Breaking News First: The hot potato?

Remember that F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ episode where Ross was the last one to find out about Monica and Chandler.

Not kidding, that must have hurt him more than his own three divorces not just because that was his sister and his best friend but because who likes to be the last person to know about things?


So why are we honestly so surprised by the fact that today we are in a race to either break a news story first or consume a breaking news story first on social media!

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube have finally helped us to get out of the ‘consuming news 24 hours after it has happened’ rut!

From celebrity stories like Prince William’s engagement in 2010 to hard war and terrorism stories like the capture of Osama Bin Laden, breaking news on social media is the new norm!

The craze of breaking news on social media

A report by Forbes revealed that nearly 64.5% of people receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram instead of traditional media.

Even mainstream news channels have started investing in social media to keep up with the pace of technology and provide timely updates to the readers.

Many of us see breaking news on our feeds first and then we go to the news sites to learn more. A survey by Forbes found a 57% increase in traffic to news sites referred from social media.

But do you think we end up reading the entire article there?

Of course, not.

We come back to our feeds, scroll through them, find bits of information here and there and let our imagination do the rest!

But wait, I know our English teachers have forever forced us to let our imagination run wild - but is this good when we want to consume factual news?

Breaking news on social media: is there a downfall?

Social media controls what news and information we see. An article needs to be “liked” and shared multiple times before we can see it on our feed. So with social media, we never really have a way of distinguishing between breaking news and trending news!

Established news outlets and journalists constantly have to compete with the average citizens like you and me to break the news first. Hence, immediacy and our expectation of breaking news lead to unfactual, half-true and fake stories being reported.

But waiting to verify stories and sources can result in a news source being dismissed as slow and behind the times.

And this does not end here.

Funnily enough, when people are not competing with each other to break the news first, then they are competing for readers’ attention on social media feeds.

So, our question is where does all of this lead to?

Well, to be honest, the road for irresponsible “news-breakers” ends in libel and loss of reputation. But what about us?

What about the people who prioritize their needs of immediacy and curiosity? Do we have a way out?

Well, that’s for Newzera to know and you to find out!
Till then, hit that clap button!



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