OLD Media Moves

The importance of Twitter in disseminating business news

November 26, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Heidi Moore, the New York bureau chief of American Public Media’s “Marketplace” who covers Wall Street, writes about using Twitter as a tool to improve business coverage.

Moore writes, “Twitter is a great underminer of the rigid ivory-tower voice-of-God news judgment that has fed a lot of arrogance into journalists and journalism, and which has been its downfall. There are a lot of journalists who see Twitter as a ‘branding’ tool or as a way to pimp their own stories without actually having to hear what anyone else thinks or respond to anyone else. This, I think, is stupid. As the private equity maven Henry Kravis told the FT’s Henny Sender (in a story I found on Twitter): ‘Arrogance kills.

“The key to good journalism is an open mind. I am continually disappointed that there are users, many of them journalists, who don’t engage very much with people on Twitter and just use it to broadcast their stories, promote only their friends, or otherwise suck up. Readers and followers rightly see this as a pompous and self-serving use of their time and attention. If readers wanted to read only your stories, they would add you to an RSS feed. The point of being on Twitter is to talk to people, normally, without using snappy air guns and smothering everyone with some oleaginous need for approval.

“I like Twitter as a service to oneself and others, and I’m ruthlessly utilitarian about my news judgment on it, retweeting only what is genuinely interesting to me and following people with good taste in news. (And unfollowing people who are boring or cripplingly angry or hateful.) I’ve averaged about 45 tweets a day since I started on Twitter – as Felix’s always on-the-fritz Sarcasmotron abacus has found ( http://t.co/Ns5frfNU) -and I’d estimate that at least 99% of that is links to or retweets of the news stories of other publications and reporters.  (The other 1% is cute animal pictures, occasional links to my own stories, and venting about sources being out at lunch when I need to reach them on deadline.)”

Read more here.

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