It’s been a while since I’ve written a ‘discussion’ piece and with the massive headlines that are dominating the news at the moment (namely the missing Malaysian plane and the Crimea crisis) I wondered how most of you got your day-to-day information?
We all know that the newspaper and print industry is sadly in decline, with more people getting their news online rather than popping to their local newsagents and leafing through a paper with their morning coffee.
We’re a convenience generation and we like things to be instant, quick and easily accessible if we’re on the go. It’s so easy now to flick through Twitter on your commute and get the gist of what’s going on, without it taking up too much of our time. It’s a shame really.
Admittedly, I do tend to scroll through my Twitter feed first thing in the morning and if a headline catches my eye, I might click on the link for the rest of the story. However, the problem with social media is if you’re not following news organisations directly online and you’re just basing your information on what’s trending, then the context can spiral hideously out of control. It’s also an open gateway for hoaxes to go viral and mislead readers- anyone remember Will Smith’s ‘Twitter death’ earlier this year?
It was for that reason, that I was convinced for half a second that RMT Union boss Bob Crow’s death was indeed another Twitter stunt. Sky News happened to be on in front of me at the same time, which helped to void any doubts, but it did make me wonder how many people actually cross-reference the news they see online with another platform?
According to a 2013 Ofcom report– News Consumption in the UK, “Across all platforms, UK adults use an average of 3.7 sources,” however 32% of people use the internet for news, with 82% using Facebook to reach news-related articles. Not necessarily a terrible thing if social media users are being directed to an original news source but what about those who take what they read on social networking sites at face-value?
The report did also find that people who use Twitter as a news source “do not rate it highly for being accurate (29%), trustworthy (28%) or unbiased (28%)” whereas Sky News and the BBC received the highest ratings for this attributes at 60% and 70% respectively.
I mean I’m not saying that the only source readers should consult are the major news networks because as we all know the press can over speculate and exaggerate the truth, I’m just interested in knowing how many people read a newspaper on a daily basis or listen to the radio first thing in the morning or even watch the news before going to bed? Technology is an amazing thing and it’s great that you can find out at the click of a button what’s going on in the world but call me old-fashioned, there’s nothing better than reading a newspaper with your Weetabix.
Please let me know your views and take part in my little poll below.