The news…via Twitter


Few remember the fail whale, now extinct

My responses to a Twitter Insider survey about the news. I would like to apologize, in advance, for the way Twitter capitalizes “Tweet.”

How, if at all, has Twitter changed the way you receive news?
Well, it’s supplemented it. I still get news from newspaper sites (e.g. the New York Times), magazines (both print and online), and television, but Twitter is another barometer of what’s happening, what’s trending (a subset of what’s newsworthy), and how people feel about it.

How important is it for you to stay up-to-date with news on topics that you care about?
If I care about a topic, then, obviously, it’s pretty important for me to stay current. It’s part of my daily routine. How much time I spend on it depends on how much newsworthy stuff happens.

How, if it all, does Twitter help you stay current on the news that interests you compared to other sources for news?
Mostly, Twitter gives me a sense of how people like me are reacting to news items. I’d know about Jared Kushner and Russia without Twitter, but I wouldn’t know how Kushner is being satirized, criticized, or summarized.

How do you feel about the opinion/perspective that’s often included in how people Tweet news on Twitter?
It’s the best part. It’s quickie analysis/opinion, often with a humorous edge. Naturally, there are a lot of Twitter users who tweet repellent opinions about current events, but I avoid their feeds. What I get are tweets from people whose general worldview I respect.

How does this change, if at all, the way you think about and interpret the news you see, given that news sources, journalists, and even friends/people you know are often adding their own perspective to news you see?
Understanding the way people are responding to a given event is part of understanding the event itself. Twitter shows me how news is playing out with the public. It doesn’t change the facts — nor is it a particularly good source of them — but it can tell me a lot about what’s going to “go down,” long term.