Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

For class on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

After reading Briggs Ch. 4, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the chapter change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.

29 thoughts on “Twitter as a Journalistic Tool

    • I started using Twitter towards the end of high school but didn’t actually understand the purpose of it. I would retweet posts that I thought were funny and ended up deleting my Twitter handle because I preferred Facebook for my social needs. I rejoined Twitter again last year when I took Reporting I because it was required of us. I still struggled to understand the use of hashtags and would only tweet when it was required of me.

      As time has gone on, I’ve realized how the right tweet with links and hashtags can be retweeted and my words can be seen by anyone. Tweets can start conversations with interesting people. You can follow people or organizations and end up learning or thinking about things a different way.

      In Chapter 4, Briggs speaks of breaking news’ importance on Twitter. Not only can you receive breaking news in your feed, but you can also receive updates as information becomes available. Having a vast network and reading tweets from an array of sources has helped spark ideas for stories I’ve written. Clearly Twitter is an important resource for any journalist and I intend on taking advantage of it.

    • I remember hearing about Twitter for the first time my senior year in high school. It was foreign to me. My friends were actually joking around with me about how I couldn’t use it. Honestly, even hashtags were new to me. I didn’t know that to do a hashtag you had to have no spaces between the words. I figured everything after the hashtag would automatically be part of it.

      In high school Twitter seemed more of a form of who could post the funniest tweet. When I got to college I realized it wasn’t all about that, but rather a form of news. People want to follow you to get information from you, other than what you ate for breakfast in the morning (which I also quickly learned will lose followers).

      I tried everything.. I tried being funny, I tried marketing myself via twitter and it wasn’t until I went on the radio that I gained followers. I made went on-air in two stations in Dallas and one in Houston and gained over 1,000 followers, they were all sports stations. Still to this day when I tweet something about sports I notice I will have the most retweets or favorites and I think it is because that is who most of my followers are, sports fans.

      The part in this chapter that stood out to me was the part about following the 80-20 rule. Because my community is sports fans. And the book states, “use 80 percent of your posts to add something of value to the community.” I have realized using roughly 20 percent of my Twitter for self-promoting works the best.

    • I have always been social media conscious. I started using Twitter for personal use during my sophomore year of high school. It started out as a fun social media that my parents weren’t on, but then I realized during Spring of 2013 that I would need a professional one for my classes.

      I began to realize from the beginning that anyone and everyone could see my tweets. I have always been careful of my wording and the content that I tweet. But, there was an incident in high school where I tweeted something along the lines of keeping my priorities straight even though I went out a lot, and a teacher told my mom about it. It just made me very aware that everyone can view what you’re doing on social media even if you’re not aware of it.

      In Chapter 4, Briggs talked about building your network and to “listen to what your followers are tweeting”, basically by reading what they tweet. That really stood out to me because the times that I received the most retweets or favorites was when I followed what others were concerned and tweeting about. It’s important to notice the high times and low times as well that people are on Twitter because that effects the viewership on the tweet and how many people it impacts.

    • This chapter’s stance on Twitter as a journalistic tool seems to convey that you will get out of Twitter (as a tool) what you put into it. Which i think makes a lot of sense. Many of my non-journalist friends always claim they “don’t get Twitter,” be it because they’re not following anyone of their respective interests or they actually don’t understand that it is an interactive form of social media more so than an “entertaining” one that you can mindlessly browse such as Instagram. The times that Twitter has been most useful for me have been times when I’ve dived into the Twitter-sphere, exploring breaking news thru hashtags or following links from the people I follow. Because while people find ways to say a lot in only 140 characters, there’s always more to the story. And Twitter’s interactive model allows people to follow up in their interested, or simply continue to scroll down their timeline if they’re not. Overall though, I think this reading made me think more about my presence on Twitter and in what ways, as an aspiring journalist, I contribute to my followers. At this point I don’t think I offer any sort of clear and consistent genre or opinion and I think if I wish to use Twitter actively rather than passively, I should start to figure out what I want that input to be.

