I’m not insensitive. I don’t want people that handle pigs to die. They have enough problems.
I do want to highlight the effect social networks have on news. Hysteria. Paranoia.
Twitter, Facebook and tens of other social networks empower individuals to be newsmakers and story-breakers and armchair journalists.
And it’s truly changed the landscape of news media.
The problem with empowering millions to interpret the news through their own personal periscope is that you get millions of personal viewpoints.
You get news faster. (And you get more of it!) But you also get exaggeration, hyperbole and the occasional litotes to balance it out.
Whereas before I could pick my handful of newspapers, blogs or news sites to get the reporting I appreciate, now I need to filter reams of social opinion to garner a modicum of truth (amongst the panic).
They say news travels fast and bad news travels faster. I say pig flu flies.