Pew reports on growing news consumption on social networks; Greece gets set to vote again
Morning Brief: Greece’s parliament must vote to approve a series of austerity and reform measures, but the IMF is publicly expressing doubt that the bailout will work without serious debt relief
The Pew Research Center yesterday released a new report on the growing role of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and news consumption. The report, <strong>The Evolving Role of News on Twitter and Facebook, puts numbers on to a thread most could already observe. The real question that arises, of course, is whether this is another chicken and egg situation: is social media taking over news delivery because that is where consumers want to find news, or because that is where they are finding news?
One finding that shouldn’t surprise those in the media is that Twitter outpaces Facebook for news:
“The proportion of users who say they follow breaking news on Twitter, for example, is nearly twice as high as those who say they do so on Facebook (59% vs. 31%) – lending support, perhaps, to the view that Twitter’s great strength is providing as-it-happens coverage and commentary on live events,” the authors of the report, Michael Barthel, Elisa Shearer, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell, reported.
But while Twitter outperforms Facebook from this perspective, Facebook usage overall still dwarfs other social media: while one-in-ten US adults get news on Twitter and about four-in-ten get news on Facebook. What this says is that users see news on their Facebook timelines, read it, but do not use Facebook to follow the news they way they do Twitter. Partially this must be because Twitter posts are instantaneous, while users post on their Facebook pages at their leisure.
One other trend that should seem obvious to frequent users of both Facebook and Twitter is what Pew found about partisanship. Pew found that Facebook users tend to get most of their political news and views from their friends and families, while Twitter users get this information directly from news sources. This makes sense if one assumes a Twitter users is trying to follow the news as it is happening.
If there is a conclusion that one might wish to make, it might be that Facebook could work better for publishers as a magazine-style platform rather than one involving breaking news – something that probably could be said of Apple News, as well.
The Greek parliament is scheduled to vote on the latest debt package offered by the EU. The vote comes only a day after the IMF said again that they believe Greece’s debt is “highly unsustainable.” The IMF said that they would only participate in the new bailout of EU creditors produce a plan to deal with the level of debt Greece is deadling with.
“The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date — and what has been proposed by the ESM,” the IMF said.
Despite this warning, the government of Alexis Tsipras continues to try and persuade legislators to support the deal struck on Sunday night. But he is finding that some in his own Syriza coalition are planning to vote ‘No”.
To move the deal forward, Greece is being called on to approve a series of austerity and reform measures by the end of the day today. Getting the parliament to move this quickly may be possible, as Syriza is finding the opposition mostly cooperative. But there are serious doubts among those in the Syriza government and so the price Tsipras may pay for winning approval may prove to be the loss of his government.
Later today NASA should release at least one new photo from New Horizons, as the spacecraft appears to have successfully completed its flyby and is now sending back data. At 8:52 ET the spacecraft reestablished communications, a full 13 hours after it had completed its mission.
To get a sense of how far New Horizon has travelled, and just how vast the distances are between the planets, visit this extraordinary website created by Josh Worth Art & Design called If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel (the site is getting hammered today, so you might find it offline).