First off, that image isn’t anti-Twitter. But I personally think it’s kind of funny that journalists have a conundrum on their hands with social media. It’s the fastest way to get a story out, but the news agencies still want it first.
According to the Guardian, the BBC has ordered its journalists to refrain from breaking news on Twitter without first telling the rest of the news team. Basically, they don’t want their reporters breaking news on Twitter instead of in the paper.
These days, there’s this whole notion of citizen journalism out there, or guerilla journalism, or whatever you want to call it. In a nutshell, because of social media and smartphones with picture and video, normal Joe’s are as capable of breaking news as any long-time journalist.
Look at the raid on Osama bin Laden that was broken by a Pakistani living in the town where bin Laden was hiding. Sohaib Athar was literally tweeting about the raid as it was happening.
Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter. :-/
Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.
Yeah, there’s just no way a media organization can compete with that. The best they can do is re-tweet the stuff as soon as they find out about it. (Check it out in Bin Laden Raid Tweeted First.)
But, as we can see, not all news agencies are cool with their journalists re-tweeting breaking news before the news agency has a chance to…?break?…the news itself.
“Being quick off the mark with breaking news is essential to that mission [of reaching people],” BBC Social Media Editor Chris Hamilton told the Guardian. “But we’ve been clear that our first priority remains ensuring that important information reaches BBC colleagues, and thus all our audiences, as quickly as possible – and certainly not after it reaches Twitter.”
Hmm. I wonder where this story originally came from. Twitter?