Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Journalists and 24 Hour News Cycle

When I first connected my Twitter account to my phone, I was amazed at the barrage of news I was receiving.  Then I was getting news from Chile at midnight, China at 2a.m., Libya at 4a.m. and it didn't stop.  Needless to stay, I changed the settings to create a set time in which to receive tweets, yet every morning I would wake to anywhere between 20 to 40 new tweets, sometimes even more, and these tweets were stored from the night before to greet me every morning on the happenings of last night.  Journalists now have to compete with a 24 hour news cycle, and for  Joe Weisenthal, he is a shining example of the man versus the 24 hour news cycle.  Weisenthal, along with many other journalists, now have Twitter accounts and the rate at which they release  tweets are astounding.  

Journalists are not just required to report, they blog, they tweet, they vlog.  This also does not include the research and information that they sift through a on a daily basis needed to articulate much of the content that they produce today.  In short, once a story hits the internet, it's already old.  For the average reader today, who consumes data and information at higher rates then our predecessors, the news can't come faster.  In one infograph, it shows how consumers are now getting their news, and the trend is showing a rise in the importance of social media as a means of keeping up to date with the world.  (Click to enlarge the image below.)

However, if one was to look at the bottom of this infograph, it still shows that this data has been compiled from various articles from various sources.  So what consumers are trying to find a better way to aggregate their news into comprehensible trends and data, much like Weistenthal does.  Information and data are at the touch of almost any tech savvy person's hand, but the next big trend is not just social media, but ways to aggregate the news and data, much like through phone apps such as Pulse or infographs such as the one above. 


  1. Good find! I get practically all of my news from Twitter. I subscribe to HuffPost, the New York Times, TMZ (for my celebrity-fill), and other news sources. I subscribe simply as a way to gather headlines from sources I like reading from and if the story sounds interesting, I'll actually click the link to read the full story. I never listen to the radio, nor do I watch TV news in the morning anymore so I rely solely on the Internet. I love reading news on my iPad on news aggregate applications like Flipboard.

    I do agree that this puts journalists on their toes. I always wondered which reporters would be working the late-night or weekend shifts when I would see random news updates when I'd figure that their offices were closed. But news does happen around the clock.

    However, this does bring up the question of journalists checking their facts. Similar to what we heard in today's class' videos and as to what I've learned in my old Journalism classes, old journalists require at least three sources in every story to back them up. With up-to-the-minute reporting, are journalists no longer checking their sources to verify their news? If a story is published and was found to be false, there are already a handful of Twitter followers who have already read the headline and/or story and may miss a retraction.

  2. I agree that this info-graphic on the twenty-four-hour news cycle is very effective, and I enjoyed your lively opening about your own experiences as a consumer of the constant stream of global news. I also agree with Carmichael that fact-checking becomes more difficult when new information must be constantly generated.