Twitter Takes Over

By Kate Brightwell

Kim uses it. Kanye uses it. Even Romney uses it.

No, I am not talking about fake tanner. I am talking about Twitter.

Just in the years since 2009, we have seen twitter take off exponentially. Part of the exponential rise, is the use of Twitter by high-profile celebrities. I mean, who doesn’t want to see every food item that Kim Kardashian eats.

Aside from the extensive use of Twitter by social celebrities, Twitter has now taken off as a news source. Twitter appeals to many as a source for news because of its constant updating and instant feed. What was once a 24-hour news cycle has now become a 24 second news cycle. Before the advent of Twitter and other social media, the main form of news dissemination was through traditional media such as newspapers, news shows, and radio.

According to an article published in Politico, “Four years ago, the fallout from a controversial remark would have taken hours, if not a full day, to unfold.” However, the wide-spread use of twitter has made the “one day news story” into a “one hour news story.”

This causes reporters to post stories as fast as possible to ensure they are not “scooped” in this high pace media climate. Today, we had the opportunity to meet with Todd Ruger from Congressional Quarterly. In this meeting, he talked to us about the additional pressure Twitter has added to reporting. He said that the difference between getting a story up in 1 minute versus getting a story up in 2 minutes is astronomical in terms of exposure for the story. It could mean the difference between 30 retweets and 3,000 retweets.


Media Panel. From left to right: Steve Roberts, Same Feist, Tim Farley, Adam Sharp

This need for instant news, has caused the media giants, such as MSNBC, Fox News, and ABC to adopt some of these practices when reporting. In a panel today including Steve RobertsSam Feist, Adam Sharp and Tim Farley, it was discussed that traditional media is now tasked with the job of adapting their format to stay competitive with the lightning pace of Twitter.

Overall, social media has had a huge impact on the way news is disseminated and viewed. Reporters must be on their feet at all times to ensure that their story will be on the frontline. As social media continues to gain ground, we are seeing more and more of our news conveyed in hashtags.

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