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Independent.co.uk: John Rentoul on how Twitter transforms political reporting

John Rentoul, or @JohnRentoul, chief political commentator for the Independent on Sunday, sums up how he uses Twitter and the impact he believes it has had on political reporting in the UK (managing to avoid the hyperbole of many other love notes to Twitter from journalists):

Most of the time, however, Twitter is like a news service. It is different from social networks in that links are not necessarily mutual. People can choose to follow each other, but the Korean research found that four-fifths of links were one-way. This means that hub Twitterers with a lot of followers act as diffusers of news. When I started on this newspaper as a political reporter in 1995, the main source of UK “breaking news” was the Press Association wire – short bulletins of news, as it happened. Now Twitter fills that gap, as journalists and citizen-reporters let each other know when someone has left their microphone on, or has ruled out standing for the Labour leadership. When Adam Boulton started to lose his temper with Alastair Campbell on live television during the post-election negotiations, people tweeted to tell others to put Sky News on – to catch the best bits. William Hague announced that the talks with the Liberal Democrats were back on on Twitter. It is a way for politicians to speak to – or beyond – the conventional media. But it also offers journalists other ways of reporting.

Full article at this link…

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Poynter Online: Social media literacy is goal for Sky News’ digital staff

Following Journalism.co.uk’s report in January that Sky News is installing Twitter application Tweetdeck on the computers of all its newsroom staff, Poynter has an update on the roll-out from executive producer Julian March:

March is so serious about its value that he is making social media literacy an objective on his digital media staff’s performance reviews. “I want to see social media become a part of the fabric of the day-to-day work,” he said.

Full post at this link…

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BBC Internet Blog: ‘Microblogging – the Editorial Policy Meeting’

Last week Journalism.co.uk reported on the BBC’s stance on social media use – in particular of Twitter – by its journalists; and the sometimes blurry divide between personal and professional use.

Writing on the BBC Internet Blog, Roo Reynolds, portfolio executive for social media, BBC Vision, details discussions within the corporation last week about microblogging and editorial policy.

Some very sound points were made:

– offer ‘principles and guidance’, education on the risks and dangers for journalists, but not set of fixed rules of how journalists can use social media;

– “[D]on’t say anything you wouldn’t say on air” – via technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147).

The BBC’s policy’s on microblogging are due an update, says Reynolds:

“The editorial guidelines will receive an update to give clearer advice on micro-blogging, but it won’t be a clampdown. The guidelines will continue to grow and evolve as new ways to interact with our users are discovered, constantly building on a foundation of the BBC’s values and helping people apply a healthy dose of common sense.”

Full post at this link…

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Media140: Pat Kane on using social media and journalism

May 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Social media and blogging

“Reading a newspaper on a street corner might be seen as banal. What’s becoming just as banal is producing news on that street corner,” Pat Kane, co-founder of the Sunday Herald and author of ‘The Play ethic’, said in his opener at today’s Media140 conference.

The growth of social media and online publishing is showing ‘just how quotidian and everyday the practice of journalism becomes in this everyday environment’, he added.

Speaking at the microblogging and journalism event, Kane said there are some key reasons/benefits for journalists using social media tools:

  • Beat reporting
  • Early warning system– communities decide what’s the news. “Twitter’s the canary in the coal mine – Overlap with trad journalism
  • Real-time content
  • Traceable sources/interviewees/leads – “How much better can journalism practice be in a civic space?” asked Kane. Social media can be ‘an enrichment of a classic journalistic process’.
  • Can you help? – asking readers for tips, feedback etc
  • As a promotional tool
  • An expertise archive – “Used to be called desk research, now it’s handheld device responsiveness.”

But asks Kane:

“How distributive and collaborative are journalists prepared to be?”

“To what extent might the Darwinian acid that new media is throwing onto organisations transform them?

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Media Culpa: Microblogging moves to nanoblogging

February 2nd, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Social media and blogging

New Swedish site nanoblogg.se lets users blog in one-word posts – a new direction for the microblogging trend driven by services such as Twitter?

Full story at this link…

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