Individual control to crowd-sourcing – Utilizing Twitter


“The weather reports keep announcing that the sky is falling, but here we are — millions of us — sitting around trying to invent new ways to talk to one another ” – Johnson 2009

Before the internet the only way to get news was through analog communication – radios, television and newspapers. The information being broadcasted and published would see these one-way information networks as a restraint for people who wanted to get news. People did not have any control for when they wanted to hear/watch the news, television and radio set specific times of day for when the news would be read and newspapers were no better being printed each day – the news people were given would not be relevant for long or people would have to wait days for a story that people wanted to find out. There was also the restriction about what news would be relevant or worthy to an audience – the people that controlled the news industry would control what news would be available to its audience.

Fast track to 2013 with the use of social media – the news people receive is instant – a 24 hour news cycle, not constrained by time, anyone can post news or information, not constrained by the tyrants of news industries. Though with all of this information comes a struggle for what information is needed, what pieces of information are factual and reliable, these changes caused an issue about what real journalism is, is social media destroying traditional journalism? Traditional journalism is still a viable career and a part of today – social media, Twitter for example is a source of information that journalists can use to help aggregate information and get stories.

The question around Twitter killing traditional Journalism has been proven incorrect Twitter and journalism and more than ever intertwined as a place for news and journalists. Twitter has become a place where new news stories appear from anywhere, the credibility of these stories is questionable and thus needs to be verified and proven factual. This verification can be proven by utilizing the aspects of Twitter – checking the tweet for hash-tags, to see if the potential story is being talked about by other people – by a having an aggregation of tweets with the same hash-tag. There could be photo/video evidence that is evident on the incident. Utilizing this information and knowing what can be a true story journalists are able to use Twitter as a source for gathering information from on-the-ground citizen-journalists that work together to get instant real-time information and organize methods in ways to help people those that are involved in disasters and to prevent people from becoming potential victims.


Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live.

7 responses »

  1. I think new ways of doing something are always feared by people invested in the old ways. The arguments made against twitter have some basis in reality, but ultimately it is an extremely beneficial tool. I like the point you made about using its functions for verification. That is the change that I think some can’t deal with, that verification is no longer assumed by the fact that news has been published. Now distrust, caused by online inaccuracy being rampant, has forced a “prove it mentality” to emerge, which I think is very healthy for media society.

  2. Good video! Its always hard to adapt to something new. I think twitter is a great way for journalists to branch out into the digital world. It enables them to give a personal connection by tweeting about your life. E.G Obama has enabled the use of Social Media to add a sense of connection between him and his country which helped him win the election. I think social media is new and every changing but a positive change people need to latch onto.

  3. I really enjoyed that video, particularly the part where someone said that the rise of citizen journalism and the spread of social media is important because if we kept hearing from the same old news sources and kept discussing it with the same people (immediate family and friends) then how would anybody learn anything new or outside of their comfort zone? I believe that Twitter, whilst slighlty annoying, provides an interesting tool and opens new perspectives of issues taking place right across the globe. Whilst it could be seen as a positive or a negative thing, with the ups and downs of Australia’s political drama over the past 3 years, Twitter as provided and outlet where people can ither vent or support their favored politician.

  4. Some news sources have really embraced the idea of Twitter as a form of communicating information. Everything that Huffington Post puts on their webpage gets posted to twitter under the appropriate @user and ‘important’ stories get shared by all of the usernames HP has.

    The news cycle has become so condensed that by the time the regular bulletin gets around it’s all old news because ever single angle on each issue has already been taken and discussed by the various social medias, not only Twitter. The only way people will actually sit down and watch news is if there is something added to it, be it commentary or comedy. Which is why there are so many of those shows around now. From ‘Q and A’ to ‘Mock the Week.’.

  5. I could not agree more! This is what I discussed in my weekly blog as well. ( if you are interested) While I considered the idea of the need for verification of sources, you tapped into something I hadn’t considered – the verification culture that is arising in social networking! I think its a great thing to promote, if we are using twitter as a news source we need more concrete ways of sourcing and verifying the evidence.

  6. The issue you make about the current definition of the news cycle is a great example as to why Twitter has become such a major influence in a lot of our lives. I remember as a young kid waiting for Dad to switch on the 7pm ABC News and the delight in sitting down with him learning about the world around me. These days I am connected to news 24 hours a day either via my laptop and the Internet or my mobile phone. The point you make about a lot of the news content available via social media and its validity is a great argument as to why there will always be a role for professional journalists.
    So that is enough of the serious information. Here is another amazing aspect of Twitter. Fake Accounts! –

  7. Great video that you have used in your blog as it gave a greater insight into how twitter and citizen journalism are intertwined. It’s interesting to see how a social media site such as Twitter has been able to navigate worldwide news to different parts of the world from not only journalists but average twitter users as well. I agree with your statement that the news that people receive from social media in 2014 is instant a ’24 hour cycle’. People nowadays don’t need to turn on the tv or listen to the radio anymore for updates on the news, as now it has become the norm for people themselves to become journalists and give others news that they have seen or recorded.

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