In Australia, social networking websites are used more than just to stay in touch with that friend from high school or your family around the world. Today, in keeping with the Internet’s agenda to educate and inform the masses, social networking sites are replacing traditional newspapers and television channels as the source of world news.
Walk down any street in Sydney or pop into a café and you will find people tapping away on their phones or laptops or intently scrolling through the homepages of their various social networking sites in search of the latest news. In fact, statistics report that more than one quarter of the population now relies on social networking sites for this very purpose. If there is anything major going on in the world arena or in your country, open your social networking site account and you will see scores of status updates by your contacts, condemning a certain act, carrying out heated political debates, tracking the progress of a sports match or simply expressing their surprise and amazement at a celebrity’s recently revealed marriage.
Moreover, this has also encouraged various newspapers and television channels, such as entertainment news channels and business news channels, to create accounts on these social networking sites as well. In most cases, these online accounts are updated immediately with any breaking news story. Users are given the option of following these channels or journalists online. In this way, you can keep yourself abreast with current world affairs. In fact, several news stories were also broken to the public for the first time via these social networking sites.
This has also got to do with the fact that journalists and television channels are not the only source of information online – normal citizens can also report any information or event worth knowing by simply posting a short status update (or the like) online. This ensures that events are covered in a more holistic manner, as seen through the eyes of average citizens as well as expert analysts on the respective field. Moreover, journalists and reporters can no longer choose to limit or twist the information they present to the public.