Twitter: Valuable Journalist Tool?

Ttwitterwitter plays a major role in the social and informational media of the 21st century. Twitter has more than a grand total of 500 million users registered. Among these users are journalists. Although Twitter has some set-backs, it can be a valuable tool for journalists if used correctly. According to Steve Buttry in his post, there are ten key components of Twitter that make it valuable: breaking news, crowdsourcing, ability to search for sources, follow newsworthy people, gather community quotes, get story ideas, save time, distribute content, continue conversation, and respond to criticism/questions. One of the most important positive aspects of Twitter that makes it useful, as highlighted by Buttry, is its timeliness. Journalists can post information right away or receive news that happened only seconds ago. Accessibility is another important key factor. Journalists can see what is trending. However, as Belinda Alzner points out, Twitter is a valuable tool only if it is used correctly. Specifically, she does not think it is right that people classify tweets as published sources of journalism when they are only short 140 character posts. Secondly, Twitter is open to the public, so people can take whatever posts they want and use it somewhere else regardless of any additional information the journalists may have. Moreover, Journalism has become lazy with the conveniences of Twitter. Paul Farhi, contributing writer for the Washington Post, takes an undecided position on the topic in his article. Twitter provides easy-access to newsmakers if they cannot physically be reached. He also points out that Twitter provides journalists with up-coming trends. However, he also reminds readers of all the unimportant tweets there are to sift through to get access to the ones of value. Overall, Twitter is a good tool for staying updated on news and trends, but it is not a good choice of media to publish work and therefore journalists should find other modes of publishing their work.

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