The Effect of Social Media on Main Stream News

bringOn April 14 of this year, over 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school. It was discovered soon that the emerging terrorist group Boko Haram was responsible for the kidnapping. A couple videos have been released since then with lists of demands in exchange for the girls. No attempts to rescue have been made yet. The Nigerian government is still unaware of the location of the girls. In fact, they originally claimed the girls had already been rescued. This was not a popular world topic when it happened. Nigeria failed to address it as a major issue and the traditional media failed to report the incident extensively if at all. Enter social media. This issue became known worldwide, believe or not, through social media. Yes, a hashtag. Within a few days of its existence, #bringbackourgirls became a popular hashtag to use. People were posting about the school girls on places like Instagram and Twitter. Soon after that, the Nigerian girls’ situation became world news. For a week it remained the top story in main stream news. Only when Boko Haram made another attack did the Nigerian Girls get knocked down. Now, this does not mean to create a new hashtag for every story made world news. This simply proves that social media has indeed been important to this world, although there are negative effects. For example, #bringbackourgirls and #bostonstrong were useful in making the stories known. Social media reaches around the globe in an instant and allows people to develop and express opinions about the story and find out ways to help or get involved. It is quite surprising what social media has done for the news. A high school in Tennessee got Brian Williams to speak at their graduation by posting videos on YouTube. The list goes on and on with more examples of media helping out the news. Therefore, even though many disagree, it is important to have social media and for people to keep inventing creative and positive ways to use it. url