Facebook is Changing the Face of News

It was just last night — I heard my friend gasp in horror from the corner of my room, where she was hunched neatly above her computer. She had just logged into her Facebook, a ritual that most millennials partake in once they leave work or settle down for the day. On the top of her news feed was a live video, leaving us both to bear witness to the horrific and gruesome terrorist attack in Nice, France. Below its small virtual window, comments poured into a whirl of panic, of disorganization, and opinionated rhetoric.

And this is how the news had been delivered to us, just hours after the tragedy. We hadn’t turned to Cable News. We hadn’t checked online news sources, but we had logged into our small internet community and were instantly connected to the world in a raw and immediate way.

Last summer Facebook Launched the live broadcasting option, setting itself up to be a viable competitor in the news industry. People were given an easily accessible opportunity to distribute songs, share their excitement over sports, or film and share landmarks in their lives. But now people have shifted their attention to utilizing the tools for more than just community posts — global shares of important events have given people the chance to become reporters. News companies are observing as the most valuable coverage can be caught by just about anybody.

The live feature on Facebook has picked up steam more notably over the past few months along with the growing traction of the Black Lives Matter movement. Diamond Reynolds, fiancée of the late Philando Castile, filmed the aftermath of his death by officers in Minnesota. The memorial service for Alton Sterling, a 37-year man who was shot by cops in Baton Rouge while selling CD’s at a store, was live on Facebook. The recent Dallas shooting of five police officers was documented via Facebook live as well, continuing the momentum of the media platform’s popularity as a news outlet.

Facebook live is distinct because of it’s uncooked and unbiased delivery of news exactly when it happens. Presently, the forum aspect allows people to comment and contribute to the discussion in an absurdly jumbled fashion, but actively engages all communities in a discussion.