Saturday, November 13, 2010

Legitimacy of the CNN effect

As someone who checks Google News regularly, I can definitely relate to how the CNN effect has changed the consumer's expectations on how fast news should get to you as a consumer. Google News updates by the minute on all sorts of different issues from news sources all over the world. Personally, I really like the up to date news. However, I've noticed if you are following a breaking story -- almost all the news sources have the same information. It also makes it so that the consumer has not only incomplete information, but often imperfect information since it is coming out so quickly that most of the time the story is not even fully formed.

This has profound implications for shaping how people think of things as they happen in the world. If you are not checking the media constantly, you may only have part of the story as opposed to if news was reported, for example, once a day on an evening news show. Especially in countries where the media that comes out is to some extent limited, which is most developing countries with totalitarian regimes. I think this is in spite of all the other informal news avenues we have -- such as social networking sites like facebook and twitter. However, there is only so much legitimacy in what comes out on these sites as well, because you are relying on individuals who are not accountable to larger organizations for information. This can be good and bad, in that there is less incentive to edit what is actually happening on the ground, but can also result in much inaccurate information that the consumer has to decide whether or not is actually a legitimate source of information.

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