Newspapers and new media

I recently got into a discussion regarding the use of Twitter and Facebook by the news media that has prompted me to address my opinions in greater detail.

I recently began spending more time evaluating Twitter after shelving it last fall for seeming slightly anemic in features and value. While I am Tweeting little myself, I am learning a great deal from my Ad 2 associates that Tweet regularly and by talking with my college cousin who has a few friends that use it.

My thoughts have evolved that Twitter is an intriguing medium with a great deal of potential that solid value can already be gained from.

While in Tallahassee earlier this month I had posted a status on Facebook critical of the media’s use of Twitter.

Vinny Tafuro wonders if large media outlets using twitter understand we all don’t need tweets on EVERY story; it’s spammy and completely impersonal.

This observation/opinion was a general statement but the direct result of my recently following @TBOcom and @StPeteTimes and using the Twirl application for Twitter.

After being challenged on my opinion, I had to focus on the catalyst of my tweet which was the large number of Tweets I receive from TBOcom.

Currently every TBOcom tweet is prefixed with “Breaking News” and followed by as much of the headline as possible and a link.

In that 24 hour period I had received 96 tweets that were considered “Breaking News” by the Tribune.
A sample tweet from that day (misspelling of Receive not my own):

Breaking News: Former Schools Superintendent To Recieve Honor: Longtime Hillsborough School Superi…

The award is being given April 15th and I am sure most of us would agree would not be considered “breaking news.”

Here is an analogy to illustrate what the Tribune is doing:

Imagine your daily printed newspaper arrived with every story printed in chronological order from front to back with no designation of section, subject and/or region it was related to forcing you to scan/read the entire paper?

For example; would it not be better for TBOcom to have a tboSports, tboHillsborough and tboPinellas twitter accounts and assign each one to the proper editor/writer?

One comment

  1. joe o'neill says:


    Good take. Have to wonder who’s defining “breaking news” at TBO? Maybe someone at the Times.
    The quintessential “breaking news” story would be:
    “Common Sense Now A Priority At TBO.”
    Keep prodding.

    Joe O’Neill

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