Is twitter the 21st century breaking news channel?

StopPressTwitter has become one of the quickest platforms for the distribution of the latest breaking news, the “retweet” function allowing instant spread of breaking news.  A ‘tweet’ can be “retweeted” just a few times, yet reach a huge number of users.  This goes further toward strengthening the six degrees of separation theory. That is, the mechanism of the “retweet” has given every user the power to spread information broadly.

The Haiti earthquake disaster is an example of breaking news being announced on a global scale through Social Media.  Within minutes, images and comments were quickly uploaded.

Twitters ability to offer minute by minute or even second by second updates and commentary has meant journalist are quickly realising the power social networks hold.

The question going forward will be how can news distribution channels utilise and maximise this new form of instant information into their platforms and existing channels, to keep their readers & subscribers informed and prevent them using social network platforms as their source of news

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