Big old media comes to have another play in the social media space as CNN is apparently lining up to buy social news site Mashable, with confirmation likely to be announced tomorrow at the SXSW event.

A Different Picture

News International's purchase and failure with MySpace still rings alarm bells in the media world. But CNN's possible acquisition of social news site Mashable could see a better outcome, if the news is announced at SXSW as expected tomorrow. Since, at the time of writing, neither site has a tweet or comment up about the deal, then its probably likely to happen

For a start, CNN has a fairly vibrant web presence and its TechPulse band to exploit. It can easily absorb the news content from the edgier site or use the Mashable brand to liven up and add focus to its technology sections. Mostly though, it will access the minds and eyes of the hip young things that visit Mashable on a daily basis.

With the rise in importance of social media, CNN's content can be elevated above its "old news" image and help bring more focus to the agenda.The boost in visitor numbers via Mashable's site may also Goose CNN's other sites.

UPDATE: Reports suggest that Mashable is currently denying the stories, but that could be simply because it cannot confirm anything until CNN makes a statement.

Do the Monster Mash

The fact CNN already syndicates some of Mashable's stories also hints that the tie-up will work rather neatly together. The privately owned Mashable, founded by Peter Cashmore, already does monster numbers, being among the top 250 websites with 50 million visitors monthly.

Mashable has its own awards event and hosted a Mashable conference last year, all of which could be used by CNN to further the brand with its own marketing power.Mashable may be doing more news making in the next few weeks, rather than reporting, but should still power through this deal as a major source of information.