ELLIOTT KEENE

A new year.. a new album to adore? a new band to play to death? a new genre to explore? Maybe one of the following will tickle your musical tastebuds.
 
 

Chvrches

Chvrches

Who: Glaswegian trio making addictive synth-pop.

The first time my ears met the sound of the track ‘The Mother We Share’ I took an immediate interest in the curiously named Chvrches (with a V for extra quirkiness) and by the look of things I wasn’t alone. The band’s energetic mix between crashing electro synths and sweetly angelic vocals made waves in the blogosphere last year and earned them a spot in the BBC’s annual poll recognising upcoming talent. Their gothic pop has been described as “undeniably sad but also euphoric”, or as I would say, a blend of the very sugary Carly Rae Jepson and the very haunting Crystal Castles. Sound weird – but it works, as you may agree. Whilst I anticipate the release of their album later this year, releasing tracks such as the compulsively addictive ‘Lies’ means I’m holding out for great things. Take a listen below.

Disclosure

Disclosure

Who: Brothers who are pushing ‘post-garage’ into the public conscience.

Disclosure consists of 17 and 20 year old brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence who already have a top 20 hit under their belts, with the infectious single ‘Latch’. Their remixes of the likes of Jessie Ware have also garnered them a large following and got their name around as hotly tipped producers. Ahead of a debut album expected this spring, the duo’s EP release ‘The Face’ gives a taster of what’s to come (listen below). Their sound builds on what seems like a short history of dance music – through a 90’s garage bop, a pulsating dubstep bassline, a smooth RnB vibe, soulful vocals and an hint of house. It looks as if they could do big things on the UK dance scene.

Haim

Haim

Who: Alanis Morrisette lookalikes that are the industry critics’ new favourites.

I actually saw Haim live at the O2 when they supported Florence & The Machine’s UK tour in December, not realising at the time that I would later be writing about how the BBC have tipped them as the #1 Sound Of 2013. I must admit that I didn’t take much interest in them at the time as I was probably too busy chatting/drinking/getting excited about Florence to take any notice of the Californian three-piece. Yet after hearing their EP ‘Forever’, I am eager to hear more. The Haim sisters have often been compared to Fleetwood Mac with their Indie-Folk meets RnB fusion, while there grungy girls-on-bikes image and family pact mean they’ve been thought of as the female Hanson. As hungry critics and a growing fanbase await Haim’s full length debut, listen below to my favourite track ‘Don’t Save Me’ and be sure to YouTube search their videos to see some Destiny’s Child inspired dance routines.

Tom Odell

Tom Odell

Who: He plays ballads on piano and may be unheard of but has already won a Brit Award.

22 year-old Tom Odell now follows in the rather large footsteps of Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Ellie Goulding and Adele in receiving the Brit Award for Critics Choice – and is the first male to do so. The classically trained songwriter first appeared in the public eye when performing on Jools Holland and has seen a growing number of supporters since including the likes of Burberry (who featured his song in their S/S 2013 show) and also Lily Allen – who claims his on stage energy reminded her of David Bowie and was so impressed she signed him to her label. Odell conveys a lot of emotion through his songs – he has been described by The Guardian as James Blake without the dubstep and he cites piano legend Elton John as a main influence. Already being called a ‘young Jeff Buckley’ and making a name for himself with ‘Another Love’ (listen below) – he is surely in for a big year ahead.

Bastille

Bastille

Who: A band with a tendency to indulge in 90’s pop culture.

With Dan Smith’s grip on the vocals and instrumentals you may be fooled into thinking Bastille was a one-man act, and it was, until Smith decided to form a band to make it a four piece. Bastille’s tracks ‘Flaws’ and ‘Pompeii’ have led to a large online following as of late, just as the band are about to set off on tour with Two Door Cinema Club. I have been listening to the EP release ‘Other People’s Heartbreak’, which mixes reworked versions of 90’s classics with movie soundtrack samples to produce something that sounds nostalgic but refreshing. My favourite offering from the EP is a completely original and mellowed down ‘Rythm Of The Night’ cover (listen below). See ‘Other People’s Heartbreak Part 2’, free on Bastille’s website, for more rehashed adaptations that mix TLC with The XX, blend Donnie Darko with Frank Ocean and mash American Beauty with Florence Welch.

hot natured ali love

Hot Natured & Ali Love

Who: A collaborative project creating house music to be played in the sun rays.

I once caught Hot Natured & Ali Love’s mesmerising track ‘Benediction’ on Radio 1 and it had been hailed as last summer’s anthem across dancefloors in Ibiza.  It is a slow burning dance track with uplifting vibes, deep house beats and soul-filled vocals that flow with the soothing bass line (listen below). Owners of the Hot Creations label and producers Jamie Jones & Lee Foss have teamed with Ali Love to work on an upcoming album together, expected in Spring this year. The release will have house lovers holding their breathe and will no doubt spawn several summer anthems to come.

Willy Moon

Willy Moon

Who: The guy behind the Apple iPod ad that may be more than just a 1 hit wonder.

