Twitter and Journalism

It’s more than apparent that social media has changed the playing field when it comes to reporting events. News gets out instantly all over the world. News is constantly flowing and keeping people informed. There have been so many discussions of pros and cons of this kind of social media news system. It’s not hard to get lost in the shuffle of the noise of a 24/7 news cycle and journalist seem to have taken an especially hard hit. Just writing about the basics of a story isn’t enough anymore. Kerry Lauman, the editor-in-chief of Salon magazine has said that, “…Twitter has raised the bar, not only for his publication and election coverage, but for all journalists and all news outlets. The mantra Lauman operates by now: “Be faster than anyone better than you, and better than anyone faster than you,” (Is Twitter Helping or Harming Politcal Journalism?). Social media is forcing journalists to, “…become more witty, critical and generally more interesting in their writing, to compensate for readers who had already consumed the information via social [media],” (Is Twitter Helping or Harming Politcal Journalism?).

            Some argue that twitter is helpful to journalism because it can allow users to search for sources on breaking news and “…gather community quotes,” (10 ways twitter is valuable to journalists). Twitter can also give journalists story ideas because it allows the “community conversation” to be heard. If there are a lot of tweets on one topic this can give journalists a “…heads-up that something is becoming a hot topic [they] should cover,” (10 ways twitter is valuable to journalists). Trending topics can be the best place to search for your next big story and allow a journalist to find sources amongst the users talking about a trending topic.

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Twitter can also allow for journalists to respond to criticism and questions about stories they have written which can create a better sense of audience engagement and community.

            So is it really that twitter is harming journalists or is it that twitter is forcing journalists to work harder to engage and keep readers? In PR we will sometimes have to cover stories on companies or individuals like political candidates that we may work for. How can we utilize twitter for our own PR writing, which can, at times, include writing feature stories?

 

References

Buttry, S. (n.d.). 10 ways twitter is valuable to journalists. The Buttry Diary. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/10-ways-twitter-is-valuable-to-journalists/

Prakash, N. (n.d.). Is Twitter helping or harming political journalism?. Mashable. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://mashable.com/2012/11/30/twitter-political-journalism/

 

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2 thoughts on “Twitter and Journalism

  1. I am so glad you wrote about this, such a good topic. This is something I contemplate constantly. I tend to have a slightly hesitant view about believing breaking news on Twitter. So many times its wrong because the news site was just trying to get the information out first and didn’t necessarily fact check. That being said I always check Twitter for news. So I am a bit of a hypocrite.

    So to make my point. I do kind of feel that Twitter is hurting journalism. Pressure is a good thing to make people work hard, but when it comes to breaking a story I just think an unfair and unrealistic amount of pressure is put on journalists. When it comes to hard news, Twitter is negative. However for feature style writing, I think Twitter is perfect.

  2. I believe that Twitter is a great way to find out new information that is going on throughout the world and that it is great for journalist and just the public in general to know what people are interested in or what is going on. When something major happens, it is easily going to spread throughout social media. I feel that since I am already using Twitter to socialize, when I see that something has occurred in the news, I instantly google it to see if it is true or not. Twitter in a sense is a sort of notification to me, making me more interested in what is going on. I think that journalists can definitely benefit from Twitter from all the information it gives from the public and companies. Many businesses use Twitter to engage with their audience and if they need to talk to them more then they can “Direct Message” each other. I think that we can use Twitter by seeing what is catching users attention and try and discuss it in our writing and also by engaging the user to want to learn something that may not be trending on Twitter, something that they are unfamiliar with.

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