Twitter shows how the news is made, and it’s not pretty — but it’s better that we see it
With the tragic events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings today, the strength and weaknesses of Twitter and the new media for journalism gets brought out for everyone to see. The news is changing and the importance of traditional journalism and citizen witness reporting all comes together. Much to consider as we reflect on the ways of the world and try to make it a better place while others seek otherwise.
Originally posted on paidContent:
Not long after the Boston Marathon bombings occurred on Monday afternoon, several Twitter users noted that these kinds of real-time news events illustrate how incredible the service is as a source of breaking news, but at the same time how terrible it is.
Sure enough, there were plenty of fake news reports to go around on Monday, from reports of suspicious vehicles to the arrest of alleged perpetrators — just as there were during superstorm Sandy and the school shootings in Connecticut. But does that invalidate Twitter as a news source? And should the service try harder to filter out bad information and highlight verified news reports? I think the answer to both of these questions is the same: No.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post noted that in some cases Twitter can act as a “news ombudsman,” pointing out that there were a number of people advising caution in the tweeting and re-tweeting of details about the blasts, although Wemple may also have been following more members of the media than the average person (ironically, some criticized Wemple himself for being too quick to post his thoughts about Twitter use during the aftermath of the bombings).