Osama bin Laden is dead but traditional news isn’t

So the Royal Wedding quickly became old news. Wills and Kate’s wedding of the year was quickly overshadowed on Monday by the news that the world’s most wanted man has been killed. And while this was a significant day in history, it also became a significant day in the social media world with an average of 3,440 tweets per second – the highest sustained rate in Twitter’s history.

The way we learn about news and the latest going’s on is changing thanks to social networking sites like Twitter. In the past we’ve relied on traditional news media to keep us updated, but with the advent of social media we have a resource that gives us the ability to share with our community. This by all means isn’t a new occurrence, on a daily basis we see news break on social networking sites.

What I find interesting this time is that I myself am an example of this new trend. I found out about Osama bin Laden’s death after I read an update from a friend on Facebook. I then double checked rolling TV news, online news sites and even Twitter to see if these claims were true and the detail behind them.

Interestingly, as the Wall Blog points out, while news breaks on Twitter (in this case by a local reporter) the frenzy really begins when news outlets tweet and report on the claims. So traditional news outlets are still leading the conversation. This could be for two reasons. One, they offer more content for us to share with our community. Two, they are trusted sources – we wait to hear from them that what we’re hearing is factual.

There is no doubt that social networking sites and mobile internet has given rise to citizen journalism and created a new resource for us to get our news. But traditional news media isn’t dead yet – we are still referring to our trust old news sources – the only difference is this time it’s online and instant.

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