Twitter informs world of bin Laden death

I was 8 days from turning 11 years old when some 3,000 innocent people died on Sept. 11, 2011. Nearly 10 years later on May 1, 2011,  the man responsible for those murders was confirmed death. And how the media has changed in those 10 years.

On the morning of 9/11, I happened to be watching “Where in the world is Carmen San Diego” on TV, after saying goodbye to my grandfather, who was flying back to Peru after a visit. It was during that show that a burning building began to flash on the screen.

We all remember what happened next. The news spread via television, radio, newspapers and possibly the Internet. At the time, I knew nothing about the Internet except for email, and I had no interest in such technology.

When the news broke that bin Laden had died, I was again watching TV. But before ABC News interrupted prime time television, Twitter informed me of the president’s announcement set for 10:30 p.m. EST. CNN, for instance, tweeted:

@cnnbrk: President Barack #Obama is expected to make a statement tentatively at 10:30 p.m. Subject unknown

Within minutes, rumors were flying. Twitter exploded. I had over 25 Twitter text notification within 5 minutes. A friend working for the BBC in London was on a night shift and speculated along with me as to what the president was going to say. By 10:45 p.m. EST, the secret was out on Twitter. It took a few more minutes to hit TV.

Approximately 45 minutes before President Obama made the official announcement, the world new that Osama bin Laden was dead.

Social networking has really changed the way breaking news is covered. It even gave one man the medium to report on the Abbottabad raidwithout knowing it would make international news. The Internet has, without a doubt, mixed things up.


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