Journalism and Twitter

Many of the finest reporters are now regularly using Twitter as a service to find information. Instead of waiting to receive the “expert” opinions of others, Twitter modifies the balance to so-called “peer to peer” authority.

Twitter has many benefits it is a highly effective way of distributing ideas, information and content even with its 140 character limit, with a lot of the best tweets being links. It can be immensely far and wide. We’re now competing with a medium that can do many things incomparably faster than we can. The life expectancy of much exclusive information can now be measured in minutes, if not in seconds.

News organisations still break lots of news but increasingly news still happens on Twitter. If you’re a regular Twitter user, even if you’re in the news business and have access to wires, the probabilities is that you’ll check out many reports of breaking news on Twitter first. As more people join Twitter, the better it will get in breaking news. What’s more you can set Twitter to search out information on any topic you want and it will often bring you the best evidence there is. It becomes your personalised news feed. If you are following the most fascinating people they will in all likelihood bring you the most interesting information.

By using Twitter you can let your followers know about a piece you’ve written for a blog. By marketing terms, it drives engagement to your blog and your posts, if they like what you read they’ll tell others about it. As well as reading what you’ve written and spreading the word, people can respond. They can agree or disagree or criticize it, with Twitter you can get an instant feedback. It’s a parallel universe of mutual conversations.

What seems apparent to journalists in terms of the choices we make is quite often evidently different from how others see it- both in terms of the things we choose to cover and the things we ignore. By signing up to Twitter you will want to engage and be entertaining while providing humour.

Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.

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