The Internet is the biggest facilitator of the phenomenon described as the “global village”; geographical rifts matter less and less as the speed of our connections increase. Across the globe people have been able to reach out for both, information and instant contact with someone continents away. News is something that has been tremendously impacted by these developments, starting from blogs, minute-to minute Twitter coverage and aggregation and access to raw data. One of the unmined sources in this field is crowdsourcing: ability to use eyewitnesses who can provide first-hand accounts on social media.
This is not the only new development in the social media-news intersection: YouTube is also starting an initiative called First Draft Coalition that will, in addition to working on testing the veracity of videos uploaded on the website, consist of components for training, research and will have case studies on big news stories. Meanwhile in the Twitterverse, the app making waves is Periscope that allows for video livestreams with a personal, almost face-to face interaction with the “scopers”, since the audience can comment in real time to what they are being shown, and the scoper can respond in immediately. Apart from random streams that range from the adventurous to the inane, there are television news reporters who have begun to communicate with their viewers on this application, and answered their questions instantly on air, similar to phoning in, to make their reports more engaging and personalised. It has been described as being only a step away from being there in person, having a conversation.
This much is certain: we have so far only scratched the surface at the intersection of internet tools and news dissemination so far.