream topics such as the news happening locally or regionally. This is more pronounced when considering that Twitter has the “trending” sidebar and Facebook, in having something similar, each offering a sort of run down for breaking news in a form of a descriptive sentence (Facebook) or hashtag (Twitter).

In fact, because more people have a social networking account and are connected to them more than ever before, the news that users can receive (be it from another user sharing a link or viewing a trending story) is virtually faster than finding out about it via traditional means (such as waiting to watch something on TV during a news program or visiting a website to dedicate reading time about news that just happened).

Notably, I first learned about the successful mission of tracking down and killing Osama Bin Laden via Facebook at least 20 minutes before television stations from all over interrupted programing that night to divulge that breaking story. That was in 2011. Without a doubt, social media has greatly impacted on how people obtain the news and it undoubtedly, it plays a huge role in influencing my daily news diet at present time and likely for the future.

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