Twitter hints for reporters

I saw a message on Twitter from Dave Cohn yesterday late in the afternoon that said he was set to interview Craig Newmark in 30 minutes. (Actually, I saw it 19 minutes after he posted it, so he was probably on the way out the door if not on the street when I replied.)

Today, Dave posted an explanation and a primer for journalists of all stripes who sometimes need quick questions along with quick answers.

It’s an introduction to microblogging, complete with a list of tools and how a reporter could use them to tap into the collective intelligence of his or her social network at the touch of a button.

If you still don’t *get* Twitter, start with Dave’s post, and then go read Jeremiah Owyang’s post that started something really fascinating this week, only substitute the word “journalism” for the word “marketing” and you’ll feel better about it, if that’s your thing.

2 thoughts on “Twitter hints for reporters”

  1. Ryan, this is very insightful.

    I’ve done this kind of intelligence gathering a long time ago in the financial newsagency arena, using mIRC as the mechanism, but within the firewall. It was highly unusual then, and I suspect still so now, because journalists don’t seem so good at sharing. The subjects for interview would be central banking types. Reporters in the global network would be tapped for input, offering different technical or market perspectives. This could even be done with doorstep interviews to produce realtime feedback between subject and audience. The interviewer could look way smarter this way too, so you build credibility with who you are talking to.

    The problem with working on your own is what is known as the availability error/heuristic. Tapping a wider faculty could unfortunately reinforce that, unless you maintain diversity in your network. Of course if your editor suffers from availability error, you’re screwed.

    Better go off and twitter now.


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