  1. When Twitter first arrived on my social network radar in 2008 as a popular new way to keep up with one’s friends, I was confused on what it really was. So, I asked around to see what Twitter was all about. I received one common response: “It’s like a website that just uses status updates.” When I heard this, I – someone who rarely used the status update feature on Facebook – quickly dismissed Twitter as a social network that updated a user’s friends about the food one was eating or how a verse from one’s favorite song really “shows the meaning of life.”
    I held the same belief about what Twitter ‘s function was until I began taking in-depth journalism courses. However, I was still reluctant to be actively involved in something I had criticized for so long. After I read chapter four of “Journalism Next,” my view changed. I will not say this chapter profoundly changed my life, but it did teach me the important functions of Twitter.
    I didn’t realize the active use of Twitter could open an important dialogue between those who write the news and those who read it. With the use of twitter, the reader can have a large hand in how the writer reports the news. However, it seems that Twitter is blurring the lines between these two traditionally separate roles.
    If a reporter uses Twitter to more closely interact with his or her readers by asking questions and listening, the content the reporter publishes will be a better reflection of what people value as news. Mark Briggs quotes this: “Those who write off the minutiae of Twitter need to realize: it’s the writer who makes it interesting.”

  2. I first started using Twitter in 2009. I’m not exactly sure how I heard about the website, but I knew that it was a way for me to keep up with people like Ashton Kutcher, Neil Patrick Harris, and the cast of Glee. Slowly, I discovered that I could follow people in the fashion industry and learn about fashion news directly and quickly.

    I didn’t actively tweet until a few years later when more of my friends started using Twitter. My tweets were mostly messages to friends or silly thoughts that I had. Eventually, I began to see the journalistic point of Twitter. Twitter has been the place for me to keep up with major events. It’s where I followed the aftermath of the Boston Marathon and found out about Obama’s reelection in 2012.

    Today, I can learn what is going on in the world quickly and efficiently by following reliable news sources. Briggs believes that Twitter is the fastest way to find fairly reliable information on a breaking story, and I agree. Personal experience has shown me that Twitter is a great place for following news.

    However, I still follow a lot of celebrities and comedians, and I definitely don’t take myself too seriously on Twitter. After reading this chapter, I think that I could begin to tweet more about current events and breaking stories. While I want to use Twitter as a journalistic tool, I plan on doing this without sacrificing my personality and style.

  3. Like others, I was introduced to Twitter back in 2009, and was very confused of its nature. I was clueless as to what it did, what the benefits were and what its purpose was. I figured it would die off like many other social networks, and completely disregarded it. A year later, I caved, and Twitter has yet to show any signs of slowing down.

    Reading this chapter just reinforced my take on Twitter, and also made me question what we even did beforehand. It’s become of habit of mine to check Twitter for breaking news, even before it hits. For more softer news, Twitter makes it so easy to follow your favorite TV networks, celebrities, comedians, etc.

    I’ll never forget the live unfolding of the Boston Marathon Bombings on Twitter, which turned out to be more reliable than mainstream media. The journalistic, and citizen, coverage was so unreal. Images, links and interviews were coming in faster than I could scroll. It was then that I realized Twitter was a force to be reckoned with, and it’s here to stay.

    Briggs is constant in mentioning the importance of “tapping” into this social connection. I couldn’t agree more.

  4. “I’m in a group text with my parents. #wishiwerekidding #onlychildproblems.”

    That was my first post on Twitter on Nov. 19, 2011. I was a freshman in college who saw using Twitter as a way to fit in and look savvy.

    My infatuation with Twitter for its ability to start a conversation with the cute boy in my dorm has (fortunately) faded. Today, I use twitter for its ability to connect those who give and consume information in a quick, digestible format.

    From my perspective as an aspiring journalist, Twitter’s initial value seems to be that I can tweet my story to World Wide Web and hope it reaches someone. What I found most interesting in Mark Brigg’s chapter on microblogging in Journalism Next was that it’s just as important for a journalist to be following and listening on Twitter as it is to be posting.

