The New World of Breaking News

By: Scott Stein, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
What was your first reaction when you heard the President was going to make a major announcement Sunday night? If you’re like me – and I’m guessing a lot of you are – you immediately turned to Twitter and Facebook to see if you could learn more. And when the first reports came of the demise of Osama bin Laden, the new news world fired up.

With today’s social media tools we want it fast, we want it from several sources and we want it interactive. Reports are that Twitter hit 4,000 TWEETS PER SECOND after President Obama’s speech on Sunday night.

Stacey Higginbotham posted an interesting take on GigaOM late Sunday night discussing the “Seven Stages of News in a Twitter and Facebook Era.” The seven stages – Excitement; Uncertainty; Searching for Validation; Confirmation; Jokes, Profits and Platitudes; Action; and Real Analysis.

No longer do we just sit back and wait for the news to come into our living rooms. We seek it out and it comes at rapid pace from traditional and not-so-traditional sources. Even now, several days after the news broke; we still witness activity in several of the above categories as the story continues to unfold.
On Sunday night, as I watched TV and monitored social media, one of the newspeople made the comment that this is one of the news events that people would remember where they were when the first reports came across. I’m not so sure that I buy that. But I think it’s certainly an event that many American’s will look back on and think about the new world of breaking news and how they learned details of this major story and maybe even added their two cents to the dialogue on Facebook or Twitter.
How did you first learn of bin Laden’s death? What do you think of the way the story unfolded through traditional and social media?