Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool For class on Tuesday, Sept. 1: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs Ch. 2, 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, Aug. 31.

15 thoughts on “Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

  1. Leave your comment here. My avatar, by the way, is a shot of our dog Hildy. She’s named after one of the lead characters in an old journalism movie called His Girl Friday.

    • Although I’ve been using Twitter for a while as a professional journalistic tool, the author brought several things to my attention about Twitter that I had never thought of before. While I focus on Twitter as a way to follow news organizations and individual journalists, I hadn’t thought that they could use it to understand their audience by following those people and keeping up with what they are interested in. For me, that’s the most groundbreaking aspect about Twitter, because it can be used as an interactive tool for journalists, and in effect benefits both the journalists and the readers to create better overall messages.

    • It is interesting that the Mark Briggs believes that every college student needs a blog. I was talking to a professor today who told me that she doesn’t believe it is necessary for me to have a traditional blog due to the work that SMU students do with the Daily Campus. However, microblogging is a different animal. I like twitter, however, I am not sure if I will ever use the word “microblogging.” It sounds like a weird way to describe Twitter because not every users tweet is of value. Sometimes a tweet is a shout out to a celebrity. I do agree with Briggs that Twitter is an excellent way for journalists to brand themselves and to create a following. I noticed that I receive more retweets when I tweet about things happening at SMU or about southern culture. Those are two things that I know the most about.

  2. As someone who has had a Twitter forever and never uses it, I find this article motivating to start publishing my ideas and work, as well as tweeting/retweeting to others. I like the emphasis on building relationships and marketing your own brand. It really is necessary to have a handle on this app in this day and age as the book and society both stress the hunger for news and relationships that people want NOW.

  3. Although, I have lived through the popularity and growth of Twitter, I never tried to understand it or make use of it. I liked that the article highlighted the importance of Twitter for it’s simplicity and immediacy. I also found the guidelines to be helpful for someone who has very little experience using Twitter. I will be trying to reflect my personality and build relationships through 140 characters.

  4. It’s strange to think that I have been on Twitter since September of 2009. 6 years ago I made an account as a high school student to keep up with a few of my friends who swore it would make us more like the teens on Gossip Girl (it didn’t). But since then, Twitter has become one of the most utilized and effective day-to-day journalistic tools. I don’t always use Twitter the right way, but I have seen the usefulness that “microblogging” can facilitate. It’s fast, constantly updating, and can be an extremely direct form of communication toward a very targeted audience. By microblogging, Briggs says, “professional reporters can publish information beyond the traditional news cycle and in something other than the traditional story format, both of which help enhance their authority on a beat.” He really helped me remind what a vital tool Twitter has proven itself to be.

  5. This reading shaped the way I looked at Twitter as a “microblogging” tool, as a way to form a personal brand and connection with the audience. With these personal microblogs, or profiles, users can connect with the larger community through mobile devices, computers, emails and social media. It creates what Briggs calls “ambient awareness or intimacy” with the ability for users to connect with readers without a direct communication tool. In this way, Twitter has become a way for journalists to become a more trusted source of online information and gives readers the ability to contribute to the newsgathering process through photos, eyewitness accounts and personal opinions. Overall in the professional sense, Twitter allows journalists to form personal connections with the audience, develop an online brand and gain more information.

  6. My first thought while reading was, “I need to use my professional twitter account, NOW.” For my reporting II class, we were required to have a professional twitter account, but we really didn’t use it that much. I posted a handful of times and followed my favorite news accounts. I hate to admit it, but after that class I never followed up on my account.

    With all that being said, the reading has opened my eyes to how important it is to be active on twitter. I got discouraged while tweeting last semester because my thought was “who is actually reading this?” I felt as though I was talking to myself. I now realize I need to work on building followers, so my tweets are being heard. Briggs has made me motivated to use twitter the correct way, as it is a vital tool for journalism.

  7. I understand the professional point behind Twitter. I don’t really use it for personal use. In this profession it is super important, but I don’t feel I really have anything relevant to add just quite yet. Most of my tweets are just retweets of news that I think is important.

