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OPINION: Twitter as the New Superpower

The+Twitter+bird+logo+shredding+a+newspaper+in+his+beak.+
The Twitter bird logo shredding a newspaper in his beak.

The Twitter bird logo shredding a newspaper in his beak.

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The Twitter bird logo shredding a newspaper in his beak.

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At a time, newspapers and radio dominated the news sector. Newspapers were (and some still are) the epicenter of breaking news. Radio was how President Franklin Roosevelt connected with the common American family with his Fireside Chats.

Then, the dawn of the internet came. Social medias began to spring up and gain followers, not only across the United States, but all over the world. Social media began to grow in usage and influence. Facebook revolutionized how news was transmitted and Twitter was able to share it quickly.

With all this new technology, has social media, especially Twitter, rendered newspaper obsolete?

According to the Pew Research Center, 24% of all online adults are Twitter users. People of all walks of life use Twitter, including almost 68 million Americans, 41 million Indians, and 24 million Indonesians. Twitter also has many news sites using their platform to, not only reach a larger audience, but to get news out quicker. CNN Breaking News has the 16th most followers on Twitter, while the New York Times has the 23rd most.

It is apparent that Twitter is a good way to reach a worldwide audience, but how much does it affect the print industry?

Since the 1990s, both weekday and Sunday paper circulation has decreased, estimated now to be about 40 million for Sunday papers and 35 million for weekday, respectively. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, The New York Times has a 5-day circulation of 2,237,601. The second most circulated newspaper, Newsday, is a heavy drop at 512,118. That is a -77% change from most to second-most circulated newspaper in the United States. A recent poll from Twitter showed that 76% of people (out of 21 surveyed) get their news information online. (See below)

It is obvious that Twitter has bled into what used to be newspaper’s domain. The only reason that Twitter hasn’t completely taken over is that newspaper still has a sense of accountability. Twitter isn’t only trained professional journalists with ethics and college degrees. Twitter is made of many people with many varying opinions that transcend fact and opinion. Only time will tell if newspaper become obsolete, though.

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