The 2012 election season has come to an end with the reelection of President Barack Obama. Anxious Americans could find the outcome through social media, Internet, radio or TV networks.
Many Americans turned to their news stations or newspapers for coverage. But an increasing number of people turned to social media for up-to-date details and opinions. Fox News reported that roughly 40 percent of Americans sought out social media for their political updates.
There were also millions of people on Facebook–either posting about updates, informing others of their opinions or scrolling through what others had to say. As many users logged in, they were presented with an option to click an “I voted” button. They are registering that 9.6 million Facebook users let their friends know they voted.
On Twitter, there were a number of celebrities and news sources that kept followers up-to-date. This election became the most tweeted about event, next to the Grammys and MTV Music Awards.
“In situations like the election, or during a horror movie, I use Twitter as a distraction and an excuse to keep my eyes away from the TV screen,” said assistant professor of English, Nicole Peeler. “There are some news sources I follow on Twitter I couldn’t otherwise, so I was also updating the friends I was with when one of those sources posted something interesting.”
Hashtags like #ivoted and #election2012 made for an easy way to track the latest news and user interactions. Tuesday night, and 31 million tweets later, Twitter blogged, “as the results of the election were called by news organizations, the conversations on Twitter surged, hitting a peak of 327,452 tweets per minute.”
There are also a number of people who referred to their local newspapers for election results and details. In the Greensburg community, citizens had the option to reading the Post-Gazette out of Pittsburgh or the locally based Tribune Review.
“You could tell that the Post-Gazette tried to put a positive spin on the results, especially with their headlines,” said junior communication major Rachel Hursen. “The Tribune tried to remain factual, but their editorials would have you think otherwise.”
Following the much anticipated results, the Tribune website has their top editor’s pick article entitled “Obama Wins, America Loses (again).” Their Republican stance is obvious in their reporting of the news.
For the readers of the Post-Gazette, they can visit their website to find their lead article entitled “Obama: ‘The best is yet to come’,” as it follows their Democratic support.