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Media140: Twitter, newsgathering and trust

May 21st, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Social media and blogging

“We are putting a massive amount of trust in one platform here. Twitter is throttling this mechanism obviously for its own commercial ends (…) If we put so much of our newsgathering onto one platform we’re in real danger,” said Mike Butcher, TechCrunch UK editor, yesterday as part of a panel on the ‘140-character story’.

While much of yesterday’s Media140 conference focused on best practice and how journalists can use microblogging tools such as Twitter, Butcher and his fellow panellists comments were a warning to news organisations tempted to jump on a social media bandwagon.

As journalists, ‘we always want the next big thing, because it validates the fact that we’ve written about them’, said fellow speaker Bill Thompson, referring to his own experience as a freelance technology writer.

But, added Thompson, if ‘old media’ rules are applied too readily to new media, organisations will ‘miss the essential quality of what Twitter is doing’.

Some ‘old’ guidelines still apply, suggested BBC technology editor Darren Waters: “We cannot get into a world where the real-time web means the ‘not wrong for long’ era.”

Listening to yesterday’s panel the issue of the personal/professional divide when journalists enter social media or online communities – indeed how ‘social’ they can be on these platforms – is still a work in progress.
The BBC is still working on its editorial policy towards personal social media use by journalists (and after all ‘social media’ is not some fixed, homogenous lump) – it has set out some guidelines at this link – the corporation must consider its relationship with its audience and to what extent personal content is seen as representing the BBC.

But – as panellist Jon Gripton, senior editor at Sky News Online, suggested – in terms of following up reports on Twitter and social media, for example of breaking news events, the same journalistic attitude towards fact-checking and verification apply.

A mantra from Thompson: “I don’t believe anything I see or read on Twitter, it tells me where to go.”

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Media140: Follow the event where microblogging meets journalism

Updated May 20: There’s a great line-up of speakers at tomorrow’s today’s Media140 conference and Journalism.co.uk is proud to be involved as a media sponsor.

Panels featuring, amongst others, the Guardian’s blogs editor Kevin Anderson, Sky News Online senior editor Jon Gripton and TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher, will discuss how Twitter and social media work as tools for journalists and news organisations.

A full agenda can be viewed on the Media140 site.

If you’re not attending there are plenty of ways to follow online including: a Flickr group, a roster of bloggers (including Mike Atherton, Vikki Chowney, Dan Thornton and Kate Day) and – in the spirit of the event using the hashtag #media140.

You can watch the livestream below:

If you’re an Audioboo user – why not tag your boos with #media140 too?

Sky News will be running a liveblog on the event and you can see a Twitter stream of updates with hashtag below:

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Digital editors on Twitter – a list for networking and problem-solving

Since I started using Twitter I’ve always been amazed (and grateful) at how quickly calls for technological help and assistance with ideas and projects are answered. It’s one of the main reasons I’m a fan of Twitter.

There are plenty of media/journalist Twitter databases out there, but below are the beginnings of a list of digital editors on Twitter.

What do I mean by digital editor? In this instance, a journalist working primarily online, on web projects or co-ordinating multimedia output. The web editor of a newspaper site or magazine site, for example. It’s in no particular order, except for being divided by ‘traditional’ industry sectors at the moment, but if this isn’t useful, just let us know – would be great to get more international representatives too.

But the criteria for inclusion on the list are intentionally loose – this is aimed at networking, problem-solving and idea sharing between journalists working in the same space and similar roles. (Feel free to nominate any additions or drop us a tweet @journalismnews)

UPDATE April 16please read blog post two on how to message the group via Twitter

Newspapers

Alison Gow (@alisongow) – executive editor, digital, Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Kevin Matthews (@kmatt) – head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Neil MacDonald (@xxnapoleonsolo) – deputy head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Jo Wadsworth (@jowadsworth) – web editor, Brighton Argus

