A publication of the World Editors Forum


Fri - 15.12.2017

US: Twitter, the new breaking news warning system

US: Twitter, the new breaking news warning system

A tornado sweeping through the Colorado area Thursday prompted Poynter reporter Amy Gahran to search online for additional information. Thanks to a friend's warning on Twitter and visits to a couple of hyperlocal news sites, Gahran was swiftly informed of the tornado's path.

"I suspected that, like me, some other locals might have Twitter running on their computers (or alerts coming to their cell phones) but not be paying attention to mainstream media at the moment," Gahran writes.

Not that it would have mattered - Twitter had "broken" the story before the mainstream media had even altered their regular programming (remember the earthquake in China?).

Gahran suggests that journalists and editors join Twitter, identify local Twitter users, and learn how to use TweetScan, Twitter's search tool.

"Twitter's popularity has reached the point that it can be a valuable early warning system to nearly anyone," Gahran writes, "Including journalists and news orgs."

Gahran's story is a good example of the potential of Twitter and the benefits of hyperlocal news in breaking news situations.

Source: Poynter



Liam Berkowitz


2008-05-28 10:06

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

© 2015 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation