Twitter and breaking news – a match made in heaven, or hell?

A post by Herman Manson on looks at the difficulties of juggling the need for immediacy online with well researched and accurate journalism.

People in the news business love breaking news. This is why we are arming more and more journalists with the equipment to live tweet and blog major news events. And it is entirely true that newspapers and news sites lag Twitter in breaking news. That is because it takes time to write anything longer than 140 characters, to get it fact-checked, and then, to publish/broadcast it to a wider world.

He focuses on the issue of what to do when an incorrect tweet gets blurted out into the cyberworld, and the danger of the ‘retweet’.

With Twitter able to deliver news quickly and to a potentially huge audience due to its viral nature, already-pressured newsrooms are under increasing pressure to get content out, and to get it out fast.

But few are asking what this is doing to journalistic ethics. For example, can media organisations and journalists delete inaccurate tweets that were posted without revealing they did so?

With journalists under pressure to be first online, Manson says he also worries quality journalism could be at risk, as reporters try to cut “thought-provoking voices into 140 character sound bytes, typed on the go”.

Read the full post here…

Leave a Reply