I asked Alison Pemberton, a teacher at The BRIT School, some questions about Twitter. I thought that she would be relevent to ask as she also runs the BDC twitter page; a way to communicate with students outside of school. By following, students can see job and internship oppourtunities, either posted or frwared by Alison, and they can also share their work with her for her to ‘retweet’ so that it can also be seen by others. I carefully thought up these questions in order to get another opinion from somebody who actively uses twitter in order to spread news and information. This is the video link.
I conducted some primary research to get to the bottom of what is really the best platform to distribute news. To do this I read updates all day from the METRO newspaper’s Twitter, and then later watched SKY News to see if any of the stories tweeted about were in the headlines. The next day I read the METRO newspaper, and then did the same thing by watching SKY News to compare how many of the stories from the newspaper were mentioned in the top headlines. This is how I got on:
The METRO newspaper’s twitter updated extremely frequently with short paragraphs explaining recent events. For the entire day, 89 tweets were posted, all with links to a longer article. All of the headlines mentioned on Sky News had been tweeted about that day, which goes to show that twitter is a faster way of distributing information than television broadcasting.
After reading the METRO newspaper on the second day, I could not help but think that I’d seen some of the stories before and therefore I decided to take a look at the headlines from SKY News the previous night and relised that a number of the stories in the paper had been published a day after being annouced on twitter. The euro debt story along with the no parachute helecopter dive, the Shafilea Ahmed murder, and the Egypt elections had all been written about. This proves that newspapers are the slowest form of news distribution as the stories were a day late and had already been published on Twitter and then broadcast on Television. The only upside to it being that unline Twitters 140 character limit, the newspaper articles go into a lot more depth about the stories, however it’s a case of if you would prefer to know the latest news as it happens, or being a day behind but knowing a lot about the subject. The SKY News headlines for that night were as follows: Pressure is being put on culture secutary, Jeremy Hunt, over dealings with News Corp., a big slump in construction spells bad news for the economy, Scotland Yard detectives are to fly to Lybia to investigate the 1984 murder of Fletcher, and England is to put goaling technology through it’s paces. Not a single one of these headlines were mentioned in the newspaper that had been distributed earlier that morning.
Twitter vs. Television – The METRO newspaper’s twitter account was able to publish every one of the headlines that would later be broadcast on television, which proves that it is the fastest way to distribute information. The only advantage, I would say, that television broadcasting has, is that that the discussions of newspapers and interviews can help the audience to get a more accurate understanding of a topic and therefore enable them to properly get an opinion on it. It just comes down to how much time a person has as the news shows are usually very long and it takes less than 5 minutes to read through a day worth of tweets.
Twitter vs. Newspapers – as the twitter account I looked at, and the newspaper were the same company I think it’s very fair to say that Twitter is by far the better out of the two as if I had compared the METRO newspaper and The Sun’s twitter account, it would be arguable that one is better than the other, however that is not the case. Every Tweet that was broadcast the day I was tracking it was then mentioned an entire day later in the newspaper making it outdated and uninteresting. This is why I don’t think that there is any comparison between the two as Twitter is the clear winner.
Saturday 28th April 2012 - On this day I plan to read a newspaper for that day such as The Daily Telegraph or The Sun, and then in the evening I will watch either BBC news or SKY news; depending on the newspaper I read (if I read The Sun I will watch SKY news as they are more celebrity based/if I read The Daily Telegraph I will watch BBC News as it is more serious). I will make note of the stories mentioned on the news and tick off the ones I have remembered reading about in the newspaper earlier that day and also make a list of ones that I may remember from the newspaper but were not broadcast on the news.
Sunday 29th April 2012 - On this day I will Check the twitter of the same newspaper I had read the previous day. I will do this every hour until the news that evening; when in which I will do the same as the Saturday and tick off the stories I remember/make note of ones that were maybe not broadcast on the news.
After comparing both days I should be able to tell the best way to get the most recent news out to people. There may, however be a few issues with this method of research, one being that by only reading the newspaper once and checking twitter all day, the news from saturday may not be as fresh in my mind as the one on sunday will be. Another issue could be that, usually newspapers have stories from the previous day in them, meaning that the fresh news which is broadcast that evening, may not be the same as in the newspaper.
From this, I aim to have a clear answer for the best way to distribute news.
as you can see by these survey results that I collected, News is the second most followed thing on Twitter! This is even more surprising when it’s realised that 54% of the people who I asked were under 17 which would make you think that news is the last thing they would want to see on Twitter with all the celebrities they follow, but the results show that even under 17 year olds like to keep up to date with the latest events by using what they use best.. social media sites. A thing that could have made this slightly inaccurate is the amount of people who requested ‘friends’ to be added to the list, this was a mistake on my part as I had forgotten to put it in originally.
This set of answers proves that Twitter is the number one way that people like to receive news, and who can blame them!! In the time it takes for a witness to tell a reporter to tell an agency to tell a news desk and then get published on TV, broadcast on the radio or printed out onto magazines or newspapers, a tweet could have already been seen by over a million people. As with most of the survey questions, some answers were irrelevant and therefore ignored. I find it interesting that word of mouth is so popular as I didn’t think that many people would choose such a primitive method when there is news being broadcast everywhere. I was sure that television, radio and newspapers would be in the top 3.
This piece of research shows that Twitter, even if it is not the most popular source of news, is probably the best way to get stories across. The majority of people here check their twitters more than once a day, meaning that, unlike newspapers, if a sotry evolves that day, people will be able to hear about it easily if it is tweeted. Some answers were irrelevent and therefore I will not be taking notice of them.
These poll results prove that although the most popular way to access twitter is through a computer, though smart phones are a close second, which makes sense with the poll results from the question ‘where do you use twitter the most. Most people said that they check twitter at home, however by some people saying they use it on public transport, at school/college and at work, it proves that twitter can be a very powerful tool in spreading recent news, meaning that people no longer need to go home and watch the news or wait for tomorrows newspaper to be updated.
64% of the people I asked use Twitter. This supports my research as even though over 50% of the people who took part in the survey were under 17; which happens to be the age range who use twitter the least. This proves that more people use twitter than I would have thought. This statistic triggered me to look at the age ranges that use Twitter the most. The fact that 0-24 year olds are two of the age ranges who use Twitter the least made me realise the link between Twitter and the news, and why the news is such a popular topic on the social networking site.
I created a survey with surveymonkey to find out how the development of Twitter has impacted the news. The majority of people who took this survey are Female, which could effect the outcome of each question. I must take this into account when analysing my answers as more women than men use twitter. (statistics from 2009)
(David McCandless October 09) http://www.briansolis.com/2009/10/in-world-of-social-media-women-rule/
Another thing that may effect the results of my survey is the fact that the majority of people who took part are younger than 17, and according to statistics (2010) 0-17 year olds are one of the smallest percentages using twitter.
(February 16th, 2010 by Pingdom) http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/02/16/study-ages-of-social-network-users/