At Media140 I said mentioned that journalists (well some, anyway) weren’t really members of the social networks, just using them to lift stories, out of context, with no respect for the online community family. Or, weirdly, move between the two – sometimes mucking around with the rest of us on Twitter, the next minute lifting content to ridicule in heritage media channels. It’s annoying when a joke or a miffed tweet meant to be human interaction becomes front page News. From Marieke Hardy of Triple J on ABC NEWS

triple 7That’s right, I reserve my most sophisticated material for between 6:00am and 9:00am weekdays. For the most part this jolly little activity has been nothing more than a harmless attempt to “save” the “gold” for “on-air”, until two weeks ago when Triple J staff chanced upon a full-page picture of retiring NSW newsreader Ian Ross and considered what fun it might be to keep up the exhaustingly amusing tradition.

One of my co-presenters “did” the tongue, I – in an unbridled act of hilarity – tore little holes in Ian’s eyes and placed my own behind, googly and unblinking and garish. After a few high-spirited minutes and chortling photographs documenting the occasion we went back on air and forgot about it all completely. Until of course roughly two hours later when someone in the office pointed out that we were all of a sudden the lead story on a news website and perhaps it might be prudent of us to address this particular fact sooner rather than later?

There it was, splayed across the Daily Telegraph’s online edition in startling black type: “Channel Seven newsreader Ian Ross humiliated by Triple J in defaced advertisements on Twitter“.

I do wish the media – particularly print – would stop ransacking social media discussions, particularly cannibalizing their own, to sell newspapers. Not only does it make me doubt the sanity of Murdoch, who insists on paywalls, wanting to find new ways to sell our own stories back to us as News but it makes me wonder why we ever paid $2 bucks and change for Advertising, Press Releases and Beat Up Stories.

While the giddying lack of time between social networking event and breaking story has become increasingly unremarkable, the lust for a dirty scandal has surely reached ridiculous proportions.

Are the media honestly so hungry for a chance to stomp around shouting THIS IS AN OUTRAGE and STOP THIS SICK STUNT and other such self-important catchphrases that they are uncovering disrepute where there is, in fact, none to be found? And as a result of this will those who have any involvement in the media now limit their daily activities to a spot of tea and a digestive biscuit lest they too are dragged kicking and screaming into the mire?

It will come as no surprise to you, dear Reader, that newspapers now employ social media watchers, looking for a slip of the tongue, a naughty tweet, something that can be misdirected, misrepresented and spun into a scandal.

Consider this: Either we are self publishing online and “should know that everything is fair game” OR we are members of a community passing news around with due respect to the rules and rituals of that community.

For me, I’m never impressed with those that take a tweet or piece of content out of context and use their publishing power to bully or intimidate. What do you think?

PS I’m not lovin’ the Xmas theme, might be gone sooner rather than later.  Ho Ho bloody ho.