Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Twitter and journalism: can't we all just get along?

Can we really receive all the information we need to know in 140 character lots?

Approximately 55 million tweets grace the pages of Twitter every day and around 16% of them are about news articles, politics, sport, events or blogs (for more statistics click here). Yet when we hear the term 'social media', rarely do we associate sites like Twitter and Facebook with learning the news. The idea that social media is only used for 'social' purposes is outdated and twitter is taking on a much greater role as a disseminator of information.

But, if we're getting all of this information from Twitter, where does that leave traditional journalists?

Should journalists learn to embrace Twitter as a friend not foe?

Is Twitter really a reliable option as our primary source of news?

These are all questions I am exploring in my final project. I am curious about how people use Twitter for news content and where this leaves journalists.

Please feel free to leave comments on any of these issues or follow me on twitter (! I'd love to hear what you think about this topic.


  1. Kyla, I don't think Twitter is a reliable source of news. Yes, I acknowledge that is a component of the future of journalism, but 140 characters cannot appropriately describe many news stories. While Twitter does allow people to delve into further information by clicking on links and following the stories up, in a time-poor world how often is that done?
    I know that personally if I saw something that sparked my interest I would click the link to find out more. But if I believe my 'curiosity' has been satisfied by seeing the headline in 140 characters, I admit I'll happily scroll on.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jess. I definitely agree, there's a blurred line there and I worry people may be satisfied using twitter as their primary news source. But I think there is still a clear value in traditional journalism, as it is researched, verified and quality information that you rarely get with these sources.

  3. Hi Kyla,
    In today's digital age and technologically savvy media world, I don't think journalists have a choice as to whether they should or shouldn't embrace Twitter. New technologies and social media outlets are clearly paving the way for the immediate breaking of news.
    While I agree with Jess that this form should not be taken at face value as a credible source of news, it definitely enables journalists to explore ideas and news stories that otherwise would not have been possible if it weren't for Twitter.
    With this in mind, I say journalists most definitely should embrace Twitter and see where it takes them.

  4. I believe that Twitter can be used as an excellent platform to link to news sites however, the credibility as mentioned by Jess and Renee is definitely an issue.