It’s a technology that makes gathering news for reporters and journalists much easier than just a few short years ago. Twitter — the microblogging platform that gives you up to 140 characters to “tweet” what you have to say — is becoming standard in at least one U.K. newsroom.
Sky News — an online website owned by News Corp. — has installed TweetDeck on all staff computers to help reporters keep track of the news coming in via Twitter.
This may not be anything new here, as most Winnipeg newsrooms have been utilizing Twitter for well over a year, if not longer, and use it daily to spread their message to viewers/readers.
Julian March of Sky News Online, was quoted by a U.K. journalism website as saying the following:
“The big change for us in 2010 is evolving how social media plays a role in our journalism. We no longer ghettoise it to one person, but are in the process of embedding throughout the whole team.”
But, why TweetDeck over the general Twitter web interface? It’s simple. Itemized columns, with the ability to sort and track individual trends, groups and topics. Twitter has recently tried to organize their presentation to compete with the list of apps out there; most notably by the introduction of lists a few months ago.
While it appears Sky News is trying to lead the pack with their new practice, some critics are pouncing on them for their new innovative approach to gathering news. The website, as previously mentioned, is owned by News. Corp, which Rupert Murdoch heads up. Murdoch has said in recent months he wanted to block Google from indexing his websites, claiming it to be content stealing. He’s also anti-social networking if prior interviews are any indication. It’s safe to assume the decision to roll out Twitter newsroom-wide was the decision of a producer somewhere, and not News Corp. directly.
In either case, News Corp., or any news organization, can not calm the giant Twitter machine and how it’s affecting the transmission of information in real-time. That’s why most have embraced it and consider it to be just as essential, if not more important, than e-mail.