What does social media do to news consumption today? Does it provide too much distraction from the vital elements of a story? It’s actually more interesting to think about the vast amount of news online as a long, sprawling all one can read buffet. News sources like NBC, CBS and BBC have established a presence on Facebook and Twitter and publish news stories like hotcakes during the day. While it may seem like overload, it’s actually creating a large variety of news to choose from. With the open access of social media, news has become more available and larger than it ever has before.
But how does someone take in all of this information? One has to establish a healthy way of knowing what to read and where to read it from, as a sort-of news diet. Let’s say one wanted to have the BBC news show up on his Facebook page. IS every single Facebook page with the BBC brand on it the best kind of news source? After all, there is a page for BBC News, BBC World News, BBC World News for the TV Network, BBC News Online, BBC London News, etc. Look for the page that’s most popular and see what kind of articles the page posts. If it strikes that person’s interest, that page is probably the best bet. It’s great to have access to so many sources, but one has to know which one will best serve himself.
The same thing applies to Twitter, as it has multiple accounts for multiple divisions of news. Twitter posts only have room for a headline or a lede, so trusting that alone and not looking into the link posted is not reading the news. One has to know what they are reading and what they’re following. Organize what news sources one reads the most and remember that account. Twitter is a large universe and negative comments can pop up as quickly as a favorite or a retweet, so one should know what he is posting.
Social media has created a buffet of news sources available to the public, but knowing which ones are healthy and which ones are junk is vital to absorbing the right kind of news in the digital age.
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