Gonna disagree with you on that one Dave. The reason social media has become critically important to politicians, advertisers, and yes, journalists, is that’s where the people are. Not all of them, but enough of them to matter.
In fact, had the pollsters relied more on social media sentiment and less on what they were told in phone interviews and exit polls, they might not have so fundamentally screwed up which way the election was headed. But I digress.
While I firmly believe editorial decisions shouldn’t pander to audience cravings, neither should they ignore them. Front page news? No. But newsworthy? Yes. And how can a journalist tell when something is newsworthy these days? I’d say a massive social media reaction is a pretty good barometer.