George Zimmerman Trial Proves Social Media Has Changed the News Biz

Technology changes how stories are covered.

I must be getting old, but I remember getting all my information from the 6 o’clock news and daily newspapers delivered to my parent’s front porch. Over the past year, it’s hit me that the current generation doesn’t rely on either of those to get information. Heck, I don’t rely on traditional outlets to get all my news, but I use a variety of social media platforms to stay informed. Previously, we were spoon-fed by corporate giants who decided what news items were fit to be told and what was interesting. Now we control the media and flow of information and I like it! A prime example of this trend is the way that blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and online petitions have been able to bring attention to the death of Trayvon Martin. Without social media, his parents would never have been able to force an investigation and trial to bring Trayvon's killer to justice. It wouldn’t have even made it to the local news, let alone international pressure brought upon the by State of Florida. Our new ability to control information and generate our own stories will only evolve even more as technology integrates in our lives. 

Technology is allowing people to control stories and decide what is considered "newsworthy." Social media has changed how information spreads and it's not just in the hands of newspapers, news channels, and management who distribute our news. The news always leads with the attractive white woman who may be missing, murdered, or raped, but when the story is about someone of color, the media doesn't always find such stories to be worthy enough for coverage. People can now cover their own stories using a variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and the petition sites Color of Change and Change.org. These platforms are enable individuals to bring attention and coverage to stories that traditional media outlets wouldn’t focus on or care to cover, since they aren't ‘glamorous’ enough or don't have a hook that can be explained in five seconds.

We are now truly experiencing the democratization of news where people can "vote" for the stories they want covered by pushing the stories out themselves. News shows have been dumbed down for years since it’s easier and cheaper to do entertainment stories and call them "news". The reality is people want real news. We want to know what’s going on with people who aren’t like us, see diverse viewpoints that force us to think. We can now find and realease "newsworthy" stories ourselves and develop our own opionions about them.