maandag 25 februari 2013

Twitter Journalism: Lessons from #OscarPistorius

It was an exciting Valentine's day this year. On Febr 14, in the early morning, the news that Oscar Pistorius had killed is girl friend Reeva Steenkamp hit Twitter. The social media newswire exploded again when Pistorius had to appear in the Magistrate's Court in Pretoria, because TV and photographs were not allowed during the bail hearings.

What can journalism learn from this mayor news event on Twitter?
The complete story is published on De Nieuwe Reporter: 

  • Twitter works as an alarm bell; the news of the death of the Reeva Steenkamp was immediately on Twitter. It woke up the media and they started digging into the story;
  • Twitter is more then an alarm bell in cases where reporting cannot take place with the traditional means; it becomes a news medium on itself where the story is told in 140 characters;
  • When reporting takes place by Twitter other journalists are using Tweets as a source for their own stories;
  • Reporting was generally a one way communication from reporter to the public; Twitter makes reporting interactive and involves the public;
  • The credibility of the tweets is not only related to the source but also to the content; that is when tweets stick to the facts and background (explain for example what is going in the court), and are objective, the tweets gain authority, which is reflected by the re-tweets by other influential journalists and personalities;
  • Journalists gather more fame and recognition when reporting on Twitter then in the traditional media; this shown by the spikes in the number of followers;
  • Real time reporting on Twitter demands special skills of the journalist: carefully select what to share and how to phrase it in 140 characters;
  • The work of EWN (Eye Witness News) reporter @barrybateman illustrates this; from Febr. 14 to 21 the number of his followers increased with 604% , from 17 429 to 122 743; and during that period his name was the third most mentioned;
  • Individualization: The reporter/journalist becomes the medium and and his own brand;
  • Media are tweeting to refer to their on line stories: a good example of convergence.


The role of Twitter

Overview of what happened:

List of the top journo's on Twitter

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