Twitter: Lazy News or Help to Journalists?

For journalists, the implications of Twitter have revolutionized a lot about the field.  The timeliness of the news cycle has become narrower as news can travel within seconds of the event.  This poses both new challenges and advantages for journalists; who can use Twitter to cover stories as they happen.

News organizations are highly utilizing Twitter as a outlet for information.  In Lauren Oliver’s post on the 100 Most Influential News Media Accounts, she notes the Wall Street Journal, BBC’s Breaking News, ESPN, and The New York Times are all within the top 25.  These accounts also hold a large number of Twitter followers.  CNN’s Breaking News account has well over 3 million followers.  However, she also adds that it is the quality of the posts, not the followers, which lead an account’s real influence.

CNN's Breaking News Twitter Page

 

Twitter can be a help to journalists, who follow a news site to stay constantly updated with the news of the moment.  Since Twitter does not have any real predecessors, it contains different approaches to how journalists look at it. Jeremy Porter’s post “How to Build a Better Online Newsroom“, highlights the close relations of Twitter as a main media source, and the closeness of journalists to the site.  He also claims a company’s Twitter accountant should always be linked on the online newsroom for easy access.

Another way Twitter can serve as a tool for journalists is through posts to press releases.  Journalists use press releases for story ideas and information.  This site has changed the normal functions of a press release, by creating free content for users.  “Distributing Your Press Release By Using Twitter” describes the press releases as the same PR ideas, just condensed to 140 characters.

With every new technology, there are always skeptics unsure of the real influence of the medium.  Kate Day questions whether these briefs snippets are decreases the quality of journalism.  Organizations are losing control over their content, since Twitter allows citizens to upload and post material.  She concludes in her post the importance of an open media.  The Internet opens door for every news outlet, and it is true this shift may create a more informed society.

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