Social media top news source among Parkland-goers, sample shows

Graphic by Anna Watson | 20 people from Parkland were asked this week where they get their news. 60 percent said they get their news from social media platforms.

Graphic by Anna Watson | 20 people from Parkland were asked this week where they get their news. 60 percent said they get their news from social media platforms.

Anna Watson

Staff Writer

Today most young people get their news online, from places like social media apps to sites like Reddit.

Twenty people related to Parkland were asked where they primarily get their news. Of those surveyed, 60 percent responded they get their news from the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or Snapchat.

Out of that percentage, 30 percent said they get their news through Facebook, 15 percent said Twitter and 15 percent said Reddit or Snapchat.

Of the 20 people interviewed, 19 were students and one was a parent of a student.

Some people surveyed said they get their news from platforms of the mainstream media like CNN, Fox News and NPR. No one surveyed responded they get their news from physical newspapers.

Mainstream media is constantly trying to keep up with social media. In 2014, The New York Times released a document titled The New York Times Full Innovation Report which was realeased to their employees in efforts to re-brand their application of news.

“81 [percent] of adults get their news online and, in 2016, two in 10 adults and teens read the newspaper,” said Journalism.org.

At Parkland, students who said they read news on Facebook also said they look at social media every day.

Ebony Murphy, a Parkland student, says she uses Facebook as a tool not just for regular news, but a way for figuring out which news the public is talking about the most.

“I am a nosy person, so if everyone is talking about something I want to know it,” Murphy said. 

On Facebook, Ace Henderson reads whatever news she comes across. 

Henderson, a softball player, says she finds social media an easy outlet for the sports community to post game scores and stats. A lot of her knowledge about what is happening with her favorite teams comes from following them on Instagram and Twitter.

Henderson occasionally watches ESPN, as well.

The media staff at Pew Research Center found in 2009 Twitter’s audience increased by 200 percent.

Twitter, utilized as an app or website, broadcasts daily messages that are 140 characters or less. Twitter’s limitations on characters differs from its leading competitor Facebook.

Twitter’s top trending leaderboard shows what topics are the most talked about on Twitter.

“52% of trending stories remain popular for just 24 hours,” said the Pew Research Center.

Alex Wilson says he uses other web sources when he wants to know something more specific. Wilson will simply type whatever he wants to learn into his Google search engine.

“If something bigger is happening, like hurricane Harvey, then I will seek other information about the event,” Wilson said.

For some Parkland students, emotion and news go hand-and-hand.

Five surveyors mentioned hurricane Harvey as news they wanted to read more about.

“I don’t read too much into the news that is constantly being covered, but I do read into major global events,” Patrick Connelly said.

Another student, Latricia Johnson says she tends to ignore news that makes her upset.

“I don’t feed too much into the news that frustrates me,” Johnson says.

Instead, students read and seek articles that interest them.

Emily Payne says she gets her all news from the NPR app on her phone, but she isn’t invested into politics very much.

“There is a part of me that still wants to be informed so I know what people are talking about,” Payne said. 

A lot of Payne’s time is spent browsing through a social media app called Curiosity as well.

“I use Curiosity, because I am more interested in their topics,” Payne said. 

Curiosity is an online database geared towards students. Their website provides articles on new ideas and scientific discoveries about math, space, sound, and psychology.

Mary Wolken, a parent of a Parkland student, was the only surveyor to say she watches the Channel 3 news every night. If she misses the 6 p.m. news she will stay up for the 10 p.m. news.

“I find it more personal,” Wolken said.

She supports the news channel, because she sees them at local events and community fundraisers.

Parkland’s radio station is another division of news for students on campus. On Twitter, WPCD 88.7 FM has accumulated over 1,000 followers with their 3,500 tweets.