Tom Pegg (@tomatthechad) – digital content manager, Mansfield Chad

James Goffin (@jamesgoffin) – regional web producer, Archant

Sarah Booker (@sarah_booker) – web editor, Worthing Herald

Gustav Svensson (@gustavsvensson) – web editor, entertainment and arts, Sydsvenskan.se

Stephen Emerson (@stephen_emerson) – deputy online editor, Scotsman.com

Sam Shepherd (@SamShepherd) – online journalist, Bournemouth Daily Echo

Joanna Geary (@timesjoanna) – web development editor, business, Times Online

Sarah Hartley (@foodiesarah) – head of online editorial, MEN Media

Iain Hepburn (@iainmhepburn) – online editor, DailyRecord.co.uk

Lucia Adams (@luciatimes) – web development editor, Times Online

Carmen Boles (@carmenb) – online news editor, Gazette.com

Marcus Warren (@MarcusWa) – editor, Telegraph.co.uk

Dan Owen (@danowen) – executive editor online, Trinity Mirror

Steve Nicholls (@steve_nicholls) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Post

Anna Jeys (@ajeys) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Mail

Steve Wollaston (@stevewollaston) – multimedia editor, BPM Media and Sunday Mercury

Julie Martin (@jules_27) – Teesside Evening Gazette

Helen Dalby (@helendalby) – regional multimedia manager, NCJ Media

Nick Turner (@nickincumbria) – head of digital content, CN Group

Christian Dunn (@christiandunn) – digital news editor, NWN Media

Hugh Dixon (@hugh_d) – web editor and production editor, thisisbath/Bath Chronicle

Paul Cockerton (@paulcockerton) – web editor, Lancashire Telegraph

Dan Owens (@hornetdan1979) – deputy news editor, Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Dan Kerins (@dankerins) – web journalist, Southern Daily Echo

Broadcast

Marsha Graham (@marshagoldcoast) – multimedia manager for 102.9FM Hot Tomato, Australia

Rob Winder (@robwinder) – news editor, Al Jazeera website, Washington DC

Tom Thorogood (@TomThorogood) – digital news editor, MTV

Magazines

Martin Stabe (@martinstabe) – online editor, Retail Week

Victoria Thompson (@VicThompson) – assistant online editor, Nursing Times

Neil Durham (@NeilDurham) – deputy editor, GP and Independent Nurse

John Robinson (@PulseToday) – digital content manager, Pulse Today

Peter Houston (@p_houston) – editorial director for Advanstar Communications, Europe

Alex Smith (@alexsmith68) – web editor, Building.co.uk

Keira Daley (@daleyrant) – web editor, Australian print magazine

Lara McNamee (@lovelylara33) – assistant intelligence editor, ICIS

Gabriel Fleming (@gabefleming) – online editor, Nursing Times

Janie Stamford (@janiestamford) – contract catering editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper

Robin Latchem (@lgcplus) – online editor, Local Government Chronicle

Keely Stocker (@keelystocker) – digital content manager, Drapers Online

Scott Matthewman (@scottm) – assistant manager, The Stage

Specialist website

Michael Hubbard (@michaelomh) – founder and music editor, MusicOmh

Krystal Sim (@krystalsim) – web editor for sustainability magazine BSD – bsdlive.co.uk

Arun Marsh (@ArunMarsh) – content producer/editor, Local Gov

Rick Waghorn (@MrRickWaghorn) – publisher, MyFootbalWriter

Emma Waddingham (@emmawad) online editor, Legal-Medical.co.uk

Michael McCarthy (@HealthGuide) online editor, LocalHealthGuide

Steve Gooding (@rmtimestech)- Romney Marsh Times

Manoj Solanki (@ManojSolanki) – SeekBroadband.com

Graham Holliday (@noodlepie) – digital editor, Frontline Club

Craig McGinty (@craigmcginty) – publisher, ThisFrenchLife

Mark Crail (@markcrail) – managing editor, XpertHR

Freelance

Adam Oxford (@adamoxford)

Rachel Colling (@rachcolling)

Ashanti Omkar (@ashantiomkar)

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