Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twitter: New Beat for Journalists?

In watching the Michael Jackson coverage yesterday surrounding his memorial, what I found interesting were the journalists at various news stations that were assigned to monitor and report on Twitter. Looks like there is a new journalism beat!

Journalists aspiring to covering this new area, however, need to work a little more on what's news and what isn't. Some reporters did this better than others.

I suppose a random tweet would be the same as a man-on-the-street (streeter) broadcast interview. But somehow, reading "MJ memorial is so...." to me just doesn't cut it as "in-depth perspective' or even "good colour".

I did think it was cool that Elizabeth Taylor tweeted about why she was not going to attend. No need for a press release. One line on twitter and the world new she would not attend to avoid the crowds and the media reported it with the same coverage as had she announced it in a press conference.

Reporters assigned to the 'Twitter beat' may want to know about Twitter trend tracker Twitscoop. Twitscoop created these visualizations of how quickly Jackson memorial-related tweets took over Twitter today:

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