Social media: The key of accessibility to free news

‘Did you hear it? Your favourite soccer team has just signed a big star today. They have paid over $A 3,000,000 for him’asked my mum.’Of course I did, I read it on Facebook’ I replied. You have probably heard this often. People are using social media more and more to check the latest news instead of reading the hard copy of the daily news or visiting different online newspapers to get update with what is happening around the world. Social media gives us free access to news, but can we trust of everything we read on social media?

Today I woked up to this news on CNN:


Screenshot from my computer. Source: CNN Facebook.

My first thought was: ‘Oh no, how could she do this to her own daugther!?’ Then I thought about how easily accessible it was to read the news online. Everytime I read the news, I received it from social media. Sometimes I read the news online, but what about in hard copy?…I can not remember the last time I read the news in a newspaper. What about you? Where do you read the news from?

‘… 49% of U.S. adults reported seeing news on social media’ (PewResearchCentre 2016). 

49 percent of the U.S. population receive the news from social media, but it is only from pages they have liked? Do you only read news from pages you have liked?

‘Just 34% of Facebook news consumers “like” a news organization or individual journalist, which suggests that the news they see there is coming from friends’ (PewResearchCentre 2014)

Maybe this can explain how social media has increased the accessibility of free news? By people sharing and liking different news organisations on social media? I have received a lot of news on social media by people tagging me in different posts:

One of my friends tagged me on a post from CNN.
Tagged on news from CNN at Instagram
Tagged on news from CNN at Instagram

I find it much easier to read news online from social media, because it is free and easily accessible.

‘…two-thirds of them said they wouldn’t be willing to pay for any online content, regardless of quality’ (Digiday 2016).

My first thought is ‘free access to news, nice!’ However, sometimes I ask myself ‘Can I trust all the things people share of news on social media?’ Have you ever thought about this before?

‘Pew also found that the vast majority of people don’t trust what they read on social media. Just 4 percent of internet-using U.S. adults trust social media information “a lot”’ (Recode 2016).

Social media gives the opportunity for more people to receive access to the news online and free. People are sharing and liking different news organisations on social media. Maybe this is the reason today for more and more people, like students reading the news online? What do you think? Should access to the news be free? Can you always trust the news people are publishing and sharing on social media?


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