Our grandparents had newspapers. Our parents had television. The modern young-adult has social media.
Over time, news has not only become more accessible, but more desirable. Whatever your preference, there are plenty of communication formats to choose from.
Print news like magazines and newspapers are held in higher esteem than that of television or social media platforms. This is largely due to its written content, which is often much deeper than that of other communication formats. We can attribute this to the extra time that goes into the stories in newspapers in comparison to new age platforms that are more focused on getting information out as quick as possible.
TV and social networks, including Facebook, prioritize gauging reader attention through visual aids such as video, photos, and graphics above written content.
As the social media phase of news culture continues to unfold, developments in reader consumption show a shift from Facebook to Twitter.
Twitter, in its early stages, provided an efficient platform for online news sites. The 140 character limit allowed the news providers to post headlines followed by links to the full stories on their websites. While this was effective in previous years, Twitter has become cluttered with ads, promotional tweets, and suggested tweets, prompting users to scroll past anything not posted by their friends.
As far as personal preference, I feel that facebook is a much better platform for displaying news stories and commentary on said stories. On facebook, the comment section is much more organized than that of Twitter and the character allowance is larger.
I call Twitter the “informal” version of Facebook. Information given can be misleading due to character limitations. These limitations often result in “text talk” in order to squeeze all information necessary into a tweet, which can demote the integrity of a news source.
On the other hand, Twitter is a quicker way to consume tiny bits of information, rather than long, detailed news stories. For this reason, Twitter can be more attractive to younger consumers who tend to prefer the bare minimum.
As consumption practices continue to evolve, I fear that the integrity of news platforms will dwindle. Today’s youth appear more eager for entertainment over educational enlightenment. However, I suppose this could also spark a positive evolution in journalism. The desire for amusement might encourage writers to approach news stories at a creative angle that wouldn’t have previously deemed necessary, allowing a more diverse conversation to begin.
Regardless, social media, in all its forms, has created a platform for users across the globe to interact and discuss with one another in real time. That advancement alone has made the world, today, much more aware and involved in news culture. That’s something newspapers and TV can’t offer.
Much love and coffee,
Additional Link: Why Twitter and Facebook Matter