social media as trusted news source

Posting this on behalf of Danielle Butbul…

If you are an active web-browser or social media bunny, then the
chances of a news story, an opinion on a news story, or a picture
“instragramed” from a popular scene popping up on your screen is quite
high. As Facebook (I’m surprised as coming up with red squiggles
underneath it right now – isn’t it already in Word’s dictionary?)
reached 1 billion users yesterday, and with the topic of the week
being the future of news, I find it appropriate to discuss the role of
social media as trusted sources for news. According to this article, people have gained a trust in social media for reliable news
sources. The article claims that trust in social media has grown in
the past years, but does not suggest why this rise has come about.
Although it mentions that people seem to trust information as true if
they have seen it posted repeatedly, why should they trust the people
posting it? Just as we scroll through our “News Feed”, we could easily
scroll through Google or Bing searches. So why have we all of a sudden
put more trust in our fellow “Friends”?  If I post this article to my
facebook wall enough times, will people believe that they believe more
in social media as a trusted news source? Or is this article just
contributing to the “black hole” of media.

While we can sit here and be skeptical of the validity of news
sources that we access through social media, it is only fair to
recognize the benefits that come from it. Social media makes news much
more accessible and stirs emotions of users, resulting in more
activism. Comparing an article that supports the prior claim and the
other article provided in the paragraph above, it is difficult to
distinguish if social media is helping news move in the right
direction, or if it is simply adding to the chaos of the internet and
the world.

So, after reading those two articles and thinking about the various
questions entangled in my post, do you think we are heading in the
right direction with sharing news sources? Does one of these articles
convince you to reach your conclusion more than the other?

Help me form my own opinion by sharing yours!



About emiliaaskari

Journalist, teacher, news game designer. Promoting digital literacy and content creation in the public interest.

4 Responses to “social media as trusted news source”

  1. In my opinion, getting news from social media is just like getting news from word of mouth. People who are trusting news they get from Facebook or Twitter without verifying with a reputable source are the same people who get their news from talking to other people without fact checking. In most cases, I think people who claim to get their news via facebook and twitter are getting it from news sources that have facebook and twitter accounts and are posting their news on to these websites. For these kinds of users and in most cases I think, the source of the information remains, but the vehicle by which it is brought to the people changes. All of the websites mention, blogs, facebook, twitter, tumblr and so on are not websites that post original content. They are media that people and institutions use to post content. In this sense, these articles are misleading in saying that people are trusting social media. People are not trusting social media more; they are trusting the people who use social media without verifying the information they find. And it is certainly not news that people will trust a source without checking its credibility.

  2. Interesting post. I agree that getting information from Twitter and Facebook is similar to getting news by word of mouth. I’ll admit that I do spend a considerable amount of time on Facebook. It has definitely been a source of news for me in the past. However, when I see a status that provokes my interest, I’ll often Google the story to learn more about it. This helps me to decipher between what people are saying and what is actually true. I think maybe it’s more interesting to see what your friends are talking about because those are usually the more potent stories. Yes I could easily scroll through Google instead of checking Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, but then I would be presented with many more news stories than just those that my friends may find interesting. I think what gets talked about on Facebook and Twitter are the bigger stories, not just mundane news.

    It seems as though everyone has a Facebook, which may be why it has become such a prominent news source. However, I feel that reading a tweet about some sort of news event is different from reading tweets from a reputable news source. When one person posts about a news story, someone else may interpret it differently than what was originally intended. I found it interesting how the Edelman Trust Barometer article indicated that websites thought of as previously untrustworthy have seen a 75% rise in trust. I think it’s still extremely important to check facts before believing anything you read. I have CNN set as my homepage, so when I see something on Facebook or Twitter, I can always go to CNN to learn more about it. I think that we shouldn’t rely on getting news only from social media, but using it as a gateway to the news world.

  3. Since I have gotten my fancy smart phone and installed the Twitter and Facebook apps, I have been following news stories and articles more often. It’s something I do subconsciously these days and that’s why I pick up on trending stories quickly.
    Social media is simply a flag for me telling me “Hey, this is what’s going on right now. Go check it out on Google.” It’s not an actual news source for me but I can see why things like the Edelman Trust Barometer has shown that people have gained trust in social media as reputable news sources. It seems as though people are getting the news from Facebook and Twitter to go get their news. I certainly don’t think that this is a harmful thing for the news industry.

    On the topic of whether social media is a reputable source of news or not, I can simply say that even news isn’t reputable news at times. I was writing a research paper on the television industry recently and I was supposed to use “reputable news sources” like the New York Times, LA Times and the Washington Post. All three of them had different facts about the same thing. So even news can be misleading.

  4. Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the
    same topics? Thanks for your time!

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