    The part that I found most interesting was about building your brand. Most of my co-workers and friends tweet about all kinds of random things. They go in a million different directions. When I opened my Twitter accountant I asked them why they didn’t just focus on one topic or one thing. They assured me that it didn’t matter. After the reading I realized that focusing on one topic and just establishing a brand is really important. Fashion, entertainment, politics, travel are all different genres. Immersing ourselves in what interests us will help us move forward in a certain direction and establish a brand.

  8. Prior to reading Briggs’ explanation as to why and how Twitter has become a mandatory journalistic tool, I was skeptical as to how my twitter prevalence could affect the online world of Journalism. What could I tweet that would of the same or greater importance as an actual professional or news outlet? In reading these microblogging passages, I realize it much more about joining the conversation and creating an online image and brand than it is about my role in tweeting “breaking news”. Previously, I was weary of what I should be tweeting, and whether or not my followership would care. I now know, that regardless of pursuing a career in journalism, it is important as a professional (of any sort) to be current, engaged and have a voice. For this primary reason I now understand the importance of being engaged and active on Twitter.

  9. Chapter 2 made me think about replying more on Twitter. I do a decent job of tweeting and retweeting things, but I’m not the best at replying. Every now and then I’ll have a conversation with a follower about something that interests me, but I never initiate it. I need to do a better job of searching for tweets that interest me so I can reply to them. Doing that will not only get me more connected with people who have the same interests as me, but it will also force me to stay more up to date with what’s going on in the world. I feel like if I can accomplish that, I will be a lot closer to fully understanding microblogging.

  10. I have always been behind when it comes to social media, which is ironic considering my journalism major. Instagram? Sophomore in college. Twitter? Last year. Specifically, my last tweet was in December to promote an Odyssey article. The only four before that? Same thing.

    But Chapter 2’s blogging basics really inspired me to begin using Twitter for its intended purposes – both on my personal account and Campus Weekly’s fashion account. I enjoyed Brigg’s thorough explanations as to why Twitter is such an important journalistic tool. It is easy to publish and just as easy to consume news, but Twitter’s greatest strength lies in its constant connection with others. I appreciated how he continued with tips and tricks for starting your own Twitter account (and brand!) so as to utilize it to its highest potential, rather than assuming I would intrinsically know how to once I was motivated to do so.

  11. I have been using Twitter for many years now, but I used it for mainly personal entertainment. I tweeted about things going on in my life and to my friends, and the tweets were mostly insignificant. I looked at Twitter as a fun way to keep up with what my friends at my high school were doing when I wasn’t around them.

    More recently, I’ve made it my goal to create and maintain a professional Twitter account for myself. I want to be able to put this Twitter link on job applications and resumes to show that I am involved in and interested in talking about the news. Briggs gave me tips and advice on how to do this and why this is so important. I realized that what I need to work on is tweeting news immediately as it is happening. Most of the time, I will simply retweet or quote articles I find interesting. I want to practice tweeting live and contributing to a breaking news story. Twitter is focused on real-time, and within seconds your tweet will be lost in the countless stream of tweets and hashtags. I want to be on top of my game so that my tweets are on time and informative.

  12. Twitter, or microblogging, has been a form of social media I have feared and avoided. This chapter has opened my eyes to the importance of building a brand and establishing myself as a journalist in the digital age. The importance of connecting with others on social media will keep me informed of the events happening around me and give me ideas for new stories. I know that I need to quickly catch up with my fellow journalists so that I can connect with others and form a following. I always knew that being active on Twitter was important for working in journalism, but now I am aware that it is absolutely necessary to have an excellent Twitter account.  

  13. Despite growing up in an technology based society, I have always been more traditional in my approach to connecting with other people. However, as I get more into building my career, I realize how social media truly plays a role in connecting me to people all around the world! Networking and connecting with others via Twitter will help me be aware of what is going on and what other journalists are saying. I hope that this course will allow me to grow my personal brand and use Twitter to make changes in my approach to journalism.

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