Editor claims Twitter ‘humanises’ journalists

Twitter is humanising journalists and making them more accountable, The Punch’s managing editor Paul Colgan has claimed. 

At a discussion on Twitter’s impact on media and journalism, Colgan claimed that journalism has “never been healthier” with Twitter a powerful reporting tool. “It enables you to gather and distribute information very quickly and make it common property of the nation and the world,” he said.

He added, that by allowing journalists to express themselves personally and professionally on Twitter, can “humanise” the writer and make them more accountable. He said:  “As professionals, our job is to try and be objective. It makes journalists accountable. You’re not just doing your job in public you’re doing a whole lot of other things in public. I think it’s a positive thing for journalism.”

But he stressed that tips sourced from Twitter still need to be checked as it is a new form of source. “The dynamic has changed to how people report on the web whether it be by Tweet or longer blog post or by aggregating a whole lot of opinion. When it comes to reporting on the web, verifying information still remains paramount,” Colgan said.

ZDNet news editor Renai LeMay told the Insight Exchange-organised event that Twitter was bridging a gap between journalists and their readers. “Every day I see journalists using Twitter to directly connect with readers, something they were previously unable to do. Twitter is the greatest tool for facilitating relationships between people with common interests who don’t know each other, which is perfect for journalists.”

“Twitter represents a way for journalists to get back to grass roots and connect with readers in a fundamental way.”

The event had the hashtag #TIMJ, and a more detailed summary is available on Ross Dawson’s website.



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