    Following journalists, publications, local businesses, cops and politicians on Twitter can lead to a new story idea or simply a more informed context for a future story. Recently, I have found tweets from Dallas Police Chief David Brown, SMU and the Texas Tribune to be helpful in thinking of story ideas.

    In respect to sharing and obtaining information quickly, Twitter obviously succeeds. The remaining problem I see with microblogging is that it creates what Briggs calls “ambient awareness” and “ambient intimacy.” People engage with one another on Twitter in a “persistent but passive.”

    “Passive” was not the word I expected to see in a section talking about engaging with an audience. The question I hope to explore this semester is this: How can I use Twitter in a way that surpasses “ambient awareness?”

  5. Chapter 4 in Mark Briggs’ book, “Journalism Next,” definitely changed the way I look at Twitter as a professional journalistic tool.

    I initially viewed Twitter as just another form of social media that young people use to keep up with their friends — posting about what they had to eat that day or a movie they recently saw. After reading this chapter, however, I now see that Twitter has grown to become one of the major ways that many people get their news. Defined by Briggs as “microblogging,” Twitter allows you to share news and information with anyone, anywhere, and at anytime, making it one of the fastest and easiest ways to report breaking news from all over the world.

    One of the most important things this chapter taught me, however, is the 80-20 Rule. The 80-20 Rule, according to Briggs, suggests that 80 percent of your posts on Twitter should add something of value to your community, while only 20 percent of your posts should be self-promoting. Because Briggs notes that anyone who uses Twitter inevitably becomes a citizen-journalist, he stresses that it is important to always “listen” to those who are writing, and have a clear goal for what you hope to accomplish on Twitter.

  6. It was hard to read the Chapter on Microblogging and Social Media in Marks Briggs book, “Journalism Next,” and realize that I am “that girl.” She’s the one described on page 110 which covers the three worthless ways to microblog. I opened a twitter account in the Fall of 2011, tweeted when it was assigned and never looked at the account again when the class was over. When I did use Twitter, it was always as a one-way form of communication instead of a dialogue, and I’ve always felt that I never had the time to tweet.

    The chapter shed some interesting insight for me, particularly with respect to the term, “microblogging,” a term I’d never heard before. When you think of Twitter as short-form blogging that over a series of entries creates an “ambient intimacy” with others it seems more purposeful and powerful. I particularly liked the idea of establishing myself as a “trusted center” within a structure of relationships by posting with accuracy and integrity.

    With this new insight I look forward to exploring this platform as a way of sharing information and connection to others. It will be interesting to see if I can train my brain to synthesize my thoughts into 140 characters or less!

  7. When I use Twitter for work it is mostly to make announcements or promote stories, but viewing each Tweet as a small blog is an interesting way to look at it and helped me this weekend as I was covering the SMU football game. I asked questions to my audience to try to engage them, asked them if they had any questions for me. This engagement is a good start for me to strengthen my position on Twitter. I also need to start giving analysis as I post stories on Twitter. This will help grow my page as well.

    I definitely agree with Briggs when he writes on page 95 that Twitter helps young journalists establish themselves in the journalistic communities. Through social media I have come in contact with sports reporters from the Dallas Morning News, Scout, Rivals, Bleacher Report and many more. Twitter is an easy way to get yourself out there and if you do a good enough job establish yourself as an expert in your field.

  8. To be completely honest, I am one of those people whose “boss” (aka a professor) told me that I needed to be on Twitter. I would post Tweets to complete an assignment without even realizing the implications of my actions. I never seemed to grasp the full effect of Twitter, until now.

    After reading Chapter 4 from Briggs’ Journalism Next, I finally realize how inadequate my Twitter skills truly are. This realization has forced me to step up my game and reintroduce my newly found knowledge of Twitter to the world. So as of today, not only will I be composing Tweets for this Digital Journalism class, but I will also actively post to help build and maintain my credibility as a journalist.

    I want to be part of the journalism movement that uses Twitter as a way to create a community of news consumers, develop unique stories and break news to my followers.

