Public rush to Twitter for real-time news of Boston Marathon tragedy

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 3.22.02 PMPublic dissatisfaction with the pace at which mainstream media reports the news is once again being highlighted  by the recent Boston Marathon tragedy. Twitter users turned the service into a media outlet and was perhaps the first to tell the world that a bombing had occurred  near the marathon’s finish line.

Within minutes, the network also thrust Broadcastify into the spotlight – giving users access to primary source information as the tragedy unfolded. What was once an obscure broadcast service providing live public safety updates about  emergency services via radio live audio streams  saw its listenership jump from 600+ listeners to 40,000+ listeners in just 15 minutes – all because someone tweeted the link to the Boston Fire Department’s live audio stream on the website.

The concerned public didn’t have to wait on their nightly network newscast to learn that the Mandarin Hotel was one possible location of a detonated device, see pictures from the tragedy, or learn which roads were closed to commuters as police investigated the reported explosion.

Through Twitter, the concerned projected their own response to the tragedy and  generated hashtags like #prayforboston and #staystrong to share concern and encouragement for those affected.

Although several mainstream media outlets use social media as a complimentary tool, events coverage provided by Twitter (and other social media) users around the world could soon turn the table on those outlets.