News Sites Less Trusted Now than Social Media Users

This is unusual for me – I wouldn’t really do an extra blogpost if I didn’t have to, but given what has been happening in the past few hours, I thought that I should comment, especially after our discussion on Tuesday after the bombing.

I heard from a friend last night that there was another shooting that happened last night, this time at MIT. I went onto CNN’s website to figure out what was happening and was greeted by very confusing information. It seemed that they were still talking about the Boston Marathon Bombing, but what I was looking for was information on the MIT shooting.

I decided to go to bed and learn more in the morning. I went on CNN’s website again and didn’t find anything helpful, so I turned instead to Facebook.

This is what a friend had posted:

“Okay folks, going to bed. I’ll try to summarize what I have so far for those who will wake up tomorrow.

MIT officer was shot and killed. Suspects were believed linked to the Marathon bombings and later confirmed. One suspect has been apprehended and killed, other is still at large. There was/is a police chase. Two bombs have been found and defused, reports of other bombs are popping up. There was huge firefight, which can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSlRHJv1nnA. At least on officer is down. Swat and snipers are on the scene along with FBI.

This reddit thread is much more accurate than what you will see on CNN or other sites: http://bit.ly/14AKI9V

Hopefully more accurate information will be available in the morning. I hate to say it, but CNN has been really slow and botched up a lot of the reporting. Check reddit, twitter, and local boston news/ police broadcast for more accurate info.

And then this from another friend:

“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Random people on the Internet are better at reporting news than the people who get paid to do it.

With his friends commenting:

this reddit thread has been more reliable then CNN” and “but in all seriousness, it takes news a million confirmations before they can report anything. The guys on the internet are going off of police radios, which are primary sources but can still lead to false reports (especially if the cops get a false lead). CNN has NO excuse though

Powerful stuff. Our once god-like media is being turned on for not providing enough accurate information fast enough. In an age when people want information immediately,  it’s tough to remember that getting accurate information still takes time.

Just wanted to add one more FB post that came up right now at 8:08 AM.

“New updates. CNN is doing a god awful job of reporting. Manhunt going on in Boston. Suspects believed to be brothers and from Chechnya, Russia. One is dead, other is still very much a threat. EOD departments are crawling due to number of bomb threats being called. Pertinent resources:”

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4 responses to “News Sites Less Trusted Now than Social Media Users

  • mattbrandeburg

    I’m almost more interested in seeing if social media becomes their own news source. Anonymous made its first steps in becoming a news service in the wake of the Boston bombings. For non-emergency news, Reddit is often cited in the comments or, more occasionally, as the source for an article on popular sites such as gawker. It will be interesting to see if sites such as reddit, where many of its users already spend many hours reading threads on a variety of subjects, supplants traditional news outlets as the go-to source.

    • tanvishah1

      That’s an interesting thought, and it almost seems that people may be moving towards such a news model. It’s remarkable how much more quickly information spreads via social media than by the news itself nowadays.

  • jdywest7

    Great post! After the Boston Marathon, I too began questioning the credibility of news media, and began thinking of other instances when they have put out false information. However I still think news media is more credible than social networks because of the amount of blind follower it attracts thus spreading propaganda like the Kony2012 campaign.

    • tanvishah1

      I definitely agree with you – I still go for real news sources in general because I feel that no news source – press or social media – can accurately report events that are occurring right then and there.

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