Four media professionals discussed Twitter and journalism in a recent video for PBS, and the general theme seemed to be that the platform is not a threat, but a tool for journalists.
It’s a subject that’s cropped up multiple times in my blog posts this semester. Anyone on the Internet can report in a tweet that something happened in a certain place at a certain time. Journalists are needed to discern why that thing happened and if it is important.
Some particularly interesting parts of the video I think are worth highlighting for further thought:
Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, mentioned how NPR’s Andy Carvin used Twitter to cover the Arab Spring by taking the flow of information and adding “journalistic value” to it.
Mark Luckie, manager of journalism and news for Twitter, said, “Twitter is a source of information. Because Twitter doesn’t have any sort of editorial staff and there is no filter, it has a very different role than what journalists have, which is to be that filter.”
When talking about the newsworthiness of things like Twitter round-ups, Craig Kanalley, senior editor of big news and live events at The Huffington Post, said, “Another thing we forget, it’s really important, is that there are a lot of people who are not on Facebook and Twitter, and there voices are not being heard.”
Chris Anderson, director of research for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, talked about breaking old reporting habits, and said, “There isn’t just one way to be a journalist anymore, and the one advantage that younger generations have over older generations is not that they know more, it’s simply that they have less to unlearn.”