Twitter and the incredible shrinking news cycle
Originally posted on Gigaom:
In the not-so-distant past, news generally tended to travel in a few well-worn paths. It was reported by a newspaper, it appeared on television at noon or 6 p.m. or it was mentioned on a drive-time radio show — and those involved usually had plenty of time to report it and produce it. The arrival of CNN and 24-hour news changed all of that, however, and Twitter and Facebook have changed it again: Now the news is just as likely to appear in a tweet or to be posted as a status update by someone who is directly involved in the event. In a nutshell, this means that the value of a simple “scoop” or breaking news report is declining rapidly — and that might just be a good thing.
In one of the most recent examples, the news of singer Whitney Houston’s death at the age of 48 was broadcast far and wide via Twitter and Facebook long before it showed up on most mainstream media outlets. Not only that, but what seemed to be one of the first reports about her death — posted about an hour before the news was reported by a traditional news outlet – included potentially important details about the circumstances that were not revealed until hours later, such as the fact that she was found in a hotel bathtub. The source of the tweet appeared to be someone whose aunt worked for the singer: