In many circles, cable news, and specifically CNN are credited with creating the 24 hour news cycle. This is something I am a part of, and understand it.
For discussion sake, lets call the 24 hour news cycle: reporting an event, reporting reaction to an event reporting repercussions of an event, onto the next event. realistically there is more nuisance to it, but in essence that is the 24 hour news cycle.
With the advent of social media-the time from event to reaction is shorter-there is now instant analysis and instant reaction of events. Want to track events in Egypt in real-time? Follow the #Jan25 hash tag. Want to go back further, see how the crash of an Air France Jet in Brazil played out in real-time in June 2009. Or think more contemporary, and the fate of Justin Beiber and perhaps the cooling of Beiber Fever?
It’s almost quaint to say there is a 24-hour news cycle, when the reality is there is constant reaction and analysis in real-time 24/7 on events days and weeks after they occur.
While it’s still critical to manage the first 24 hours of an event, more and more its being broken down into hour-long cycles. It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. 2012 will be an interesting campaign cycle–as seen in Egypt, the power of the masses all shouting out at once is tough to manage, and even tougher to silence.