So thank you, Doremus/New York for helping us to understand why social media are complicating life for the traditional news media, including, of course, newspapers and magazines. Throughout the month of July, Doremus ran a poll on its Web site that asked visitors if they believe social media are indeed accelerating the struggle for traditional media. Overwhelmingly, 80 percent of respondents said "yes," while respondents also indicated social media sites help them to discover content they would not otherwise see. Just five percent (!!!) of respondents said they still get news from traditional sources.
In other words, if the "news" isn't coming to them via tweets or another social media outlet, a large percentage of the population is likely to be uninformed about it. Or put another way, increasingly social-media-fixated young people today are only interested in what interests their peers. Which suggests to us a population increasingly populated with people lacking in much curiosity or independent information/news-gathering abilities. Or put yet another way: "We live in a society where the news is no longer a directive but a dialog," opines Doremus CEO Carl Anderson. It's a scary thought, really. The news may involve a dialog, but that dialog, whatever it amounts to, certainly isn't the sum total of the news that shapes our world every day. We no doubt will be a dumber, more narrow-minded culture if this trend reaches its fullest fruition.