23 Apr Open letter to anti-Tweeters
I understand some journalists’ reluctance about joining Twitter, but consider the following.
To me, Twitter, for journalists, is as much about research as it is about sharing stuff. And not personal stuff. That’s just noise.
However, journalists across the country have found great success in developing new sources, deeper relationships with the community and picking up trends. Most of the time I get links to other news sources from people who share the same interests. I follow CNN, NY Times, the Poynter Institute and other news sources, plus others I who feel are in the know. It’s the “others” who often direct me to stories I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.
Twitter also provides a sense of what people are thinking — and what they think about you. And it broadens your source base. We in the media often get criticized that we depend on a limited pool of sources for our stories. Twitter, not to mention Facebook, I’ve found, open our horizons in that sense.
We’re headed into an age in which news isn’t only decided by gatekeepers. For instance, I moderated a Press Club of Long Island social media panel during which some panelists said they “were tipped off about stories because they followed the Twitter feeds of business execs, politicians and other newsmakers. In using Twitter, those folks aren’t filtered by flaks. It’s replacing press releases.”
It’s unfortunate that people have an immediate visceral response/expectation that they’ll get inane comments directed their way. You have the choice of what you want to see and when. To immediately cast aside new tools for communication that people will increasingly use is casting away opportunities to get ahead of the competition. You’re more enlightened than that.
Here is some reference materials I hope you read: