Home > Uncategorized > How online social media have changed the way we receive news and respond to current event?

How online social media have changed the way we receive news and respond to current event?

March 11th was an unfortunate day for Japan. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan, and tsunami followed. Remembered how we used to get all the news from? For me, it was mostly through CNN or other major news network. For years, it was not CNN the news network TV anymore, but online news sites like CNN and BBC instead. However, the source that I get my news from has once changed again, with the rise of social media. Social media has changed the way we live, including the way we get our news from.

When the natural disaster occurred, I found out via Twitter; I saw my friends were twitting about Japan with the tag #prayforjapan. And then I went on YouTube, on the very top of the page, there’s a caption “Breaking News:…”, when I clicked that, there’s the video that’s filmed during the earthquake, by a Japanese who experienced it all. I suddenly thought that social media has not only changed the way we get our news from, but it serves an important role when something like this happens.
It also changed the way of how we receive and react to the news; for example, YouTube, provides a platform for Japanese citizens to upload their captures of the natural disaster, and YouTube also allows people to go on the site and see these unedited real-time captures. These captures filmed by citizens were uploaded without edit, and they are just so real, without any exaggerated element that you may find in CNN, BBC or other news channel. It was so terrifying watching the video Japanese citizens posted, because they are so real.
Other social media such as Facebook and Twitter also serves an important role as a communication tool. Because many cell phone networks were down and unreachable, people send Facebook/Twitter message to their friends in Japan to see whether they are okay. People in Japan use Facebook/Twitter to broadcast if they are fine via Facebook/Twitter, and this way ALL of their FB friends/ Twitter followers will know.
Google also provides the Google People Finder for this earthquake in Japan.

Although Groupon is not a kind of social media, I want to include it because it allows you to donate to support International Medical Corp’ Emergency Relief Efforts in Japan and Other Affected Areas. It would be good if they would do a donation-match program, but too bad they are not doing it; Corporate Social Responsibility of Groupon = ?

Find out how you can help: http://on.mash.to/fbIqRM

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