Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Vertical video is becoming more popular, but there’s no consensus on the best way to make it
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 30, 2009, 5:59 p.m.

Reuters: An editor-in-chief Twitters

David Schlesinger, the editor-in-chief of Reuters News, has a fascinating post up at his blog, Full Disclosure — a fitting title, given the topic of the post. Schlesinger writes about how he has been Twittering from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and how his Twitter messages (or “tweets,” as people insist on calling them) actually beat his own wire service, as described in a post at Silicon Alley Insider. The news? That billionaire financier George Soros believes the current economic downturn could be worse than the Great Depression, and that as much as $15-trillion might be needed to save the banking system.

As Schlesinger notes in the post, people have raised a number of issues about this practice, including:

Is it journalism?

Is it dangerous?

Is it embarrassing that my tweets even beat the Reuters newswire?

Am I destroying Reuters standards by encouraging tweeting or blogging?

to which he says he answers: “Yes, Potentially, No and No.” In a comment on the Silicon Alley Insider post, he continues:


Reuters is using Twitter a lot at Davos – I think it is absolutely vital to experiment with all the technology available to us. I’m using Twitter to live tweet things that interest me and to give a more personal take on what’s going on, so there’s no question I’m stepping outside “traditional” Reuters news journalistic roles. I think it’s important to try it… Being a competitive person, I took great pleasure in beating the wire! But I was putting myself and my reputation and my experience on the line. It’s not for every situation, but nor should it be. The key message from me is — use the technology and the process and the platform best suited for any particular situation. And experiment.

In his blog post, Schlesinger takes to task those who would argue that he shouldn’t be doing such things, and that “real” journalists in general shouldn’t be doing such things:

I have little patience for those who cling to sentimental (and frankly inaccurate) memories of the good old halcyon days of journalism that were somehow purer and better than a world where tweets and blogs compete with news wires and newspapers. Bring it on, I say!

Bravo, David. Reuters and other newswires have made their names and their fortunes by being first with the news — now anyone who is at a news event has the equivalent of a newswire in their pocket, thanks to cellphones, Twitter, and other social-media tools. Does that make them journalists? Possibly. But best of all, “real” journalists can make use of all those tools too.

POSTED     Jan. 30, 2009, 5:59 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Vertical video is becoming more popular, but there’s no consensus on the best way to make it
Some outlets are turning their cameras sideways. Others are cropping horizontally shot video to fit a vertical screen.
The Christian Science Monitor has a new project to provide more positive takes on global news
An “antidote approach to news.”
Pacific Content’s podcasts are all sponsored by companies — but at least there aren’t any ads
Branded podcasts want to break out of the traditional intrusive model of advertising: “There are no interruptions for two or three minutes in the middle of a story. There are no top and tail ad breaks. There are no coupon codes.”
What to read next
0
tweets
Out of many, NPR One: The app that wants to be the “Netflix of listening” gets more local
A big update moves NPR One yet another step in the direction of becoming a one-stop shop for all audio content, from local newscasts to podcasts outside the NPR world.
0Need to find, keep, and maximize talent today? Look to an old-school example, Gene Roberts
“Virtually every hire should be part of a long-range master plan of journalistic excellence.”
0The New York Times and WBUR are bringing ‘Modern Love’ essays to life with sounds and celebrity reads
“We’re trying to touch people just through sound, in a really profound way.”
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Arizona Guardian
New Haven Independent
INDenverTimes
Groupon
Examiner.com
The UpTake
Twitter
Seattle PostGlobe
Los Angeles Times
St. Louis Beacon
American Independent News Network
Daily Kos