Twitter has always had an awkward relationship with the media.
On one hand, the service is a great resource for lightning-fast news gathering and dissemination. But if left unchecked, even a seasoned journalist can fall prey to its half truths, hoaxes and overwhelming deluge of information.
To fix that the microblogging service has launched Twitter for Newsrooms. The new site is designed to provide members of the press with a hub full of frequently asked questions, basic style guides, and fact checking resources.
Crash courses on finding sources, performing deep searches and drudging up long-forgotten tweets are also incorporated — all with an underlying focus on deriving fast, efficient and accurate reporting from the service.
To be clear, Twitter for Newsrooms isn’t a ‘Dummies’ guide for journalism’s old guard. Rather than condescend and admonish, Twitter for Newsrooms seeks to empower its users. The usual glib pointers about tweeting with brevity and wit are sidelined in favor of hard technical knowledge on the platform’s inner workings.
For instance, under the “#Report” section, the site explains how to avoid clogging the service with repeated searches from the same newsroom. And the section even offers a helpful blurb on how the new streaming API can help journalists passively gather news by having the automation do all the heavy lifting.
Though this information isn’t entirely new, it’s good to see Twitter offering a pragmatic olive branch to members of the press still struggling with the service. After all, the more comfortable journalists become with Twitter, the more viable it becomes as a worldwide news source.