WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 31.10.2014


Twitter: at Sky News, in court and on Facebook

Twitter: at Sky News, in court and on Facebook

With the seemingly unending in-depth analysis of Twitter in the media, Sky News has decided that the time has come for a 'Twitter correspondent'. An internal email explained that as "the phenomenon of Twitter to continues to explode", the online team will have one of its employees scouring Twitter for stories, thereby harnessing its "power as a newsgathering tool". However, Guardian writer and keen Twitterer/Tweeter Jemima Kiss isn't convinced. Twitter, she says, "should be a tool that any forward-thinking journalist tries out, learns and then incorporates into their newsgathering". Kiss is also cynical about how long such a role can possibly last, describing it as the "inevitable, ludicrous conclusion of the frenzied Twitter coverage we've seen in the past few weeks".

Not only has Twitter made it to Sky News, it has also made it to court. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten has dismissed concerns from lawyers that Tweets from Ron Sylvester during a case in Kansas could affect jurors, should they visit his page. Marten rebuffed the argument and allowed Sylvester to continue with his updates stating that jurors are always told to avoid case coverage and that "You either trust your jurors to live with the admonishment, or you don't". Editor of Sylvester's newspaper Sherry Chisenhall, said Twitter is "another form of reporting news", whilst Sylvester believes that it "does improve public access to the courts".

Even rival social network Facebook is jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. Whilst founder Mark Zuckerberg has had a private page on the site for nearly a year, he has recently changed his settings so that his @zuck account is listed on the search pages - although Twitter users still have to send a request to see his updates. It seems that Zuckerberg's personal positive opinion of Twitter has translated into his business sense as well; as of March 11, Facebook users will see news about their friends updated in Twitter-esque "real time" as opposed to the current 10 minute updates. The change will create a continuous reel of information on the site, and Zuckerberg explains that "people will no longer come to Facebook to consume a particular piece or type of content, but to consume and participate in the stream itself". With Sky News and the US courts using Twitter as a serious method of reporting, and the global phenomenon that is Facebook taking inspiration from it, it seems that Twitter really is on the ascent.

Source: Guardian, Editor & Publisher, Newser, AdvertisingAge


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Author

Helena Deards

Date

2009-03-09 12:38

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.


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