The fact sends chills down television reporters' spines even as they compulsively repeat it: Last year, earthquakes in Japan, China, Los Angeles and San Francisco were first reported not on TV but on the Internet's Twitter social-networking site.
''It tells you something about the far-reaching tentacles of Twitter and Facebook and the other social-networking sites,'' muses David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. ``And it tells you something about some of the challenges facing TV news.''
Amid the daily obituaries for the newspaper business, where bankruptcies and layoffs have become a grim daily routine, there's been comparatively little notice that television news confronts many of the same problems: declining audiences, aging demographics, fierce competition from new digital media and a broken business model. It was a subject that came up often at the We Media conference on media and technology at the University of Miami this week. Read my full story from Friday's Miami Herald.