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Twitter as Journalism

It had to happen . . . the navel gazing about the impact of Twitter on journalism is now in full Zen musing. Rob Paterson at Fast Forward points out that Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post is now twittering the White House. David Schlesinger of Reuters has been sending tweets from Davos and inquiring about its impact on the future of journalism

Athough I like what Schlesinger has to say ("I have little patience for those who cling to sentimental (and frankly inaccurate) memories of the good old halcyon days of journalism that were somehow purer and better than a world where tweets and blogs compete with news wires and newspapers."), the question for me about whether tweeting can be journalism . . . It's who cares?

When you have 142 characters to say what you want, there is little to distinguish the tweets of social media consultant Rahaf Harfoush from Davos from those of Schlesinger, except Harfoush's tweets are more fun.

When it comes to following Twitter reports of events, the question is who is the best eyewitness. If the real events at Davos are happening in plenaries and in conversations in the halls, bars and restaurants -- and not in staged news conferences -- then the more witty, insightful and diagnostic witness, whose point of view is closest to 'mine', and who is the one moreover ready to respond to an @ reply, is going to get the tweet "readership" . . . journalist or not.

By the way, although Cillizza has about 2000 followers on Twitter, he follows only six. I guess others who might Twitter about White House proceedings (and may not be journalists) must not have anything interesting to say. Doesn't that speak much about the myopia of some journalists who use social media tools?

'Just as good as . . . '

Bush's Departure