The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Social media’s impact on credibility in news

The rise of social media and its addictive algorithms has pulled people away from traditional news sources. Radio, TV and print news are still around but social media has allowed for the average person to become a journalist. 

Social media has become a main source to find news but this can lead to the spread of misinformation, clickbait, and can lead to a lack of credibility. 

Students regularly go to a variety of internet media as a quality source of information. Jayleen Arredondo, a junior at Sonoma State University had her own reasons for why she uses a specific media outlet. 

“To get my news, I always lean towards Twitter,” Arredondo said. “Twitter has always been my favorite place to get the latest news because it’s easy to navigate, straight to the point, and you can see other people’s opinions/ thoughts on the situation,” she continued.

Twitter has a way for people to get the most important parts of a story in just a couple sentences, which can be different from other traditional news articles. People want their news fast without having to read long paragraphs to get the gist of a story.

But sometimes the full story is within the traditional news articles. Often with the short captions, some facts and important context can be missed. 

Arredondo explained what she searches and cares about in sources like Twitter. 

“I definitely care if the sources are credible because people can be easily influenced by what they see online.” Arredondo explained, “For this reason, I love going to Twitter for news because I can read all the subtweets, which gives me more insight into the news. Credibility is something that everyone should be looking for when getting their news.” 

The credibility aspect, however, can be lost in some ways. Hot topics and fake news are what drive people to social media the most, making it difficult for one to put their phone down. This can also be its downfall. 

Alessandra Jennings, a senior at SSU shared her concerns about this style of news, “I will say that social media can be a large source of false information. A lot of the time, people are posting incorrect information just to get views or likes.” Jennings stated, “This is why people should not react to things on social media until they research it themselves. Not everything is true, and you can only get the full truth by doing the research yourself.”

While it is crucial for people to do their own research, the internet has made it almost impossible to not find a source that isn’t misinforming the viewers or catering to what they think will go viral.

According to Jimmy Wales and Orlt Kopel, writers for Foreign Policy magazine, “ The world’s new, digital, and highly competitive media environment has created fundamental problems in the business models that journalism relies on. Print products are in terminal decline; television audiences are plummeting.” 

Journalism has changed drastically since its expansion to the internet. Journalists and companies are sometimes forced to steer towards news that will bring revenue rather than what is deemed “boring” news. 

Not all media is putting out the wrong information or is less informative. There are significant advantages that come with social media being a news outlet, such as it allows for news to quickly reach a larger audience. 

But it is important to have reliable news sources where news can be informative, interesting, and not always driven completely by the next hot story. 

Wales and Kopel bring relevant points that should be applied to fix media and how it should be, “Social media can bring local communities back into journalism, boosting transparency, accountability, accuracy, and quality.”

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