Social Media and the Future of News

This is a great TED talk by Clay Shirky, who takes about how social media is transforming the way that we consume and create information about international events.

One of the most amazing things is the way twitter is transforming news coverage. Shirky notes that the BBC first learned about the earthquake through twitter, which had tweets about the earthquake several minutes before the US Geological Survey had anything on their website. Having interned at NowPublic, a participatory journalism website, I can definitely attest to the usefulness of twitter for producing news, though for a much smaller event. Over the summer, for example, I was able to write an article about an explosion that happened in the US (from Vancouver) and get pictures of what was happening by tracking down twitter-user who had posted pictures of the explosion on twit pic, while tweeting about what was happening.

What I think is most exciting is the way in which people are increasingly interconnected and the implications this has for public relations and news. Shirky does a great job of making this point by discussing, among other things, the Sichuan earthquake and the Obama Campaign. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I did and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of media.

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