[FROM THE PAPER] Social Media: Fact or Fiction?

By Ashleigh Clarke - Reporter

Social media nowadays is that powerful we receive news in an instant. Articles pop up, stories are everywhere and links to threads are booming. I think we underestimate just how dominant the internet and social media actually is.
During a 2011 study by Pew Research, it was noted that most people get their news via the internet rather than accessing it via print media, television and radio. It was discovered that ¾ of the population get theirs due to being active on different social media accounts. A survey suggests that Facebook and Twitter make news a ‘participatory experience as people can share articles and comments on people’s posts’, this creates a discussion and more and more people can join in; whereas watching the news on the TV or listening to it on the radio, you don’t have as much engagement.
According to US News Channel CNN, 75% of people now get their news forwarded through emails or social media posts. You don’t even need to seek out the news anymore, it is literally handed to you on a silver platter. A study collected this information regarding what news people search for:

81% – Weather
73% – National News
52% – Sports
41% – Entertainment

It has been proposed that the number of online news readers were younger than 50, with 30% being below the age of 30. This suggests that it is an actively younger audience are participating in reading the news online through social media platforms as opposed to an older generation who prefer their news to be in a hard copy format. Although this is the case, TV still remains quite popular as a source for information, however, the target audience is aging as only 34% of young people engage with news on TV.
I think receiving news through the use of social media is becoming more and more popular because it’s more accessible to those who have phones and tablets. We can access different forms of news with the click of a button, and even download tabloid apps to make things that much easier. The fact that accessing it this way is free whereas you have to pay for newspapers is also an advantage and you can check the news anywhere at any time.
Stories spread like wildfire on social media, especially when a celebrity dies. You’re sat there scrolling aimlessly one minute and the next your eyes are bulging and your googling to see if what someone has just posted is real. This is just one example of how powerful social media can be.
In my opinion, social media is a good way to receive news as you can read different topics, leave comments and engage with different people.

How do you get your news? Let us know by tweeting us @UCLanPluto or leave a comment below!

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