Social Media and the News

Where do you get your news from? TV? Radio? Newspapers or magazines?

Not me anymore. I get almost 100% of my news from social media sites. Almost anything I need to know can be found through RSS feeds or micro blogs, and quite often before the main-stream media gets a chance to write it up.

Usually when I tell people I get my news online they relate it to listening to the rumor mill or casual gossip, but it doesn’t take much to convince them otherwise. It’s the speed of information that makes it so amazing. Stories abound of people getting the news of earthquakes, bomb threats, even Obama’s running mate through social media before it was on TV or print. In fact, I’m willing to bet several journalists get their news the same place I do, and then go do deeper research for their story.

Let’s look at Twitter gossip first. Yes, there are a lot of rumors out there buzzing around, but it’s amazing how quickly they get debunked. In fact, for the last Presidential debate NPR actually used Twitter as part of their real-time fact checking system. They compiled the results, did a little more research and posted the resulting information on their blog. Followers of the thread on Twitter could actually watch the facts go up as the debate happened.

I confess I’m more willing to take Twitter news ahead of some of the blogs I follow, because I know that my network has shot down false statements reliably. If I see a post on a blog or a community forum I’m quite likely to post it to Twitter for verification if I don’t know the source very well.

Most of the major new organizations now post news online through RSS feeds and/or Twitter and I can quickly scan news outlets worldwide and see what’s going on in a number of areas.

Enough convincing. Here are some interesting news sources that might just make you a convert too.

Twitter:

Twitter news sources abound and one of the best collection of news people (print and media) who Twitter can be found on the blog of graphicdesignr. Scan the list and you will likely find your favorite news sources. Personally I follow Breaking News, the New York Times, NPR news, BBC the Mercury News, Rick Sanchez from CNN (one of the few reporters who actually writes his Tweets, instead of auto-posts), Venture Beat, the Bay Area Earthquake alert feed and several small local bloggers.

What are your favorite resources? Add them in the comments section and share with us.

News Feeds:

My first go-to to find a new feed or quickly scan headlines is Alltop. The site offers rss feeds for political and economic channels as well as “Citizen Journalism” which includes feeds from more editorial style reporting, professional journalists and a long list of news feeds from outlets ranging from Al Jazeera to Fox New’s video feed. You can also find blogs written by journalists at cyberjournalist.net.

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