posts about or somewhat related to ‘twitter’
In a study on Twitter’s breaking news coverage, scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow tracked 51 million tweets in 2011 and compared them to output from traditional news outlets (including the BBC, Reuters, CNN and the New York Times).
The study found that neither Twitter nor the news outlets were quicker than the other in breaking high-profile news. But for sport and disaster-related events, Twitter generated the news faster.
Fast Company provides more stats in the study’s findings:
This table measures the Twitter vs. Newswire lead time on news stories between late June of 2011 and mid-September of that year (the faster newsbreaker is in bold):
While newswires had the majority of scoops, Twitter still broke the news on the England riot mortalities by as much as an hour ahead of the wire. Meanwhile, 95% of newswire stories also made their way onto the microblogging platform.
Miles Osborne, lead author of the study, says that the exchange between Twitter and newswire lead times could mean that the reporting cycle’s due diligence shrinks over time—and anecdotally, we see that it already has in some cases. Still, Osborne’s data showed that the newswire is still the main force in information sharing, and he doesn’t anticipate that changing.
“My prediction is that … news services will simply use Twitter as another dissemination vector,” Osborne told Co.Exist in an email. “In my opinion the broad findings will continue. For example, news of some border treaty will never surface first on Twitter. Likewise, someone being robbed in downtown Boston might well appear first on Twitter.
FJP: Osborne’s thoughts mirror recent comments made by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo at the annual convention of the American Society of News Editors (via USA TODAY):
We think of Twitter as a technology company in the media business…We don’t do journalism. We don’t report tweets that come in. We’re very complementary to news organizations.
There’s no denying that Twitter can be useful in breaking news. It isn’t always the best venue for accurate information, as media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing had shown us. So here are some tips and tools on best practices for Twitter best practices and how to verify a tweet.—Kat
A lot of stuff that is kind of interesting, mostly not that good. And it’s absolutely chewed over into cud by the time you get there. So I’ve been making a concerted effort to create structure on my computer using different kinds of software and so forth, that forces me to get less of my news from social media, and more of it by reading my RSS feed, which are blogs, or going to other news sites.
Ezra Klein, as quoted by Conor Friedersdorf in Ezra Klein’s Case Against Getting Your News from Twitter, The Atlantic.
FJP: Very related and very helpful is Paul Bradshaw’s A Network Infrastructure for Journalists Online, which is an introduction to RSS readers, social networks and social bookmarking.