How do People Use Social Media to get there News

Social media in the 21st century has changed the way we live. There are many different sites and applications (apps) available with some being more popular than others, such as Facebook over Myspace. Sites and how they are used have changed over the years as people have found better and newer sites or apps. This is the same with more traditional news programs as they have updated their service and made news more assess able to what people want and enjoy. There are many different types of social media and media platforms, such as Facebook and ‘The Project’. Often the public will get their news from social media apps rather than traditional news programs. The public are also more likely to be active participants in the collection of news where they can investigate and help shape the news by uploading and sharing stories they have come across or witnessed themselves.        

Today people use many different types of social media, the main being; Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. These are the most commonly used as the public can communicate and share what they think and with each other as individuals and as communities. Facebook has 15 million users in Australia alone, all looking and making opinions about what they see and hear on the site. The public can access it anywhere and be constantly connected and updated with the latest news stories, rather than having to wait until they get home for the 6:00 pm television news. This is the same with other popular social medias platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, which have about two million Australian users a month. There are stories that are communicated in real time for major events nationally and internationally happening around the world, for example for the recent Australian federal and state elections social media had a story showing people lining up and voting and after buying sausages all in immediate and real time. This is the public putting these stories up for others to see. Snapchat is often used behind the scenes as the public users put images together for the rest of the world to see for a particular event. This is why social media is commonly used throughout the day so we are kept up to date and can know what is happening almost immediately.

Many people now choose to get their news off social media, rather than watching free to air television. This is because the public can read and scan what they want to know, rather than having to watch a whole television news segment. This allows you to tailor and be interested in what your knowledge of the world is, and you don’t have to watch stories that are long or not to your interest. Facebook is where you can receive most your news from 66% of users reading the news online. Many companies previously would advertise throughout television news programs as majority of the population would be watching the news on the television so it was perfect for them to capture an audience and sell a product, now as the public turn to social media to advertise on news pages, advertisements are generally on the screen for a portion of your reading time, meaning more of a chance to capture the audience. For 31% millennials aged 14 – 26, and a quarter of millennials aged 27 – 32, use social media as their primary source to get their daily news.

Although people still do watch television for entertainment reasons social media is the future and way to get through, with news and current affairs, to the more than 84% of Australians who are on a social media platform every day.

People contribute to the news via social media in many ways such as expressing individual views online, posting a picture/ video or even liking something that has been posted by a friend. If there is a news story that people feel very passionate about they often will comment or post views and opinions on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. This shows the news and television stations what the public want to hear about, and what will draw the audience to watch news programs, as it can become special coverage of a particular story of interest. There are many videos that go viral over the internet, news programs now often have a segment dedicated to uploaded videos as people love to share and view them. The public often knows which content to choose as they have been shared, liked and commented on by many people around the world. Over the last decade some news programs have changed dramatically as they have become less serious and more comedy and entertainment focused, such as ‘The Project’, as many people like to be entertained while also learning about daily news events. This is also good so the public can get a broad range of stories and don’t just rely on social media platforms and their own preferences. News programs often have hashtags or a page where the public can send in information or photos for the news program to use. This is so they involve the public and use the views of more than just professional reporters.   

Social media has changed the way that we view news through the younger generations using apps like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Using social media platforms people are able to express their thoughts and feeling about the hot news topics for people to see. Many people now get their news off social media as it is practical and quick and the user can look when they want rather than waiting until they get home to see what has happened in the day. Social media shows the news programs what people want to see when they have tuned in to watch, so they can have a variety of humour and seriousness. This is how social media has changed the way we get news and how it has progressed to what is its today.


“Alarm Raised At Millennials’ Use Of Social Media To Get News”. ABC News. N.p.,-deloitte-says/7721528 , 2016. Web. 7 Nov. 2016.

Cowling, David. “Social Media Statistics Australia – September 2016”. N.p. , 2016. Web. 5 Nov. 2016.

Gottfried, Jeffrey and Elisa Shearer. “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016”. Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. N.p. , 2016. Web. 7 Nov. 2016.

Maina, Antony. “20 Popular Social Media Sites Right Now”. Small Business Trends. N.p. , 2016. Web. 5 Nov. 2016.

“Social Media Is Changing Our Digital News Habits – But To Varying Degrees In US And UK”. The Conversation. N.p . , 2016. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

“Social Networks And Their Role In News”. Digital News Report. N.p. , 2016. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.