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How Social Media is Replacing Traditional Journalism as a News Source [Infographic]

We are living in the digital information age with nearly half of all Americans get some form of local news on a mobile device, and 46% of people get their news online at least three times a week. What's more, online news sources officially surpassed print newspapers in ad revenue in 2010. Thanks to online news, we're getting more breaking news than ever before. And thanks to social media, we're getting news as it happens—sometimes even before news organizations have a chance to report it. Are more people turning to social media for breaking news? And can we trust the news that social media delivers to be accurate and factual? Check out this infographic to learn more about the changing face of news delivery and how social media will may end up leading the charge. social media news source

The Truth About News Sources

  • Over 50% of people have learned about breaking news via social media rather than official news sources.
  • 46% of people get their news online at least 3x a week.
  • As of 2012, online news revenue has surpassed print newspaper revenue.

Where do People Get Their News Overall?

  • 59.5% TV News
  • 28.8% Newspapers
  • 27.8% Social Media
  • 18.8% Radio News
  • 9.5% Other
  • 6% Other Print Publications

With social media accounting for over a quarter of all sources, Facebook leads the way with almost 60% of all news sources, followed by Twitter, (20%)YouTube (12.7%) and Google+ (11.6%). Since 2009 traffic to news sites from social media has increased 57% and 9% of adults who get news on a digital device use Facebook or Twitter to get that news very often.

News Stories That Broke Via Social Media

  • Egyptian uprising via Facebook
  • Hudson River plane crash via Twitter
  • Announcement of the royal wedding via Twitter
  • Protesters killed in Bahrain via YouTube
  • Whitney Houston's death via Twitter
  • Osama bin Laden raid and death via Twitter - The first person to tweet about the Osama bin Laden raid was a neighbor who, while complaining about the noise next door on Twitter, unknowingly tweeted about one of the biggest news stories of the decade.

What's Next in Social Media News?

As Mashable points out in a recent op-ed piece:

We’ve already seen attempts at robot journalism that have shown some promise. There may even be things we could learn from companies like Narrative Science, which automatically generate online articles on finance statistics. The days of the Rolodex are also gone. In fact, the Rolodex has been replaced. Public Insight Network, which is a network of sources for journalists as well as a collaboration tool for news organizations, is a step in the right direction. People who want to be sources are able to opt-in and create a profile on the network. It’s essentially a shared, digital Rolodex. If content is king and distribution is queen, where does that leave the news-gathering process? The very reporting process that produces information for content has been deprived of much needed innovation. There is no silver bullet, but it’s clear that the opportunity lies in investing in distributed reporting, a platform for the citizenry to contribute, and tools that will enable skilled journalists to make sense of the vast amounts of information being generated across the web.

How has social media affected the way you gather news? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Join The Conversation

  • Jun 30 Posted 5 years ago writewright7

    With newspaper paywalls gaining traction, SM continues its steamroll as a credible source vs. traditional journalism. Part of the surge can be attributed to the mobile society trend increase globally. However, one must be careful to examine the source carefully due to the premium attached to reporting with "Twitterspeed." Unfortunately, "Twitterspeed" is not always synonymous with accuracy.       

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