Today on Twitter Tips, Jason Preston asks:
“Journalism requires that stories been constructed, facts be tied together, narratives presented, and context created. In short, journalism is the big picture.
“No one would argue that you can get the pig picture in 140 characters. But what about aggregate tweets? One person over a long time, or many people over a large subject?
“Is Twitter a viable, standalone medium for journalism?”
I think this quesion misses the mark regarding the nature of journalism. It confuses the package with the process. That’s understandable, because in the history of mainstream news, journalists and news organizations have often taken a “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” approach to revealing their own processes. When all the public sees is the product, it’s easy to assume that’s all there is to journalism.
Here’s the comment I left on his post:
Hmmmmâ€¦. I do journalism, and I know a lot of journalists, and Iâ€™ve seen what Twitter can do. It seems to me that any medium â€” from Twitter to broadcast news to smoke signals â€” has potential journalistic uses.
Journalism is a process, not just a product. For many professional journalists and other people who commit acts of journalism, Twitter is already an important part of their journalistic process (i.e., connecting with communities and sources, and gathering information). And it can also be part of the product (i.e., live coverage of events or breaking news, or updates to ongoing stories or issues)
So yes, Twitter CAN be a real news platform. As well as lots of other things. Just like a newspaper can be the Washington Post, the National Enquirer, or a free shopperâ€™s guide. It all depends on what you choose to make of it.
And also: These days, almost no news medium is â€œstandalone.â€ Every news org has a web presence, and many have a presence in social media, and also in embeddable media.
…That’s my take. What’s yours? Please comment below — or send a Twitter reply to @agahran