Extra! Extra! Tweet all about it!

The Guardian (US Edition) uses social media, such as twitter, to alert its readership to developments in breaking news stories as those developments are occurring.

For all the non-tweeters out there, Twitter is a social media site that allows its users to post “updates” that are 140 characters in length. These “updates” can range from “wow, this taco truck is awesome! #vivaletaco!” to “wow, what is up with our government?”

It is much faster to pump out an 140 character tweet than it is to write, layout, and print a front page story that will run in the next morning’s paper. As a result, the Guardian and other news outlets are turning to twitter, one of the quickest means of spreading a story, to get the news out.

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In the case being displayed in the above picture, the publication has taken a traditional newspaper headline and converted to a twitter-friendly format. Here we see that the headline is actually attached to a completed story on the publication’s website; however, various news outlets, when breaking a breaking story, will forge an actual story in favor of simply tweeting the main points of a story in order to keep readers as up to date as possible on the story as it breaks.

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The Guardian US also adds a unique spin to its coverage by including op ed pieces about various breaking news stories, which give the publication’s readership something to mull over and add a more human prospect (as in “this is what an actual human thinks!”) about some of its stories. Here we see an op ed piece about the history of corporations co-opting social movements for profit.

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