Social media doesn’t speed up the news cycle — it kills it

With each passing elections season, we’re seeing more how social media is changing the business of political news coverage. It’s not just sped up the news cycle, but it’s helped kill it, said Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of

Marshall appeared with Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer of NBC News (s cmcsa) at the paidContent 2012 conference, where the two talked about how social media has influenced and reshaped the news business. Marshall said social media is part of a larger continuum that began with the Internet and the rise of blogs. With social media, he said, the news business has become frictionless and fluid and, in some cases, chaotic. But it’s helped wrest control away from traditional news powers and helped do away with the notion of a news cycle.

“Parties and counter-parties can get back into a story rapidly, whether it’s on Twitter or this or that.  It’s about immediate access so a story can play out without the slow down of a news cycle,” Marshall said.

Vivian Schiller said social media has become an organic part of news organizations, which are finding that it can be a liberating force, providing new ways to engage their audience and also push out content. She said social media is also helpful in weeding out trivial news, while allowing more voices to be heard on bigger stories.

“I think because there’s so many people who have access to the same information, you get more data points and more information  from the crowd and more debunking.  And everything becomes meatier,” Schiller said.

Check out the rest of our coverage of paidContent 2012. Full archived video on livestream (registration required).