Elizabeth Taylor’s Death Highlights Social Media’s Growing Poise and Power in News Reporting

On Wednesday morning, Academy Award-winning Hollywood screen legend and humanitarian icon Elizabeth Taylor passed away at the age of 79.

Upon word of Taylor’s death, Twitter became the immediate destination for millions as the social media platform became the undeniable go-to platform for news, insight, and reaction to Taylor’s death.

By late morning, not only were longtime Hollywood movie buffs turning to Twitter for news about Taylor’s passing, prominent media outlets like CNN and NBC News had begun culling from Twitter the information they needed to provide their own coverage of the biggest headline of the day.

Gone are the days when media outlets have to wait for comment from celebrities on matters of national importance. Today, celebs turn to Twitter with their thoughts and reactions on myriad topics. This morning, the Hollywood community showed an outpouring of love and support for Elizabeth Taylor on Twitter. And the mainstream media was there to capitalize on the fountain of quality content Twitter and its users provided.

CNN host Piers Morgan even broke the news of Taylor’s death for the venerable cable network on his Twitter account Wednesday morning.

Among the first celebs to pay homage to Taylor on Twitter was singer Kylie Minogue, who tweeted: “RIP Dame Elizabeth Taylor…..Like a pure white diamond you’ll shine on and on and on.”

From touching celebrity testimonials to fond reflections by adorning fans, Twitter once again illustrated its power to unite the masses in times of celebration or tragedy. And fortunately for struggling mainstream media outlets, social media was there to provide what arguably amounted to the most interesting commentary and insights about the life and legacy of Elizabeth Taylor on this unfortunate occasion of her passing.

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