Journalists eye validity of TwitterPosted: September 16, 2011
Journalists eye validity of spreading rumors on Twitter
With the advent of new media and its extraordinarily quick rise to prominence, it’s understandable that eventually things would turn sour. Where is the line drawn on media such as Twitter, between what is unsubstantiated gossip and what is factual and newsworthy?
Felix Salmon, a contributor to Reuters claims, “I think that big flagship Twitter accounts like @Reuters or @WSJ should be held to a higher standard.” But for individual reporters, tweet away.
This lax attitude can lead to embarrassing mistakes such as what happened to NPR when they incorrectly tweeted that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had died.
An important distinction needs to be made by all news organizations concerning the validity of Twitter as a means of reporting the news as quickly as possible—do we report information as fast as possible without totally confirming it? Or do we take a step back and check our facts like a responsible entity before tweeting…
The most important thing for a reporter to do is maintain their reliability. What is the point of following a news organization that reports the news incorrectly?
Rem Reider, editor of The American Journalism Review says, “What we need is a lot more reporting and a lot less guessing, whether on Twitter or anywhere else. If you haven’t checked it out, keep it to yourself – or tell your pals in an actual newsroom.”