  9. “According to the San Francisco Chronicle, co-founder Biz Stone came up with the name Twitter, which he said evokes birds – in his words, ‘short bursts of information, something trivial. Everyone is chirping, having a good time and their phones even twitter,”‘ says Mark Briggs in chapter four of his book Journalism Next.

    Biz Stone could not have been more accurate on his take of his creation – Twitter is a platform where you can gather all kinds of bite-sized news and information in a very short amount of time. If you are interested by the 140 characters, you can often click on a link to read more. If the 140 characters bore you to tears, you can move on to the next bite-sized piece of news. Twitter encourages individualization of news and as Briggs says, you can “secure your own messages and restrict access only to those individuals you want reading your updates.”

    Twitter is a social media platform that I did not use regularly until last year, primarily because I am an old soul who refuses to believe that physical newspapers are dying out. In my opinion, fewer things are more enjoyable and sacred than reading the Sunday Times cover to cover at the breakfast table. However, in the last year, I have grown to love Twitter – and use it rather a lot. I agree with Briggs in that Twitter trains you to look for interesting things around you and also to communicate your thoughts in just 140 characters.

    In high school, the most challenging part of being editor of my school newspaper was HEADLINES. How could I encompass a political article or a breaking-news story in just a few words?! But now, thanks to the nature of Twitter (and because of my regular use of Twitter), headlines come much easier to me. I am definitely a Twitter user that receives more information than I give out on Twitter. Briggs suggests, though, that it is just as important to gather news and information on Twitter than it is to publish information.

    What I really took away from this chapter is the importance of using Twitter to do public interviews. I do not yet use my personal Twitter for this, but I have often used the Twitter that I run for the company I work for to ask our followers some questions that they can respond to (on Twitter and Facebook alike). As I am growing my followers on my personal Twitter, I hope that I can start to do this in order to gain readership and also to stimulate more conversation and connect with more users and active journalists Tweeters.

  10. I first started using Twitter during my junior year in high school strictly for entertainment purposes. However, my perspective on the microblogging website has changed over time and has ultimately come to reflect what Briggs says on page 99 that the “responses and reactions are the whole point of microblogging.”

    During my senior year in high school, mayhem broke out in my hometown Atlanta when Rob Parker, a former ESPN journalist, wrote an article about how Atlanta was the worst sports town in America. I tweeted at Parker, who has since been fired from ESPN for making controversial statement about Robert Griffin III, about how much the city of Atlanta hated him and was surprised when he responded to me just a few minutes later saying he loved Atlanta. At that time, I didn’t how recognize powerful Twitter could be for journalists. Today, I understand that my short communication with Parker represents the interactivity of today’s journalism world.

    My generation – the kids who grew up while social media was first invented and popularized – has a competitive edge in using social media as a tool for journalists. We’ve been using social media for our own entertainment for years and can now harness our knowledge of the digital landscape to further ourselves as journalists. As outlined in Chapter 4, Briggs’ book provides a guideline on all the different ways it can be harnessed.

  11. Twitter is part of my daily routine- whether it’s posting a link to whatever story or video I recently made or simply finding out what’s going on in the world, its one of the first things I do when I wake up. However, this wasn’t the case until I took Reporting. Prior to the course, I had used Twitter maybe two or three times.

    After reading Chapter four of “Journalism Next” I realize that while I am using Twitter regularly, the content that I am producing isn’t consistent enough to create a growing fan base/following. I particularly liked the chapter’s suggestion to get started on actively using Twitter- specifically what kinds of Tweets to produce on a daily basis. I believe that if I can be more disciplined and creative with my Tweets, I can increase may area of impact. Well, that is the plan anyway.

