Observation on last night’s breaking news

I realize this happens on a regular basis now, but last nightís tragic shooting of two Pierce County Sheriffís deputies again illustrates the power of social media – to an extent. Breaking News

Here’s how the news broke in the Layson house: My son received a text from a friend who has family connections with members of the law enforcement community. I jumped onto the web to see what the four major TV stations had on the web and found nothing.

I then went onto Facebook and put out a non-specific inquiry about breaking news in the Eatonville area. Shortly thereafter I started getting responses, including a referral to a thread being run by one of my friends, also in a law enforcement family, that had most of the major details.

It was another ten minutes before the TV station websites had anything online, and a while later until we started hearing “phoners” and seeing live shots out of the area.

KING 5 seemed to have some issues getting live out of the area, but KOMO was pretty quick since they had a crew in the area. Luck always has a lot to do with covering breaking news.

So, those are the facts as I experienced them.

Does it make a difference in the big picture of things? Most people don’t watch TV like I do and most people aren’t interested in the changing nature of the flow of information in our society. Does last nightís exercise make you feel like the MSM is now irrelevant?

I donít think so.

I got an idea about a story through word of mouth via the Internet. I learned more through television from people on the scene. This morning Iíll read in depth coverage about who the officers are, who the suspect is, and some good analysis of what the policy implications for all this may be.

I think if people learned how to consume media content instead of relying on one media to the exclusion of all others, we’d all be ahead of the game.