Social Media and the News

By: Noemi Manchester
Social media is a pretty significant part of most people’s lives. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who does not at least have a Facebook. This has become the way we interact with our friends and family, how we keep up with trends, and now it’s where a lot of us get out news.
It’s not a surprise that newspaper readership has been decreasing, although online newspapers have not been experiencing the sharp decline that traditional print newspapers have. I would still think that TV news would be where the majority of adults get their news. And it is, but about one third of adults under age 30 are now getting their news from social media. Hereis the article that goes more into detail about news sources.
I can’t say that I’m completely shocked by this. I do think it’s a little scary. When you think about all the false information circulation on social media, it seems like adults should really be turning to other sources to make sure they are getting correct information about what’s going on in the world. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen fake stories being “shared” on Facebook and people getting all upset over something that isn’t even real.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t believe anything on social media, but I think you certainly have to be cautious when you see news stories on there. I know there are several people who follow reputable news channels on things like Twitter and Facebook, but how many times have you heard of these types of accounts being hacked. This article details the recent CNN social media hacks.
I think the reason that such a large percentage of adults are getting their news from social media sites is the convenience factor. People spend a lot of time on social media in the first place so why not get a news update while your checking on what your friends are you to that day? I can’t say I don’t relate to this. Having grown up in age of the Internet, I rarely watch the local news on TV and I can’t even remember the last time I opened an actual newspapers. Most of the time, when I’m on news websites, it’s because I’m looking for something for one of my classes. That’s really not a good thing though.
People need to be informed about what’s going on in our world and more importantly, they need to have the correct information. It’s okay to get your news from social media sites, but that should really be a secondary source of information. If you don’t want sign up for a newspaper subscription, I get that. I don’t either. But, you can always sign up for a subscription to online paper and there are so many news sites that let you read the content for no charge. It’s not like it takes that much more effort to type in a different URL. I’m definitely going to start looking at actual news websites to get my information!
WORKS CITED
1. Petronzio, Matt. “30% of Adults Use Facebook for News, Study Says.” Mashable. N.p., 29 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. .
2. Shoichet, Catherine E. “Some CNN Social Media Accounts Hacked.” CNN. Cable News Network, 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. .

3. Sonderman, Jeff. “One-third of Adults under 30 Get News on Social Networks Now | Poynter.” Poynter. N.p., 27 Sept. 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. .
PHOTO CREDIT

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Mayborn Social Media Class

This is the official class blog of Journalism 4270/5330.001, the strategic social media class of the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Contributors are upper level undergraduate and graduate students, mainly journalism majors. Our Twitter hashtag is #untj4270. All content is student or instructor generated, and opinions are our own. Material is copyright by individual authors. Comments are welcome and encouraged.