Social media impact coverage of the Boston bombings

As in many breaking news events, social media platforms were the go-to sites for the latest developments on the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the following manhunt for the suspects. But social media sites like Twitter and Reddit as well as traditional news media like CNN and the Associated Press reported news that turned out to be false. In the aftermath, I was interviewed by Reuters on the changing breaking-news environment and the increasing pressure on reporters.

The following is an excerpt from the article “Media, old and new, takes heat for Boston coverage” by Reuters:

Marcus Messner, a communications professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the rash of mainstream media errors stemmed at least in part from pressure to compete with fast-flowing social media.

“If you look at Twitter, the news snippets on the events are a lot more advanced than what you’re seeing on websites or even what you’re seeing on the air,” Messner said. “Twitter, especially, has put a lot more pressure on news organization to get it out fast.”

Please also read the complete article at

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