The Press Association has been going since 1868 and has always prided itself on being first with the news. But with the rise of social media and citizen journalism – and more specifically the mass adoption of Twitter – when exactly did it last break a news story?!
In 1997 when Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris, the Press Association was the accredited source for almost every news outlet. Fast forward to 2011 when Bin Laden was killed and it was Twitter that broke the news.
So it could certainly be a valid question to ask why we still need the PA, or the BBC or the WSJ for that matter?
The simple answer, as outlined by the PA’s Andy Rice at Business Wire’s “The Olympics, Media and PR” event this week, is validation. Twitter may have broken the news Bin Laden was dead, but Twitter reports also suggested that every region of London had been burned to the ground during last summers’ riots.
Put simply, seeing trends on Twitter might suggest something has happened, but until the PA confirms it’s true, it would be unwise to believe it.