HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Snapchat’s new Discover feature could be a significant moment in the evolution of mobile news
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.
Snapchat’s new Discover feature could be a significant moment in the evolution of mobile news
By putting mobile-native news adjacent to messages from friends, Snapchat could be helping create part of the low-friction news experience many want and need.
Here’s how the BBC, disrupted by technology and new habits, is thinking about its future
The British broadcaster released a new report looking at the future of news as it looks toward its royal charter renewal in 2017.
At Datalore, data plus storytelling means empathy, humor, and games
At the MIT Media Lab, teams of designers, developers and storytellers pulled stories from eight different data sets.
What to read next
2588
tweets
Don’t try too hard to please Twitter — and other lessons from The New York Times’ social media desk
The team that runs the Times’ Twitter accounts looked back on what they learned — what worked, what didn’t — from running @NYTimes in 2014.
728From explainers to sounds that make you go “Whoa!”: The 4 types of audio that people share
How can public radio make audio that breaks big on social media? A NPR experiment identified what makes a piece of audio go viral.
705Q&A: Amy O’Leary on eight years of navigating digital culture change at The New York Times
“In 2007, as digital people, we were expected to be 100 percent deferent to all traditional processes. We weren’t to bother reporters or encourage them to operate differently at all, because what they were doing was the very core of our journalism.”
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