Twitter As A News Microblog

12 06 2008

I wrote a couple of months back about Ron Sylvester who twittered the murder trial of a 14 year-old girl.

He writes about it this morning at his blog, Technolo-J.

I had started using Twitter during jury selection, as a solution to some problems we’d had with trying to file live updates during the trial. We wanted immediacy, and we got it.

One day, I cut and pasted all my “tweet” updates into a traditional story file. It measured 80 inches. Now, I don’t think anyone would have read an 80-inch story from the newspaper on this trial, as compelling as it was. My editors certainly wouldn’t have run a story that long. But what I found is that people will read an 80-inch story, given to them a paragraph at a time, 140 characters long.

He certainly is right. Most editors wouldn’t print an 80 inch story. That’s a huge hunk of newspaper real estate. But what he did was offer news in one of the most immediate ways available and for those of us who followed his tweets on the murder trial were given the heart wrenching story of a girl who’s life was cut short.

One of the most fascinating things to me was the jury selection. If you have ever covered any kind of trial, it honestly can be tedious. Sylvester, 140 characters at a time, made it fascinating. As jurors had to vote on life in prison or the death penalty, there was a great deal of emotion tied into what each interviewed juror would do.

I thought this was cool. The immediacy was really amazing.

I say it at least once a week. Delivering news is changing. I think it is good.

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3 responses

12 06 2008
Lynnster

That is awesome, and you know, I think I’d be more interested in reading a Twittered story like that most days. How cool.

15 06 2008
Annoying Autobiographical Pause - Twitter Mumblings « Newscoma

[…] – Twitter Mumblings 15 06 2008 I’ve been talking a lot about Twitter this past week. A murder trial, the speed of news and the conversation that followed immediately after Tim Russert’s death […]

16 06 2008
jansegers

My favorite phrase is:
“Microblogs are the world’s first instant global mass media.”

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