Social media in today’s news coverage

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By Michael Hicks

I wasn’t at Legacy Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but with every precious second I could feel the electricity of what was happening in Aurora.
Maybe it was the former sports editor in me coming out, but as I sat in the comfort of my home Saturday afternoon, I kept an eye on Twitter to see what was happening in the 5A state football semifinals between Columbine and Eaglecrest. The winner will be heading to Sports Authority Field at Mile High next weekend to play for a state title.
Initially, I had my doubts as I saw the Raptors go up 17 points. But I’ve followed Columbine football for nearly a decade. I knew the will, the desire that head coach Andy Lowry instills in his players.
Slowly but surely the comeback was on. It was 17-7, 17-14, then a blocked field goal, but then a made one late in the fourth quarter. Game tied at 17. They were going to overtime.
How did I know all of this?
Social media.
I may not have physically been in the stadium, but I had goosebumps following the various media Twitter accounts out there covering the game.
From our own sports editor Alissa Noe to Ryan Casey with CHSAA to Kyle Newman with The Denver Post, Aurora Sentinel Sports, Jeffco Athletics, Cealey Godwin with 9News and Eaglecrest Athletics, I was rapidly being fed updates, almost to the second, of what was going on.
It’s a sign of just how important in this digital age that we live in that social media is, especially for news agencies. Sure, the final product, especially for us at Evergreen Newspapers, is the print product. There is nothing like having a fresh newspaper in hand come Wednesday or Thursday morning, especially when you want all the news readily available right at your fingertips. But the Internet is a valuable tool, as we’ve all come to learn over the years, for getting up-to-the-minute news updates.
I couldn’t wait to see the updates as they streamed in.
When the game went to overtime, I sat on pins and needles waiting to know what was happening. It was a lot like listening to Major League Baseball games back in the day on the radio.
As overtime commenced, the updates came in fast and furious. First, Eaglecrest scored a touchdown, then Columbine answered. The second overtime, it was the reverse. Columbine scored, then Eaglecrest. However, this time, the Raptors were going for the two-point conversion and the win. I could hardly wait.
At 2:49 p.m., Ryan Casey with the Colorado High School Activities Association broke the news:
“It’s good! Eaglecrest defeats Columbine 32-31 in two OTs to clinch a spot in the 5A football title game.”
Eaglecrest is headed to its first 5A state championship games since 1993. Columbine, meanwhile, just missed out on playing for its sixth title since 1999 and first since beating Lakewood 41-31 in the 2011 5A championship game.
It wasn’t the ending I was personally hoping for, but it didn’t diminish the excitement of watching an instant classic unfold in front of my very eyes, even if I wasn’t there to see it in person.
Thank you, Twitter reporters. Thank you, social media. Now I’ll read the full story from Noe’s game article.

Michael Hicks is editor for Evergreen Newspapers. He can be reached at 303-350-1039 or via e-mail at mhicks@evergreenco.com.