I think it is safe to say that I have never watch more news in my life than I did this past week. It’s sad, I feel like I need to be watching the news more…or do I?
I was talking to a friend the other day about Friday’s events and what she did during the lock down. She told me that she watched the news for a long time but after a couple hours she realized she wasn’t getting new information and turned off the TV. She figured if there was breaking news she would see it on twitter.
I think it is safe to say that after watching about 5 hours of the news on Friday I have seen every clip they showed and every interview they did with witnesses at least 10 times each. With something as big as a bombing at the finish line of a marathon followed by a city wide lock down for a day, everything needs to be live. You never know what you going to get and that one second the news broadcaster turns away from the main subject they might miss something huge. This also means that the news is going to keep on replaying the same clips over and over again and showing footage of a bunch of cop cars blockading the street until something new happens.
I could have easily turned off the TV like my friend had, but I didn’t want to miss anything. I wanted to know when something happened as soon as it happened. Of course I could have just followed all the news channels on twitter, but I figured what’s the difference between staring at a TV screen all day versus staring at a computer screen all day?
Surprisingly I think there is a big difference. As I mentioned above I watched the news for about 5 hours, which consisted of watching the same clips over and over again. I know have everything I watched drilled into my head. I can recite every interview, describe every shooting rampage/ “popping noise”, and explain in detail all the events that took place on Thursday night all the way up to when Dzhokhar was caught.
I could have just as easily been on twitter watching my news feed and not having to witness anything multiple times. Even if other people mention something similar or retweeted something that I already saw it wouldn’t be a big deal because A) it’s less then 140 characters, which isn’t much to read and B) if it’s a link to a video or article I already saw I wouldn’t have to re-read or re-watch it.
As we discussed last week in class, more and more people are turning to social media to read up on the news. With all the conspiracy theories about the Tsarnaev brothers not being the marathon bombers (http://imgur.com/a/Nx8EU -WARNING DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE A GRUESOME IMAGE) going around it’s hard to believe everything you read. If you just follow the official news channel twitter accounts you can easily by pass unnecessary information and get straight to the breaking news, the info you really want to know, in real time.