Social media continues to lead when it comes to spreading material quickly across large groups of readers. However, does social media always succeed in winning over its readership, or is there a trust issue when it comes to reading from online sources, as opposed to print?

When it comes to breaking news stories, social media has garnered a ‘sexy’ reputation for getting quick shares and gaining viewers – a possibility that businesses often can’t afford to ignore. However, social media is losing its reputability, as opposed to print media which seems to retain its trustworthiness with consumers. Recent studies have found that 62% of readers would react to a negative story printed in a daily newspaper, yet only 21% would react the same through a social media source. So how do social platforms continue to get the most attention, yet also lack their credibility in the eyes of their readers?

Gaining Top Headline Space is Everything, But It Can Be Misconstrued

The instant turnaround time of online articles may give them a greater audience overall, but the propensity with which online stories are churned out actually makes the content less important in the eyes of readers. A national newspaper will inevitably print fewer stories than a well-known blog due to space restrictions, so the stories that have ‘made the cut’ are generally viewed as more trustworthy, and hold more significant importance.

The immediacy of social media, however, doesn’t take away from the source, or where the information was first published. After all, top influencers can have an impact and high reputation with their readers that promotes trust as well.

Overall, it’s important to note that both mediums influence the other, so believing newspapers over social media or vice versa should often require more critical thinking.