Twitter more than a newswire, it’s a newsroom

Australia’s Radio National offers a substantial interview with NPR’s Social Media Strategist Andy Carvin, who attracted a great deal of attention in journalism and media circles lately for his trailblazing use of Twitter in Middle East conflict reporting.

ABC presenter Richard Aedy delves into how Andy Carvin became an accidental journalist during the Arab uprising and how the mainstream media is slowly trying to adapt to, and adopt social media reporting.

Carvin talks about how he used Twitter to develop contact networks, informants or “subject matter experts.” Carvin utilised his network and broke stories by spreading their viewpoints, he then verified and fact-checked information through them, he explains. Aedy interestingly uses the term “crowd-verification” to describe how Twitter can be used a kind of crowd fact-checking tool.

Just like any traditional reporter would research and verify through eyewitnesses and their own first-hand accounts, Carvin has seemingly brought these techniques into the new media age:

“By having a critical mass of these type of people, these subject matter experts following me on Twitter, I could treat Twitter not as a newswire but as a newsroom with volunteers acting as researchers and producers for me,” Carvin says.

Could the future of online digital journalism mean the implementation of social media desks dealing with breaking news reporting? Carvin mentions the possibility in this report citing Robert Mackay from the New York Times as one of the best in this very new and niche journalistic field, see The Lede blog.


*Radio National Media Report: Andy Carvin on Social Media Journalism

*The Washington Post: NPR’s Andy Carvin, tweeting the Middle East

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