The following infographic from Schools.com details how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source.
These days half of the public gets its breaking news from social media rather than official news sources. Slightly less than half (46%) get their news online about three times a week.
This year online news brought in more revenue than print newspapers.
Facebook is currently tied with TV news as the most popular way people seek information. I find this troubling considering the information on Facebook is not peer-reviewed and has relatively little accountability for what is being posted on its site.
How would you rate the quality of news that you see on Facebook?
Social media has an advantage over traditional journalism because people can send and receive information instantly and anyone can become a reporter. The downside is that journalistic integrity diminishes as more people fail to get their facts straight. Another growing concern is that people are endangering their lives in an effort to get raw coverage, and in the process, put the lives of other people in harm's way.
One person commented on YouTube that, "The problem with the internet as a news source is the ability to plant stories without attribution. We need people, journalists, who are willing to stand up and say, "yes, this is the story and I stand behind it." If that goes away, public relations and ideology will be selling us ideas produced to further someone or some organizations political or for-profit agenda."
Is this a dangerous era for American journalism?