Media Shift is another popular blog for journalists. This post talks about how journalists are using Twitter.
I think Twitter can be great for some things. It can be an indispensable tool for breaking news. But in this article, I feel Rachel Sklar makes a legitimate point when she expresses her fear that tools like Twitter put quality, long-form journalism at risk.
As Taylor writes in the article, what Sklar “resents about the mobilization of citizen journalism is that many have lost respect for the actual means of production — and have little appreciation for the work required to create a piece of good journalism.”
I agree with this. Too many journalists are allowing their own profession to be cheapened by over-mobilized citizen journalism. Yes, it is important to get breaking news out there, and Twitter is a good way to do it. But despite their assurances that their journalistic values remain intact, I see too many journalists so mesmerized with new, mobile technology, so blinded by the holy light of Twitter, that it’s hard to trust their promises to produce ethical, high-quality work. And Flip Cams can be great…for the non-journalist. And for journalists…as a last resort, and in situations where resources and time are incredibly tight and a traditional video camera isn’t portable enough. And I agree with Andy Carvin that citizens can be great as sources…but rarely as journalists.
These new media tools can be awesome…but let’s not go overboard. And let’s not overuse them to the point that they destroy good journalism. If, as Taylor says, “Twitter is journalism’s Obama”…I’m a little bit worried about the future of our country.
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