Locusts, Chávez and News in Question

locust image via frenchtribune.com

locust image via frenchtribune.com

Have you heard?  Hugo Chávez is dead in Venezuela, and locusts have invaded Israel.

International news outlets have reported on those two happenings along with countless other occurrences within the past week.

In this era of non-stop, instant news, how do you filter the information that you receive and on which news sources do you rely?

Are all of your news sources online, or do you still read news publications in printed format?  Have you become a digital news consumer?

Mashable reported that, as of the end of 2010, more people were receiving their news from online sources rather than from printed newspapers.

So, if everyone is getting their news online these days, which are the most popular online news sites?

According to the eBusiness Knowledgebase (eBizMBA), Yahoo! News, CNN and MSNBC top the list.  Check out eBizMBA’s Top 15 most popular news Websites list.

And, what about social networks like Twitter and Facebook?  How many consumers today are relying on those sites as sources for news?

In their 2012 report, “What Facebook and Twitter Mean for News,” authors Amy Mitchell, Tom Rosenstiel and Leah Christian reported: “just 9% of digital news consumers very often follow news recommendations from Facebook or from Twitter on any of the three digital devices (computers, smartphones or tablets).”

What about you?  Do you trust the social networks to which you belong as legitimate news sources?

As a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the topic of news and how it gets distributed grabbed my attention and fascination years ago.

As a journalism student, I was taught the importance of questioning news sources and channels and was warned of the dangers of relying too heavily on one source of information to learn the truths of this world.

I wonder if all those folks listening to “state-run” news reports of Chavez’s death down in Venezuela share my news outlook.

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