The craft of “breaking news” began as an exclusive staple of traditional news outlets. Then something happened – the Internet and Twitter. Think about it. In the “old days” you would hear a special jingle and your favorite radio or television program would be hijacked by someone in a studio. This was usually several minutes (on a good day) after the “incident” happened. Today, it’s mere seconds before everyone knows and it’s not the media saying it. Twitter has bypassed anything resembling filtering, verification or validation.
Here are some recent examples of how Twitter beat the news media:
- Plane crash: When a Continental Airlines 737 crashed into the ground in Denver, Colorado, the news media weren’t the first to break it – passenger Mike Wilson was the first to tell the tale.
- Earthquake in China: On May 12th, 2008, China was rocked by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Who broke the story first? Users on Twitter.
- Terrorism in Mumbai: When horrendous terrorist attacks gripped the city of Mumbai in India, Tweeters were once again the first to break the news. Some of the tweets were heart-wrenching, but ensured we all knew what was happening.
So the question is – Where are you in all of this? Have you taken a look at Twitter to see how you can use it to monitor the media? Have you learned how to track breaking news that may affect you?
Click here to discover ProCommunicator’s great basics about Twitter and public information.