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Mainstream Media Mistakes on Twitter
Posted on January 14th 2009
FIRST, WHY ARE THERE NO NEWS PRODUCERS ON TWITTER?
Twellow is the best application to find Twitterers grouped by occupation. I perused through the news category - noted a lot of freelancing journalists and some reporters, but no news producers or editors.
Twitter makes it easy for a community to tip the news media
News producers should understand that news sourcing has become social because anybody can now feed them story ideas. Moreover, news producers should FOLLOW others so their potential citizen news sources can DM (direct message) them with story ideas and breaking news that are best transmitted privately. News producers can provide journalistic value by positioning themselves as media hubs in their community.
MAINSTREAM MEDIA HIDES BEHIND THEIR CALL LETTERS AND BROADCASTS ONE WAY
Advice to mainstream media - don’t hide behind your call letters on Twitter - use your real reporter and producer names like WUSA9. And don’t arrogantly just use Twitter blatantly as a one-way broadcast media- this is old media think and keeps your brand isolated from your constituency. Following others who you respect as news sources will expand the distribution network you will leverage as a media hub. And those you follow will be appreciative.
MAINSTREAM STILL CALLING TWITTER UNRELIABLE NEWS SOURCING
Granted, individual Twitter sources are not trustworthy at face value. What makes citizen journalism credible is the aggregation of individual sources into a collective, accountable voice. This is what makes citizen review sites like Yelp more trustworthy than the Twitter-like pronouncements of a Zagat’s restaurant review; Yelp’s statistical samples are large enough to prove its results, and Zagats is a black box.
Citizen sources are much closer to breaking news events (as seen in Mumbai and Gaza), and the “reporting” or research / interpretation of the news can be performed by either mainstream media or citizen sources. Dave Winer makes the case that the social media does vet and report news (his diagram above).
It seems obvious that once mainstream media surrenders its position that only they can report news by sending out salaried news crews and cameras, real economies of scale (think free) of news sourcing happens. Mainstream media can then add quality (and value) by filtering interesting stories arising from a magnitude more citizen sources than they have now. Twitter is, in essence, a massive extension to their 800-”hotline”. Now, if the media would only listen.
KUDOS TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA WHO ARE SERIOUSLY EXPERIMENTING WITH TWITTER
Let’s congratulate a few news media companies and individuals that have put together a comprehensive Twitter presence.
Tori Blase, CNN - the only major news producer I see out there
Dave Courvoisier, KLAS TV anchor, Las Vegas - thanks for your sincere offers of help
WUSA9, Washington DC
Patrick O’Brien, WUSA Web Director - Patrick introduced the whole WUSA team, most on Twitter.
Peggy Fox, Anchor
Stephanie Wilson, News Producer
Angie Goff, Traffic Anchor
Lindsey Mastis, Digital Correspondent
Lesli Foster, Consumer Reporter
Kim Martucci, Meteorologist
Sara Walsh, Sports / Skins Uncensored
Andrew Nystrom, LA Times Social media and tech blogger - Andrew seems to be coordinating a massive effort to build media channels by category at the LA Times.