While Twitter may break the occasional sensational news story, traditional news sources do not need to feel too threatened by bloggers just yet, according to a Cornell University study, that shows "old media" beat blogs to news by an average of 2.5 hours.
The death knoll of professional journalism and mainstream news providers may not be as close as people seem to think.
"The classic function of journalism to sort out a true and reliable account of the day's events is being undermined. It is being displaced by the continuous news cycle, the growing power of sources over reporters, varying standards of journalism, and a fascination with inexpensive, polarizing argument. The press is also increasingly fixated on finding the 'big story' that will temporarily reassemble the now fragmented
mass audience," according to Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media.
Interestingly the study found "information mostly propagates from news to blogs, we also found that in only 3.5% of the cases stories first appear dominantly in the blogosphere and subsequently percolate into the mainstream media."
The web may be able to disseminate news quickly, but it seems it is not really out there finding it, except in isolated or extraordinary cases.