  12. I have never really jumped into the twitter sphere. The only reason I even had an account is because a former employer mandated it. Posting the required tweets was torture. I never felt my life or thoughts would be interesting to anyone. I wish I had read this chapter years ago. It has helped me realize twitter is about a lot more than just creating a compelling 140 character post. There is a conversation on the web that I am missing out on. I have an account. I have the app on my phone. And I, like many others, do have something to offer to that conversation.
    Chapter 4 detailed how to use twitter to your greatest advantage. The author suggested tweeting questions. This has never occurred to me, but it’s a tool that could be very beneficial. Simply tweeting a question allows you to find out information quickly, get an immediate feedback and hopefully an understanding of what people around you are thinking. Briggs also pointed out that twitter is especially useful for journalists in that it is another means to look for interesting things happening around you. It is more current than any other source. It helps you find people who share your interests. Journalists are trained to dig up creative and engaging stories. Often that is a challenge. Twitter should be an important tool in our repertoire of sources. Not using twitter is foolish. Twitter gives you that “ambient awareness” that makes you a better and more relevant journalist.

  13. I initially joined twitter in March 2011 as a way to become connected to happenings at SMU before I began my freshman year that August. In my mind, it was a social tool that could connect me to my new home in Dallas, yet I could still keep up with friends from home in a quicker way than other social outlets, such as Facebook.

    My tweets consisted mostly of retweets, Twitpics, and short “stories” or funny events from my day. The majority of the people I followed were friends and family, with the occasional celebrity thrown in there.

    It wasn’t until I began my Journalism courses at SMU that I learned how Twitter could be an efficient news tool, if used properly. The Chapter 4 reading reiterated this thought, and expressed it in a very simple way. Briggs enforces the fact that Twitter can help journalists establish themselves and provide as a platform for building a brand. It amazes me how drastically my mindset towards Twitter has changed in just a short 3 years. It went from something that I would turn to for light hearted fun, to a source where I can find everything from breaking news to what the weather will be like that day.

  14. I have never been someone who uses Twitter. If asked what my least favorite social media platform is? The answer is Twitter. I don’t have a great answer as to why this is, maybe I don’t think what I have to say would be interesting to anyone, maybe I just don’t want to succumb to the Twitter phenomenon, and maybe I’m one of those talked about in the chapter who says she just doesn’t have time. I think it is all of the above. I got a Twitter on a bet, and then only continue to use it now for school assignments.
    After reading this chapter, I’m not saying that I’m going to start using Twitter religiously, but I do see the benefits to “microblogging.” Not for the purpose of posting, but for the purpose of connecting to an audience and opening up conversation. I knew that people reply to Tweets, and they start conversations, but through this chapter I was made aware of how important this can be for journalistic purposes. Finding leads to stories through conversations on your Tweet? That’s something I really didn’t think of before, and something that I think is vital to the journalistic community, and something I should probably take advantage of.

  15. When the twitter craze first came around, I had no idea what all the fuss was about.
    I decided to make an account and try it out, but was almost instantly disappointed. We were in a Facebook era. Where were the pictures? I ended up using the account for all of one week, having no idea who I should follow or what to post. From that moment up until my first reporting class last year, my twitter account remained highly inactive, apart from my checking the timeline from time to time to see what my favorite celebrities were up to.

    Only recently have I become aware of the true power and potential for twitter as a journalistic tool. Over the summer, I interned with Fox 11 News in Los Angeles, and working at the assignment’s desk, one of my duties was to check the twitter feed throughout the day and keep an eye out for any breaking or developing news information. I even did a twitter search on the hashtag “#droughtshaming” to find a source on a story. This eventually led me to be able to set an interview between the source and one of the station’s reporters. It was at that moment I realized the importance of twitter and its expansive networking opportunities.

    As Briggs comments on in chapter four of Journalism Next, the real power of twitter and other microblogging mediums comes not necessarily from the ease at which it takes to disseminate breaking news, but rather in how it brings communities together to engage in topics online that was never possible before. It’s interactive. It encourages involvement and contribution. And ultimately, it provides a platform for journalists to more easily communicate with their audiences.

  16. I joined Twitter while I was in high school, which was a few years after it was created. Like many of the people my age, I used it to post funny things people said or things going on at the time. It was a fun new way to do what Facebook statuses had been at one point. We had stopped making statuses and were instead tweeting. I would favorite my friends’ funny tweets and they would do the same to me.

