Monday, 20 February 2012

Breaking News on Twitter part 2: authority is everything

Many of us were shocked by the sad death of Whitney Houston last Sunday. The news reverberated around the planet, and this was reflected in the amount of buzz on Twitter.

But when does a story like this go global? What causes it to go global, or trend on Twitter?

Many people suggest that breaking the news on Twitter leads to extra kudos from the community. But in fact the news only really took off on Twitter after it was broken on Associated Press’s Twitter account - a verified source.

Whilst breaking news will always happen on Twitter, the citizen journalist lacks one thing that traditional news rooms and media outlets have - effective social media guidelines.

They may sound like a constriction to some, but in fact, without these guidelines, where would geniune, verified news come from on social media?

The ability to break stories will always be important - but remember that authority is everything, and people will always look to mainstream media for reference and confirmation.

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