Lately, we’ve been noticing that Twitter has been our go-to source for recent events, like the royal baby news and Wendy Davis’ filibuster. Obviously, the social media outlet is extremely useful for keeping up-to-date with the latest happenings with your friends, but when it comes to disseminating the news, it could soon take over traditional TV news outlets.
When it comes to reliability, we know that the majority of America still relies on traditional news sources due to Twitter being somewhat flawed. After constantly reading tweet after tweet that Kate Middleton went into labor before the real deal, we’ve learned to take tweets with a grain of salt. However, Twitter is constantly being used as a source for news, and even the Royal Family has turned to this outlet. To shake up tradition, the family tweeted the announcement of the royal baby boy at the same time the traditional easel was placed in front of Buckingham Palace. Maybe times are really changing.
In the case of Wendy Davis, traditional media outlets weren’t covering the filibuster of the anti-abortion bill here in Texas. Rachel Sklar puts it perfectly on Medium, stating that many of the mainstream sources that people go to for real-time news, such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc., had nothing related to the legislature battle in Texas. For all updates regarding the now-passed bill, people had to take to Twitter with the hashtag #StandWithWendy, or follow the Texas legislature livestream on YouTube. And boy, did they! With over 3,000 tweets related to Davis’ filibuster, the presence of Twitter gave rise to a communal feeling of involvement that quickly turned into a phenomenon.
Both of these recent events prove that Twitter is here to stay, and could possibly take over as a leading news source. Social media sites definitely have timing on their side, as national networks like CNN simply can’t move as quickly as Twitter when something unusual happens. By acting as a crowd-sourced newswire in the first minutes of an event, Twitter can connect people in an incredibly powerful way. From baby announcements to national crises and uprisings, Twitter’s worth is unquestionably huge. But how huge will it get? We’d love to hear your thoughts!