    Once I got to college I found that Twitter was less popular and I stopped using it for a while. However once I was in Reporting I created a new professional twitter for journalism. I started following more news organizations than friends and now look at it daily for a source of both local and national news. I tweet the links to articles I write for The Daily Campus as well as occasional re-tweets that interest me. After reading this chapter I was reminded that as a journalist I do need to step up my tweeting because a few tweets aren’t going to be impressive to a future employer. I also thought it was interesting that it suggested shortening URLs, which is something I will do in the future.

  17. I began my Twitter career following graduation from high school in 2011. I was a little late to the party since all of the tweets I had seen were simply posts from my classmates about where people were, what they were eating, and what activities they were doing. I was already on Facebook so I didn’t want to open an account to get more of the same. But in the end I did.

    My first tweets were more for entertainment and didn’t have much substance. When Barta had us follow news outlets as part of Reporting I, I was reluctant to follow “boring” sources but I was so wrong. Like Briggs points out, Twitter and “microblogging” allows us to see what’s truly going on around us and in our communities. In the blink of an eye, you can get news from around the world.

    In April, there was a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City– half a mile from my house. I happened to be on Twitter when a KC news source posted the breaking details about it. Even from 500 miles away I could catch up on the news faster than my family and friends close to the scene could. The quickness of Twitter blows me away and makes me realize how important it is as a way to share news.

    I’m still working on my personal Twitter and focusing on making it more news-focused. I read tweets much more than I post but am hoping to be more active and engaging in sharing local news, links to stories, and photos. Twitter has the challenge of fitting a big idea into 140 characters but when done creatively, it can really make a news story come to life.

  18. I am not a tweeter. I tried! I really did! I joined twitter two years ago during the winter break of my sophomore year. I was a little sad that I wasn’t able to spend the break with my University friends and after an especially strong bout of fomo struck, I gave in and started my account. I gave it 5 tweets, then I was out.

    I didn’t like the format.

    I hated that I had a limited amount of characters.

    And where were all the pictures?!?!

    I was missing Facebook. So my account lay dormant. That is, until about a year ago when I discovered blogging and vlogging. After each YouTube video and at the end of each post, all of the personalities I had begun to follow would put a link for their twitter accounts. And after some time and some more fomo, my curiosity got the best of me. So I logged back into my twitter and started following all of my favorite youtubers and bloggers. And then I understood.

    Twitter became, for me, a place where I could catch a glimpse into the lives of celebrities, personalities, politicians and leaders all over the world! And not only that but I could also keep up with the latest news, faster then on Facebook or by checking the NYTimes or NPR home pages every few hours. However, in the past year of me using twitter, I have only posted 50 tweets (most of which are retweets of people I thought posted profound or funny things).

    After reading the 4th chapter in Briggs’ Journalism Next, I now understand the importance of my participation on twitter. As a journalist, my number one duty is to the public, so having the opportunity to get to know the people I am sharing the news with, to see what they are interested in, to get to know them as people and even to interact and communicate with them, is priceless. This chapter helped me see that even though I am not a celebrity or politician, through twitter I have a voice and the opportunity to share the events going on in my community and around the world!

  19. Twitter, freedom of speech at its prime. At any point in time, anyone can write and publish whatever they want, only as long as they can keep it under 140 characters. Before reading this chapter I had honestly never heard of the term microblogging and never liked using twitter. I now understand how powerful only 140 characters can be.
    As an aspiring journalist, I should be an avid user of this tool of communication because thanks to twitter, I can be a gatherer, writer, and publisher of news. I believe my lack of usage probably stems from insecurities about what people might think of what I have to say. However, this chapter helped me understand that it is an incredible way to become a better journalist.
    Paul Bradshaw’s words, “It trains you to look for interesting things around you,” made me realize that twitter is an indispensable tool for journalists. If this chapter has taught me anything, it is that in this day and age, we are all both journalists and active audience members to what happens in the world.

  20. In high school, I knew about twitter, but I never had a reason to make one of my own. Once I realized that I wanted to be a journalist, and once I got to SMU, I decided to make a twitter account. At first, I wasn’t a big tweeter. I would tweet occasionally about MLB, NBA and football games. The more I started to tweet though, the less I started using Facebook.

