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Twitter Heralding New Age in Reporting

Taken by @jkrums with his iPhone less than 5 minutes after the Hudson River plane crash

Twitter and the "real-time web" as a whole are heralding a new age in reporting. This new age really fulfills the potential of the Web 2.0 promise of a few years back: user-generated content.

What is the real-time web? This term refers to services like Twitter and FriendFeed - micro-blogging services - short, instant updates letting people know what's happening, instantly.

Consider two very recent examples: Steve Jobs' extended stay away from Apple, and the plane crash landing in the Hudson River. Citizen reporting on a scale we've never seen before is likely to become the new standard.

As Robert Scoble put it:

What happened? While CNBC was reporting it on TV, the real-time-web
was going nuts. Passing along little tidbits. Stories. Links. Rumors. And all that. It was interesting, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

The Future of Reporting?

It seems likely that citizen reporting is going to increase dramatically in the next 5 years or so - as more and more people become technology-savvy and micro-blogging services (like Twitter) become increasingly mainstream.

As for me, speaking as someone involved in student journalism, this is very, very exciting. Your thoughts? [Scobleizer]

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Anonymous said...

So true. Real-time web is an exciting pointer of what future journalism will look like. For example, I watched obama's inauguration on yesterday and found that the status updtes my friends were posting on Facebook were adding more information to what the commentator was saying.

However, real time media has so far worked really well with breaking news of national importance. I would like to see the development of real-time media in hyperlocal news

Simon SC said...


You would also be one to appreciate the role of Twitter (and the real-time-web) in journalism.

Certain services on Twitter allow one to see news updates as they happen. For example, the @Malta uses several automated twitterfeeds to relay news to its followers.

However, I recently read an article stating that European companies don't really like Twitter at all. I think we Europeans are notoriously slow to adapt to the latest technology!

Anonymous said...

I think that will soon change since there as more emphasis on trust and confidence has been placed on marketing lately. So I guess these tools will be used in an effort to improve the 'trust-rating' of a company as it engages with its clients.

Simon SC said...


I hope you're right. A company on Twitter shows a certain amount of honesty and being "in touch" with the real world.

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