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Posted by Belinda Alzner on February 09, 2012

The guidance for journalists not to break news on Twitter is based on a flawed understanding of today's media ecosystem, says University of British Columbia associate professor Alfred Hermida. Twitter is going to continue to be a news-breaker, so why resist it?


The world of journalism and Twitter is buzzing following Sky News's new policy on Twitter and the BBC's new guidance on breaking news. Both organisations have told their journalists not to break news on Twitter first. In a post on the BBC's Editors blog, social media editor Chris Hamilton acknowledged the value of Twitter but concluded:

We've been clear that our first priority remains ensuring that important information reaches BBC colleagues, and thus all our audiences, as quickly as possible - and certainly not after it reaches Twitter.

Instead he points out that BBC journalists are able to inform the newsroom and tweet simultaneously:

We're fortunate to have a technology that allows our journalists to transmit text simultaneously to our newsroom systems and to their own Twitter accounts.

On his Twitter stream, Chris sought to clarify the guidance to BBC News journalists:




Honestly, I'd rather surf the net than watch the news because of my busy schedule and the fact that I can check online anytime I want from my mobile device. Publishing the news on twitter is good as it will maximize the media's platform and its also a good way to deliver information since most people these days have their own twitter account.


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