Journalist, social media expert and frequent B/R Blog quotee Steve Buttry spoke recently at a journalism conference in Gettysburg, Pa., and he posted the text of his remarks about how journalism can long endure, calling it “My Gettysburg Oration.”
It won’t make anyone forget Lincoln, even with the reference I repeated above, but it’s worth a read for those of us in the typing racket.
I want to focus on just one of Buttry’s 10 points, which he organized around 10 tweets. It’s about Twitter:
“Twitter makes you a better editor. It connects w/ community, helps cover breaking news, shows staff you’re learning new tools.”
I have to be honest. Whenever I look for the Twitter account of a Bleacher Report writer or editor and I’m not able to find it, I’m a little stunned. I wonder, how can you be involved in any type of journalism, even as a hobby, without being on the social media network?
Buttry says something similar, scolding those who have ignored Twitter.
I’m talking here especially to top newsroom editors, though much of what I say will apply to any journalist. If you’re not using Twitter yet, you need to start now. You’re only something like four years late. Twitter is the most useful tool introduced to journalism during my career, with the possible exception of the cellphone, but since you use Twitter on your phone, each makes the other more valuable.
If you don’t use Twitter to cover breaking news, you’re missing out on eyewitnesses to news events. You’re missing your chance to tell the story as it unfolds, reaching many who never pick up a newspaper. If Twitter isn’t part of your daily routine, you’re blowing a chance to eavesdrop on the community conversation. And you’re telling your staff that it’s OK to be left behind. It’s not OK to be left behind. It’s too late for you to be a Twitter pioneer. But it’s not too late to lead your staff in catching up and to change your newsroom’s culture.
And it’s not too late to get started on Twitter and use this valuable tool to make your coverage better and build your brand.
Looking for some folks to follow off the bat? Try the Bleacher Report Twitter List.