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Media monitoring: Traditional media no longer leading source of news

Is social media growing its dominants over traditional media as a leading news source? This question forms the basis of analysis of some articles seemingly the author depended on online material to construct news story regarding Governor Sonko’s arrest on Friday 6 December 2019. Evidence have confirmed in a recent report ‘News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016’ that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube have emerged as the go-to sources for news.

Sonko was arrested by DCI detectives in Voi on Friday 6th November 2019 after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered for his arrest. Many social media users those against and pro arrested used their platforms to share their views regarding the manner in which the Governor was arrested. One such user is Senate Speaker Kipchumba Murkomen who commented the arrested but immediately attracted Star newspaper online post.

The tweet by Murkomen became a news story for Star and this trend should stir debate within the sector because what people posts in their online account might not have the facts required for a journalists or media organizations. The Star in a headline, “Governor nabbed: Murkomen vows to stand by Sonko following arrest” mainly utilized Murkomen’s tweet.


It is true social media has become the main source of news online with more than 2.4 billion internet users, nearly 65% receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram instead of traditional media according to 2018 Pew Research Center. However, in this era of fake news, one would wonder whether traditional media whose level of ethical principles is set high can use individual twitter or Facebook post to develop news reports. For Star newspaper online platform, Murkomen’s tweet was sufficient for a story and the question is: How much do journalists adapt from personal social media account?

In conclusion, traditional media build their relationship with their audience based on reputation and they establish such reputation by cautiously checking information before publishing it. When individuals post their comments and established media organization pulls them and uses as news sources, how will it affect the reputation of news? Such trend tends to give social media an edge over the media organization because they will perceive themselves as important.

Many at times, fake news and false information spread by social media are becoming increasingly a challenge for most organization and for the Star newspaper in its online platform to have used a story from Murkomen’s tweet, it reinforces continued rise in social media as a strong new source but challenges the quality of news stories adopted from personal social media accounts.

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