News before the News – Predicting Tomorrow’s headlines

Let’s face the facts; the internet has taken ambiguity out of our daily routines. Where once we would wait patiently for the newspaper to arrive on our doorstep, or diligently whilst the intro theme played for the news at 11, nowadays it takes no more effort than a simple click to be bombarded with news from every nook and cranny of the world.

However; it is becoming a prevailing trend to find news articles leaked from Facebook. Videos tend to pop up on our newsfeeds without our consent, either viewed/shared/tagged by our friends, which leads to you either a) watching the video or b) reading the title and making a mental note of it or c) reading peoples comments.

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Now it seems that Facebook has become precognitive of tomorrow’s headlines, whereby today’s posts/videos are tomorrows news. Allow me to explain with the following examples:

1) The story of the cat stuck in the wall at a metro station in Cairo was shared (and re-shared) on Facebook several times. I read the news, felt bad for the cat, and moved on. At first I questioned the source, wondering how a cat can be trapped for 5 years. It made no logical sense.

No later than a few short weeks did an article in a newspaper, a verified source of info, confirm that the cat was rescued from its underground prison (link)

2) A few days ago a video made its way around social media of airline employees at Saudi Airport in Riyadh mishandling passenger’s luggage, tossing it unceremoniously onto the conveyor belt behind the scenes.

Lo and behold, the following article stating that the employees have been fired (link).

Now this is both a good and a bad thing; it is good in that the news has taken on a dynamic form whereby stories that arise on the fly are quickly dealt with.

However, it is bad in that journalists no longer need to scour the streets looking for a scoop, they need only log onto Facebook.

This can be viewed as the natural progression of printed media.

I digress.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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