Journalism education is being transformed to include new technologies and new ways of reporting. Twitter is becoming more frequently used by reporters to quickly give news on events going on now, but is it considered journalism?
Webster’s Dictionary defines journalism as
- a: the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media
- b: the public press
- c: an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium
- d: writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine
- e : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation
- f : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest
All of the above definitions would include twitter as a form of journalism, except definition D. Twitter is designed for internet use only, not for the publication in a newspaper or magazine, although many magazines reprint tweets from previous times.
Bloomberg Business Week doesn’t agree that twitter is a form of journalism. Author of the article Twitter Isn’t Journalism, Michael De Monte, wrote that Twitter works nicely for providing stories that are happening currently, but journalist can’t provide adequate content or context with only 140 characters.
De Monte also argues that unlike a paper or online story, tweets don’t last a long time. Newspaper and online stories can be easily found years later, where as finding a tweet someone said years ago is almost impossible to scroll back to.
As social media continues to grow, the forms of journalism will continue to change. Twitter is just one of the newest forms of social media used to share news. Students will continue to be educated on how to report using Twitter because it will continue to be used, even if some people don’t consider it journalism.