Not too many years ago, if you were sitting at a bus stop or commuting on public transportation, most likely you and your neighbors would have your head buried in the morning paper. Sitting at a bus stop the other day, everyone had their heads buried in handheld devices, mostly they were reading their smartphones.
What this says is that there has been a tremendous impact on the flow of information. You no longer have to wait to look it up. It will pop up right in your hand or pocket. This is what Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Drudge are a part of. Here is the impact that they are having in the age of instant data.
As Written By Jeff McCall for The Hill:
Just a few decades ago, citizens who wanted to stay on top of the daily news had a narrow range of options. They could read a newspaper, watch an evening network newscast, or maybe just have a conversation with a trusted neighbor or co-worker. Today, the digital world today has created a Wild West of information resources. One could question, however, whether we’re really more informed compared to pre-digital news consumers.
Much depends on the quality of the gatekeepers who determine what news topics get traction in the public mindset. Those media agenda setters used to be grizzled, professional journalists who understood news and public dialogue. Sure, power was centralized in the hands and heads of powerful news editors of the big television networks, wire service and major dailies. But, at least, they were journalists who had some conception of their civic duties as public surrogates and had the noses to sniff out news of substance.
Today, the gatekeeping role of establishing the national news conversation falls increasingly on social media sites, search engines and news aggregator sites. The backgrounds and motivations of the technical whiz kids should give the nation pause to consider the broader implications of this newfound influence
A handful of elite websites — the top four, respectively, Google, Facebook…..
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