WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sat - 25.10.2014


Twitter

"Twitter is the newswire now."

This was Mathew Ingram's message to the Associated Press, after they controversially chastised their journalists for publishing events on Twitter before they had gone up on the newswire.

Now, as Jeff Sonderman at Poynter points out, Twitter has moved one step closer to functioning as an actual wire, as a major design overhaul is set to launch a new "discover" section, which curates a personalised selection of stories based on your location, current events and who you follow.

To an extent, Twitter does this already. What are the Tweets of people you follow except personalised news? But the change means that these Tweets will be filtered to a greater extent by an algorithm that will deliver news most interesting to you.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-12-09 13:35

2011 was hardly a vintage year for the Pulitzer Breaking News Prize - in fact, for the first time in the 95-year history of the prize, there was no winner. Even though the Pulitzers adapted their rules in 2010 to allow multimedia reporting to be entered for the prize, there were only 37 entries in the Breaking News category. Something clearly had to change.

This year the Pulitzer team have shaken things up, launching a digital-only entry service and altering the criteria for a breaking news award, "stressing real-time reporting of breaking events", according to the Pulitzer website.

Nieman Lab provides the new definition:

"For a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as times passes, illuminates, provides context and expands upon the initial coverage."

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-12-06 13:52

There's no doubt that social media has made its mark on journalism. Just think of the way that the news of Steve Jobs' death spread rapidly around the world.

These changes haven't just changed the way we read newspapers. They've also profoundly altered our relationship with television.

This was the subject of a talk given by Mike Proulx, co-author of the book Social TV, at "Les Nouvelle Pratiques du Journalisme" conference at Sciences Po, Paris, hosted in collaboration with Columbia Journalism School.

Proulx listed the four areas of broadcast news that have been affected by Twitter.

Breaking news.

All sorts of news is broken now on Twitter, from the earthquake on the US East Coast this August, to the fact that Billy Crystal was to replace Eddie Murphy as the host of this year's Oscars. The fact that news breaks on Twitter profoundly affects the way journalists work: many reporters monitor trending topics on to see what's happening, for example. They also mine social networks for information, pictures and videos about new stories. The famous photo of the jet which landed in the Hudson River was originally a twitpic.

Finding sources.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-12-02 17:03

Does the US government have the right to read you Twitter messages? Of course not, would be most people's reaction. Unfortunately, thanks to a US district court ruling made on November 10, the US government can now compel Twitter to release information that most people would deem private, such as your IP address, the content of your direct messages and your session times and activities, according to OWNI.

Why is this acceptable? The reason, the judge explained, was because in agreeing with the terms of service, Twitter users "voluntarily relinquished any reasonable expectation of privacy".

Twitter attempted to fight the ruling over a protracted year-long appeal process. However, losing the case has created a potentially dangerous precedent: the ruling could mean that any website with servers in the US could be asked to hand the data held on those servers to the government, without the need to obtain a warrant.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-11-23 15:57

The Associate Press caused a stir in the media community when it scolded employees on Wednesday for having tweeted abut the arrests of one AP staffer and photojournalist at the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park, New York - before the news reached the official AP news wire.

Staff were told in a high priority memo which, according to NYMag, said "we've had a breakdown in staff sticking to policies around social media and everyone needs to get with their folks now to tell them to knock it off".

The AP's social media handbook, which acts an employee's bible for the use of Twitter and Facebook, is very clear that journalists should not 'scoop the wire', so to speak.

This type of social media restriction is common practice for major news wires, Reuters also has a similar guidelines. From a business perspective, it makes sense to stop employees beating the wire - what good is a news wire if the information on it is old news?

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-11-18 13:45

Advertising is crucial to the health of the news industry; it is the egg in the cake mixture, the crucial ingredient that binds everything together, even when print product sales are dropping. As the newspaper business navigates the transition to into the digital era, online advertising is becoming an ever more important revenue stream, much has been said about the necessity to 'stack those dimes' that trickle in from web ads in order to survive tough financial conditions.

In light of this situation, when someone proposes an alternative source of advertising, you can't blame news organisations for pricking up their ears and listening. What is this new source of ad revenue? The sponsored tweet.

'Great! Another way to grab some much needed cash!' you might think... but is it really a good idea for newspapers to issue sponsored material on their Twitter feeds?

Why could you argue that sponsored tweeting is a good idea?

1) MONEY. It's sad but true, newspapers need money. According to Nieman Lab, sponsored tweets can supposedly bring in $300 per day for a publication like The Statesman , which deals with news and entertainment in Austin, Texas. The publication puts out two clearly labelled sponsored tweets per day promoting local businesses and events. This is valuable revenue from 140 characters.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-11-15 15:37

It's a matter of fact that Twitter has become part of the regular news workflow. And this is also the case for mainstream media outlets.

But how do they really use it? And how often? What's their underlying strategy? Is Twitter used by traditional media as a self-promotional channel for their own links or has it become a real, independent reporting tool?

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs answered these and other questions in a study that analysed the relationship between 13 major U.S. news outlets and Twitter.

It emerged from the study that news organizations mainly use Twitter for auto-referral. In fact, their use is primarily limited to disseminating their own material, rather than developing real engagement with followers or adding to the general debate by sharing external content.

The research examined more than 3,600 tweets over the course of a typical news week (February 14th - 20th 2011). It looked at tweets from each outlet's main newsroom Twitter account, as well as tweets by journalists working for these outlets. The study analysed both reporters with the largest number of followers and niche reporters. In order to observe how niche reporters use Twitter, the researchers examined a health reporter at each organization, as, according to the study, health was one of the most consistent beats across these news sites.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-11-14 16:48

Two internet giants have made announcements this week that suggest the increasingly thin boundary between social media and the news is about to be stretched to its limit.

The first is Twitter, which has just released a new "top news" feature. The function means that when a user searches for a news-related term, they are not only shown relevant tweets, but are also given a link to one related news story. The release was first reported by Coleen Taylor at GigaOm who responded positively, calling the new function a "nice move". "Twitter has established itself as a great platform for crowdsourced information and citizen journalism, but these new features should help to make the site equally useful for finding stuff from traditional content producers such as news organizations," she wrote.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-11-04 18:05

Is this little button going to turn your social media strategy upside down?

The 'subscribe' button will shortly begin appearing on Facebook profiles the world over, allowing users to view status updates, designated 'public', even if they are not Facebook 'friends' with that person.

How will this affect journalists? Potentially, it could be quite significant.

The 'subscribe' button is part of Facebook's efforts to include a wider range of features in order to compete with other social networks, primarily Twitter and Google+. The Subscribe button allows users to hear from public figures and others that they do no know personally. When someone subscribes to a profile, status updates marked 'public' from that profile will appear in the newsfeed of the subscriber.

Obviously, this quick, public sharing of information in a few hundred characters makes Facebook more similar to Twitter. Particularly as all Facebook status updates can now be shared directly to twitter.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-15 13:55

A new Nielsen report reveals the online habits of Americans - and unfortunately, reading the news does not come as high up on the list of online priorities as most editors would like: 2.6 % of the tile the average American spends online is spent learning about current affairs. You can read a break down of the results on Poynter.

Surprise, surprise, social networks were the most frequent method of spending time online, with Facebook being the number one social network for Americans - the network reaches 70% of all active internet users in America.

It is interesting to note that the gap between the amount of time spent on social networks and the amount of time spent reading and sending emails is so large. Only 7.6% of users' time is devoted to email while 22.5% is spent on social networks.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-13 17:10

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