Over the weekend a small group of Americans jumped onto twitter and noticed a simple hashtag that trended worldwide for 36 hours. This small group of Americans then turned this simple hashtag into 72 hours worth of content for their TV shows. This small group of Americans is sometimes referred to as the News Media Industry.
This has become a common trend for how people get their news. Too often in this day and age, do we see people sitting on websites like Twitter and Reddit looking for news as it happens? Journalists have to evolve and find new ways of reaching their audience. One way they have evolved is the development of the Hashtag on Twitter. An example of this is #CancelColbert which happened over the past weekend.
In recent weeks there have been heaps of important news stories in the world. The disappearance of MH370, Russia’s Annexation of Crimera, Vladimir Putin in general and yet News channels in the US devoted time to running a story on #CancelColbert.
Is this the future of journalism, people reading 140 characters or less? While Twitter has become a great platform to discuss news and events that are happening, I think that most journalists who browse twitter looking for a story will never get the facts correct. Remember the Boston Bombings, Most of the leads for that story came from Twitter, and led to people online falsely accusing Sunil Tripathi. Tripathi’s name trended on twitter for around 18 hours after social media sites deemed him to be the person in the still shot the FBI released earlier. Just because the internet said so, doesn’t make it so.