Thursday, July 23, 2009

Should Twitter Be Used As A News Source? by Janus Kane

Twitter is a great resource. It has become an integral part of my daily routine and I have met some interesting people there. Without question, this exceptional networking tool has found a place in today’s society. Having said that, I have to ask – am I the only one who is a bit concerned at the fact that television news seems to be doing some of their story research on Twitter?

We hear mor and more references to Twitter on daily programming. That is not what I am talking about here. No, what I’m referring to is the actual citing of Twitter Tweets as news. I was stunned to see the evening news, last night, reference the Tweets of opposing parties in their report of the Tehran conflict. Seriously, is this what news reporting in our country has come to?
For some time now, news disseminators have been getting their story ideas from the Internet, but now it seems that they are getting the story itself there. Has the Internet become one-stop-shopping for reporters? Will television and newspaper reporting agencies now be satisfied with regurgitating the same information we can find on our own computers?

I think my biggest problem with this, besides the duplicity of it, is the question of credibility. How easily could a twitter account, or many other Internet sources for that matter, be pirated, hacked or just plain manipulated to provide false information. Call me crazy, but when I tune into the nightly ‘news’ I would at least like to preserve the illusion that the stories I am hearing about have been researched and verified by a news reporting agency that I can trust.
I realize that news reporting, like so many things in today’s society, must change in the face of the Internet age. This change, however, does not seem to be progress.


  1. The usual excuses of "downsized newsrooms" and "increased workloads" of journalists these days may let them off for the occasional press release reprint, BUT unless documenting the latest celebrity feud (and I don't think this is newsworthy anyway), there is no room for Twitter on the news.

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