We must choose completeness over succinctness when tweeting breaking news, especially if it’s complex breaking news that’s easily misunderstood.
Sam Kirkland, New Orgs Could Have Done a Better Job Tweeting Shutdown News, Poynter.
Yes, yes and yes. Kirkland points to tweets from large media organizations (USA Today, The AP and The Wall Street Journal) on September 27, which state that the Senate “passed” a bill to avert the government shutdown. He writes:
Every editor should know how a bill becomes a law — but no editor should assume every reader does. That’s why some of the breaking news tweets before and during the government shutdown were incomplete and potentially misleading.
He points to large media organizations because the reach of their tweets is enormous.
The real story that day — and every day since, until Wednesday — was what House Republicans would agree to. Democrats in the Senate passing a budget bill meant little if it was dead on arrival in the GOP-led House, as the New York Times’ fantastic ongoing back-and-forth graphic showed throughout the shutdown.
So, the all-caps #BREAKING treatment perhaps made the Senate’s move seem more consequential than it really was, especially with wording that could be misconstrued as indicating the Senate’s vote actually meant the shutdown threat was over. Those three tweets weren’t factually wrong, but responses to them indicated at least some confusion from readers.
Related to our last post, I’m sharing this message from Poynter:
Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and CEO, in a speech at the University of North Carolina recently, told journalism students they should change their major. “If you’re going into journalism if you care, then you’re going into the wrong profession … I usually ask (journalists) if they want to change the world in the way it wants to be changed,” Ailes said.
Tom Huang, Poynter adjunct faculty member, has a slightly different take: “Actually, you should go into journalism if you want to save the world. My point is that you don’t get to choose the time that you’re called upon to be brave and do your best work. Don’t forget: A time of crisis and change is a time of incredible opportunity,” he wrote for Poynter.org.
What’s your take on this? Whether you are a student, educator or professional, we would like to know what you think about the value of a journalism degree. Poynter’s Howard Finberg, who has been thinking about the future of journalism and journalism education for years, will be giving a talk at the European Journalism Centre on the future of journalism education, and he hopes you’ll fill out a very short [four to five questions only] survey. He’ll share what he learns at AEJMC this summer as well.
FJP: NewsU will give you a 35 percent discount code to any of their Webinars or Webinar Replays for doing so. Feel free to share your thoughts with us too! (@the_fjp)
Maybe we should just resign ourselves that today is a day of resignation. We’ve talked Steve Jobs, we’ve talked Slate layoffs but now’s the time to talk Jim Romenesko.
For years now he’s curated the news about the news at his eponymous blog at Poynter.org. Literally, the man is a machine. And his curation Fu has been going on for far longer than the rest of us have curated our particular interests.
Via the New York Times:
Mr. Romenesko was a pioneer of a form of online journalism that is now commonplace. Sites like Gawker and Dealbreaker would become popular years later using similar models.
He identified the hunger for niche news, and connected his readers through an online community in which they could debate and comment on the story of the day. And if they had an internal memo they wanted to leak him, all the better. He would post it and guarantee anonymity. His last name became a verb that editors hoped they would never find themselves on the other end of — as in, “You just got Romenesko’d.” That typically meant one of their memos had leaked on his site.
From time to time, this space will serve to mock and highlight the ridiculousness that are lifestyles pieces. After a while, you’ll see that newspapers are just telling us what we already know.