Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Twitter and journalism

I have what could be called a preoccupation with TV journalists and news writers. I like trying to figure out what they're thinking, how they come up with the questions they do, where they get their slant from.

Journalists are some of the heaviest users of Twitter, posting links to stories they're following and offering comments, often while their story is airing. And if you catch them just right they'll respond to tweets. I use Twitter to respond to their stories, criticize their stories, or compliment them. It's what I do. I count some local journalists among my "friends."

One example on the national scale is ABC News' chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper. He has responded to a couple of my tweets at him lately.

One story that has been carried heavily in the blogosphere but not in the network news is Republican Congressman Paul Ryan's (WI) budget proposal that would eliminate the deficit and turn Medicare and Social Security into a voucher program. The program has gotten respectful looks from liberals and cheers from conservatives for being the first real idea produced by a Republican in ages. I've been frustrated because it has not been on the network news, even NewsHour has not covered it. Tapper tweeted a link to an ABC News podcast interview with Ryan.

While I was happy to see the podcast, I was again frustrated that it would not be covered on the actual TV news.

I responded: @jaketapper Why just a podcast and not a segment on the news? The "how the Betty White commercial was made" ranks higher than this?

I was referring to the 5-minute piece the night before on how that Super Bowl commercial was made (*spoiler alert* - just like every other production since the creation of film-- with a body double. *GASP*, you're shocked, right?).

Tapper responded: @KD0IMH
quitcher belly aching and just enjoy it.

How is this blog worthy? I'm just chronicling my interaction with people who bring me the news and the great utility I derive from each additional exchange with them. The major journalists seem to spend a lot of time defending their coverage and responding to critics. I think this is a good thing, they work harder to get the facts right. Their interviewees have a forum to express their thoughts on the interview.

I find I use Twitter mostly to keep up with the news.

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