I just finished finding out that if I want to be a journalist of any relevance I have to have a blog. Now in Chapter 4 of “JournalismNext” Mark Briggs says that it’s not enough to have a blog, journalists have to know how to microblog, too. Hang in there, I’m overwhelmed too. It might be easier to understand if I say you have to know how to use Twitter. Writing in 140 characters or less is basically the essence of microblogging.
Here is a breakdown from Chapter 4 of how journalists can benefit by using Twitter and other microblogging services:
- Get Leads. By knowing what people are talking about on Twitter you can get story ideas on what people care about most.
- Find people to interview. Experts in their field also tweet (to learn the Twitter lingo click here) and it is easy to find and connect with them on Twitter.
- Get feedback before an interview. You can ask your readers what questions they want answered before you do an interview so your story can be relevant to your readers.
- Perform a public interview. It is also possible to interview people over Twitter.
One major thing not to forget is networking. Twitter can be an invaluable resource for journalists to connect with other journalists, and possible future employers. For a journalist’s guide on how to use Twitter visit Mandy Jenkins’s Zombie Journalism.
Another good resource is Mashable’s “The Journalist’s Guide to Twitter.”
Twitter offers people news without a time delay. Briggs calls it “real-time web.” Journalists can post breaking news and receive instantaneous feedback from readers. Journalists can also start a “real-time” conversation about other news and stories. That “journalism as a conversation” which we heard about in Chapter 3 helps the journalists know their audience and in turn adds richness and depth to a news story.