Tag Archives: twitter

Journalism, meet Social Media. Social Media, meet Journalism.


In light of the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect of the Boston Marathon bombing, I wanted to talk about the way this story was covered in social media and traditional journalism.

I spent many hours watching broadcast news of this story, watching breaking news unfold before me. It was a fascinating process to watch how traditional news organizations were scrambling to piece together the jigsaw puzzle that social media created. Breaking news reports were often, though not always, started by reports saying something to the effect of “We just want to remind our viewers that this information is not yet confirmed and comes from a report by (insert other news company here),” almost as a way to place the blame on someone else if the information turned out to be false. Twitter was also countlessly referenced as a source of new breaking information, sometimes with an explanation of how Twitter actually works, undoubtedly for the audience that still is not sure what a ‘tweet’ actually is.

The use of social media as a primary source for the coverage of this story brought with it many problems, yet it was also arguably the most important tool the news media had at their disposal. Twitter allowed for breakneck speed when it came to updates on eye-witness accounts or updates from the Boston Police Department, but it also created much inaccuracy in the reports.

The competitiveness of journalists to get the scoop on a new juicy piece of information and the need to try and be the first to relay the information to the public created a spiral of unconfirmed reports. These reports were sometimes debunked as being not credible or untrue as fast as they were reported.

In these last few days we saw the news media at work trying their best to contextualize and tell a complete story of what was unfolding, while social media fed them the information that they so desperately needed in order to keep the public up to date. Some people might argue that the news industry was too hasty in reporting on some incidents like the identity of the suspects, but it was the journalists and the news industry that helped make sense of what was going on. They did the dirty work of sorting through the mess of tweets on Twitter and trying to sort out the credible from the potentially false. In the end of the day social media sites and journalists worked in tandem to report on one of the largest manhunt cases in American history, and I think they succeeded by letting the public know what they have a right to know, mistakes be damned.


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The trends of social networking advertising

ImageCompanies are beginning to see the importance of branding and advertising online. Social networking sites are their top priority, but just how much are advertisers willing to spend to promote themselves on sites like Facebook and Twitter?

According to an infographic on AllTwitter, global social network advertising revenues are expected to raise from 2012’s seven million to 14 million by 2014. Sixty-four percent of advertisers said they plan to increase their social media advertising budget by 2013. 

Facebook reigns king when it comes to raking in the most advertisers, accounting for 57 percent of all social media advertising budgets. Twitter and YouTube each hold 13 percent each. I think Twitter’s share will raise in the next couple of years because it has grown to an incredible number of 200 million users worldwide. All businesses and companies seem to have a Twitter account these days, advertisers would be foolish not to brand themselves on there.

Interestingly, 46 percent of advertisers said that their main goal for social media advertising is raising brand awareness, and not so much about direct traffic and product sales. This is likely due to the fact that currently a only a small portion of an advertisers budget is dedicated to social networking sites, so they can afford to not push too much when it comes to actual product sales. Seventy percent of advertisers devote 1-10 percent of their online advertising budget to social network sites.

It is going to be very interesting in the years to come watching advertisers compete for viewer attention online. With social networking sites becoming more and more appealing to advertisers, I wonder just how much this will potentially impact the prices and competitiveness of advertisements on social networking sites.

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