Social Media and the Reporting of Charlie Hebdo

After the tragic events in Paris, Jane Martinson of The Guardian has written a piece entitled, ‘Charlie Hebdo: A Week of Horror When Social Media Came into its Own’.

In it she describes how the speed of social media outstripped that of mainstream news for reporting the fast moving events of last week. “In such a fast-moving story, and despite the horror of the events, it is not too early to take stock of what it says about the media itself, not least because it was the attack’s target”.

In her view social media has learned from previous mistakes, and whilst errors were made, they were quick to be corrected. At first T.V news only just managed to keep up with the rapidly emerging reports and videos posted by horrified onlookers. In the evening however, it was the BBC’s T.V news that viewers turned to for measured and in depth analysis and assessment.

In conclusion she writes, “Whatever lessons were learned, the most striking image from this awful week at the start of 2015 were those of international protest by people holding pens and pencils aloft, a universal show of support for an industry where such things are today so rare.”


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