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This article was published on June 16, 2009


Twitter as a News Gathering Tool

Twitter as a News Gathering Tool
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

CEO and co-founder, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

News Panel @ 140confThis morning we enjoyed presentations from Tim O’Reilly and Jack Dorsey and many other Twitter influentials. After the break we got a chance to watch a panel discuss how Twitter influences the news industry.

The sessions was titled ‘Twitter as a News Gathering Tool’ and had the following participants:

Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) – News Anchor on NBC’s Today Show and host of Dateline NBC
Rick Sanchez (@ricksanchezcnn) – Host of the 3PM weekday edition of CNN Newsroom
Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer) – What does he do, really? Professional Twitter (ab)user maybe? ;-)
Ryan Osborn (@todayshow) – Producer, NBC Today Show

This panel was the first panel that brought real energy to the room here at 140conf. Sure, the other discussions were interesting too. But here, you could feel a certain tension and passion both in the panel and in the room.

The discussion started off with a direct challenge by Robert Scoble that social media was changing the media landscape because the actual news is now coming from citizens versus journalists. With a panel solely made up of ‘old’ media people you can imagine that resulted into a very active discussion.

One interesting fact was the idea of real time news and how media deals with that. The panel explained that they don’t want to sacrifice their credibility by posting unconfirmed news. They would rather be late and right than early and wrong.

Twitter doesn’t have that responsibility, CNN does.

As Ann Curry mentioned: “Reporting is a service job. Not a business. We take care of people by reporting the truth… …you have to be diligent.”

Where previously there seemed to be some adversity between bloggers and journalists the discussion now seems to center around social media as news providers versus main stream media. The journalists in the panel tried to convene the message that social media won’t replace mainstream media anytime soon, or ever. Social media will start playing a larger role in reporting news events but we