Twitter and Social Media as News Sources

Twitter is not even 6 years old but has become a major source of breaking news.  When many of the major news stories of the last year have broken, we have found ourselves on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute news.

Shortly after 8:00pm ET tonight, I received a text message from Chad that Whitney Houston had died.  Of course, I didn’t believe it at first and immediately opened Safari to check online to see if was really news.  But, instead of checking any of the traditional news sites, I found my fingers typing and then doing a search for Whitney Houston.  Within minutes, all of my trending topics were also related to the news. 

While skimming through the tweets, I noticed that someone else had also noticed the trending topics

Whether being a major source for breaking news was part of Twitter’s plans or not, it has happened and it is the place where many people turn for news.

Celebrities were also quick to take to Twitter to post condolences and Mashable has posted a collection of celebrity tweets here.