The Quick and the Dead

By Sylvia Ogilvie, Intern (@sylviaillini)

It seems like all the world can talk about these days is celebrity deaths and Twitter. While the whole Michael Jackson news was fascinating, I’m a lot more concerned about the impact this new form of social media has. Prior to Twitter’s creation, there was already quiet discussion of the impending death of traditional media and the birth of citizen journalists blogging about the news. Now that discussion has turned into a booming voice, and it’s hard not to listen.

In an article titled “TMZ Speed vs. CNN Credibility,” the debate over the superior form of media is discussed. While it is of course beneficial to be able to get quick and easy access to breaking events, what cost does that speed bring? By cutting corners to get a story out faster, new media has sacrificed important traditional practices, like fact-checking, testimony from experts, etc. In essence, new media is just well-broadcasted gossip, and Twitter is the ultimate rumor mill.


With a traditional media outlet, on the other hand, the credibility is the only thing it has to hold onto. In this day and age, people want everything done quickly — they want the middle man cut out and they want to get directly to what they need, including the news. Unfortunately, this leaves traditional news out in the cold. But if what you’re getting isn’t actually what you need and, in fact, is just a sloppy version that might be entirely incorrect, then it’s a waste of time. Perhaps everybody just needs to accept the fact that some things – like the news – are sacred and should stay as they are, despite the lightning fast society we seem to be becoming.

If outlets like CNN and MSNBC could blend their authority and reliability with Twitter’s speed and ease, this discussion over the death of traditional media could finally end and we could go back to debating more important things – like how MJ died.

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