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A Year in Review: Social Media and the News

Lauren Eichmann

As RedEye Chicago blogger Scott Kleinberg wrote recently in his post about the Ch@t Social Media Awards, “2009 was definitely the year of the tweet.”

In fact, The Global Language Monitor named “Twitter” its No.1 word of 2009.

In the RedEye Chicago “Best news coverage via Twitter” award category, the Iran election uprising came up No. 1 on the list – beating out the U.S. Airways crash on the Hudson “by a hair,” Kleinberg writes. “…The Iran election uprising gave us a glimpse inside a place we can’t normally see.”

The Twitter news coverage rounding out the top three was the inauguration of President Obama.

Twitter and other social media outlets are helping individuals embrace and encourage citizen journalism, first made popular by bloggers. Even reporters today are turning to Twitter to obtain sources, and in some instances, initiate a “twitterview.” You can read my earlier post about how social media is changing the way we all communicate.

On a related note, Facebook and the Associated Press teamed up this year to identify the overall top stories of 2009. Since 1936, the AP has traditionally polled its member editors on the Top 10 stories of the year. Now Facebook users were able to offer the AP insight into what they thought were the top stories of 2009. Facebook users could vote for their picks after they downloaded the Facebook application.

The Huffington Post reports on the results of the poll. It’s just one more example of how social media is serving as a catalyst for changing the way the media and consumers interact.


Are you surprised by what made (or didn't make) either list?