1. I work as a journalist and Tweet a lot, mostly as an individual.
    I’ve always assumed that everything I say or do on Twitter is there for anyone to use or reproduce as they see fit. If I wanted it otherwise, I would make them private.
    That’s not me saying that journos should be indiscriminate in the way they use social media. They should apply the usual sensitivies and not use social media without permission when there is clearly no intention for the content to be re-used or no capacity to seek permission ( especially in cases of grief as discussed on this week’s Media Watch.)
    I’ve therefor developed what I think are two important protocols for referring to tweets in my work.
    One is that when I tweet about stories I wrote or edited I also write “[plug]” so that followers can see what I am up to.
    The other is that I always quote a tweet in full and link to it. And I tend to only use tweets from Twitterers who have already hung out a shingle as a commentator, either as professional analyst or blogger.
    I’ve never had a negative response to my use of social media in this way.
    .-= Simon Sharwood´s last blog ..Post 18, 2009: Journalists and musicians =-.

    1. exactly. you are a journalist and think that way.
      Most don’t. Think of CiscoFatty.com. Think of kids on the doof forum. Think of Mike tweeting to 22 people that he was unfollowing me and then ending up on Mumbrellas blog. Think of the soldier who was killed in Afganistan and his KIDS pictures from Facebook end up in the paper. Think of the guy who is in court for alleged abuse and his joining I Want To Slap Slow Moving People In The Back OF The Head group on Facebook as being an example of his violent tendencies (by the press). Think of the twins killed in Victorian bushfires and their last status updates being published in The Australian. Think of the Exxon intern who tweeted to 17 followers that the Exxon spill in Galapagos as not as bad as the competitors.

      Journalists are thinking “broadcast” “publish” “audience” “reach”. Non Journalist people are thinking “17 followers” “25 Facebook friends” “chatting” “mucking around”.

      But you are right – contextually you are immersed in Twitter – I doubt you would hijack a 16 year old’s tweet or take stuff out of context. After all, public figures know they are public figures. Citizen Tweeter hasn’t figured that out yet. And because you ARE immersed, the audience is more forgiving. Half -in, half-out tech journos like Asher Moses makes errors that are hard to forgive – taking stuff from blogs for a negative spin, while tweeting (and trying to delete) catastrophes himself.

  2. Hi Laurel
    Important subject. The examples above are split between blogs, forums, tweets and facebook comments. Don’t people come onto twitter and publish blogs knowing their information is then in the public forum, as opposed to facebook and forums which are more ambiguous? Perhaps social media platforms have a responsibility to make this clear to their users.
    Cheers, Chris

    1. Interesting Chris – why is a forum (many to many, asynchronous) discussion less public than Twitter (few to few, synchronous, half gated community)?

      I think – no, I know, from discussions – that most people treat Twitter like the pub. They know they are in a public place but it just makes them talk louder… 😛

  3. I recently informally surveyed the activities of 25 or so journalists and news outlets from Australia and New Zealand who are using Twitter.The list was mainly made up of tech journalist, so this would be people with a better understanding of social media than just run-of-the-mill journos.

    At the risk of sounding arrogant, I’d say the majority don’t actually understand Twitter. Only 40 percent were actively engaging with other twitterers. The majority simply see it as yet another broadcast media. Admittedly this isn’t evidence of anything much, but it indicates to me there’s still a gulf between most journos and the whole social media world.
    .-= Bill Bennett´s last blog ..New Zealand media people on Twitter =-.

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