    My sophomore year at SMU I started working for Ponystampede.com, and that is when I really started to tweet a lot more. I started tweeting out meaningful things like stories that I’ve written, reactions to SMU sporting events, and promotional things for the website.

    The more I use twitter now, the more people and news organizations I follow because I’ve realized it’s a great way to get breaking news and reactions to what’s going on. Because I am the managing editor now for PonyStampede.com, tweeting is just a part of my job. Bringing SMU breaking news is a lot easier with twitter. The 6 guidelines to using twitter in chapter 4 are a nice set of rules to follow when using twitter, and I will use them as a reference from now on.

  21. I created my Twitter account at some point in high school, although I didn’t use it much until college, when I started persuading my friends to sign up, too. It used to serve as a social media platform that I had only because it made me feel kind of tech-savvy and ahead of the game. But now I’m obsessed.

    I tweet multiple times a day about things I see and think, as well as links to my stories, events I’m going to, etc. I retweet links to various articles, depending upon what I’m interested in and what’s relevant to me, whether that’s breaking news or updates about my favorite television shows. (One time Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul sent me a DM after I tweeted at him. I plan on printing it out and framing it…)

    I’ve always known that Twitter is a powerful medium, especially for gaining and providing information about events happening worldwide. I thought I had Twitter down to a science, but this chapter gave me several new insights into the app.

    I was happy to read that journalists support the use of social media as a way to get information from readers or ask for interview questions. I’ve had the urge to do that in the past when reporting a story, but never have because I always felt like it was cheating. Now I’ll be sure to use that tool more often!

    I also enjoyed reading that Twitter “trains you to look for interesting things around you (and think how you can communicate that in 140 characters).” I like that quote because it validates some of my not-so-journalistic tweets.

    I’m so glad to have read the part about following people back! I usually don’t follow people back unless I’m extremely interested in what they have to say. I’ve always secretly wanted to maintain a good followers to following ratio, which means making sure that I’m following fewer people than are following me. But reading this chapter, especially the part about Twitter karma, made me want to go on a following spree.

  22. When I first joined Twitter my junior year of high school, I wanted a place where I could share my opinion without expecting any response from anyone. Until I took Reporting I, Twitter was to watch what was happening in news, pop culture, fashion, design and music. The combination of Reporting I, writing for the Daily Campus and working with SMU-TV kicked me into using Twitter in a more journalistic manner. Live tweeting events, sharing my work, news items and articles has become part of life, even at events that I’m at for fun.
    I would have to agree with Briggs that microblogging is part of a journalist’s wheelhouse. Learning to live tweet events and tell stories via Twitter really does test core journalistic practices. That 140 character limit forces me to really think about word usage, accuracy, timeliness, and grammar in at a much quicker pace than writing a long form story. As much as I use Twitter to watch and share what’s happening in both news and advertising, I don’t really take the time to interact with others on Twitter. I’ll respond to people who reply or @ me, however actively responding or engaging my audience isn’t something I do. Changing my interaction level on Twitter would strengthen my presence on Twitter as a journalist.

  23. The only reason I got a twitter in the first place was because one of my teachers my first year of college gave us all extra credit if we followed him. For the first year that I had it, I hardly bothered with it. I followed a couple of bands and some magazines I liked, but I never actually used it. I stuck to Facebook. After learning a little more about it and how to properly use it, I feel like it’s a really great tool to have. I still don’t use it a ton, but now instead of not knowing how to use it being the reason, it’s because I personally still prefer Facebook. Twitter can be especially helpful for things like Storify, which is a great way to tell a story.
    The one downside to Twitter is also one of the things that makes it so great; information is sent out at an incredible speed. This is a downside because where before you had time to interview sources, gather information, and fact check, now you have to send out tweets about an event before you have a chance to make sure you have all the information you need.
    Also, Twitter has changed the definition of “breaking news”. Before, having breaking news meant you had the scoop on the story or a key witness to an event up to a few days before other outlets. Now, it just means you can type and send out a tweet faster than another person.

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