21 year old William ‘Moon’ is best known for his feel good smash ‘Yeah Yeah’ that you’ve most likely heard on every single soundtrack as of recent, from Apple to the BBC. The track in inescapable for a reason – it’s catchy retro rhythm, clanging drums, chanting vocals and heavy hip-hop influence make it a blast from the past but for the modern day (listen below). The New Zealand born musician channels a slick 1950’s image that matches his retro tinged sound yet he adds something fresh and contemporary to the mix, making him slightly comparable to Bruno Mars. He is currently supporting Jack White’s tour and adding the finishing touches his debut album, expected early this year.

AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge

Who: Bedroom producer & songstress become experimental pop duo with interesting results.

Aluna Francis (vocals) and George Reid (production) are the two halves that make up AlunaGeorge. The pair’s breakout record ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ is a dreamy state of hip hop beats, computerised echoes and Aluna’s sweet child-like harping – it oozes the magical mixture that will keep audiences and critics tuned in for more when their album drops this year. In ‘You Know You Like It’ (below) the swelling and swirling RnB melody womps beneath the high pitched chimes and gentle whispers – amplifying a sound similar to synth-pop innovators Purity Ring. The stuff they are producing strikes a firm balance between mainstream appeal and alternative taste, which I would much rather see in the charts than any Flo Rida drivel. Whether they hit the big time is yet to be seen, but with heaps of media attention and a crazy collaboration with Disclosure ready to blow up dancefloors, this dynamic duo are going to make their mark somehow.

 

Why today’s fragmented media landscape is forcing us to question the relevance of professional journalists..

It was the middle of the night in Abbottabad, Pakistan. I.T consultant Sohaib Athar was sat at his laptop to begin a long night of work as his family slept. But something was distracting Mr Athar. “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)” he said to several hundred followers on his Twitter account. Little did he know he had just sent the first report of a piece of American history, the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist.

After hearing official confirmation of Osama Bin Laden’s death, he realised that he had unwittingly live-tweeted the raid, was inundated with messages and saw his follower count jump to over 50,000.

Sohaib Athar

On the other side of the world in Washington DC, preparations made by producers at Al Jazeera English for the debut episode of their new show The Stream were disrupted by news of Bin Laden’s death. In a last minute schedule shake up, Mr Athar was reached via Twitter and interviewed on Skype during the live show, bringing a whole new meaning to the idea of a ‘world exclusive’.

In fact, the entire point of The Stream is to challenge the rulebook of conventional broadcasting by bringing an online community of social media users together and reporting on the unreported. Using Skype to access guests in a wide variety of locations and bring experts into the live discussions is just one of the ways the programme is demonstrating the advantages of utilizing online platforms and is “becoming a centre of excellence at Al Jazeera”, says Malika Bilal, digital producer and co-host of the show.

Placing social media at the heart of its editorial processes, The Stream brings debates to life with the #AJStream tag and also recognises the value of newcomers Google Plus and Pinterest to aggregate content. It has since received a Royal Television Society Award for its innovative news delivery and most recently a Webby Award which is to be presented to producers at a ceremony next week.

The Stream

So, how are they getting it so right using these participatory tools where others are not? There’s no doubt that the open communications platforms embraced by The Stream have held a microphone up to the voices of those caught up in the Arab Spring uprisings. Capturing the brutal realities of the clashes and the raw emotions of liberated people in real-time, social media has never before played such a “pivotal role in supporting news production and diffusion”, claims academic Chei Sian Lee in her latest article.

Alongside The Stream and content sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, emerging social media aggregator services such as Storify and Storyful recognise the significance of user-generated content by allowing amateurs to tell the news themselves.

“It’s forcing journalists to get their content into as many places as possible and to prove their value” Global Advocate at Storyful.com, Claire Wardle told me. “Audiences can now choose what they consume”.

News organisations are becoming increasingly aware of this and attempting to keep up with fast paced and dynamic social media tools. Journalists are encouraging audiences to access them through a multitude of channels, from mobile applications and tablet devices to videos and podcasts. Providing live update bulletins on an unfolding story, such as a court case or riot break out, has also proved effective. Undeniably, one of the greatest effects social media has had on journalism is stimulating good old fashioned discussion, a virtual discourse within and between the agenda setters and the people.

Journalism professor Matt Hinckley has claimed the adoption of social media can improve not only the relations with readers, but the quality of concise reporting. “Twitter can help the reporter recognise the edge of a story and edit it to 140 characters, YouTube allows more coverage of stories that TV news often omits and Facebook provides another means for reporters to connect with newsmakers” Hinckley told OurBlook.com.

A professional journalist of today must acknowledge the possibilities of the digital sphere to source news, access witnesses and follow developments. If they are to maintain jurisdiction against the growing impact of social media, news rooms should diverge from their innate conservatism that preaches a one-way mode of communication and what Donald Matheson slates as a “rather static core set of news practices”.

“Twitter is a fantastic way of adding value to existing stories” says Jason Mills, ITV Web Development Editor. ITV News online recently adopted a live stream as part of their drastic redesign in March this year, which visibly takes inspiration from social media formats.

“Digital audiences are getting increasingly used to finding out things as they happen. From Twitter-falls to Facebook timelines, real time is an accepted way of storytelling” Mills explains. As a professional who previously worked with the BBC and Sky, Mills flags up that traditional journalists are giving recognition to a range of sources and beginning to open their gates to social media. “It allows us to curate news from different sources and offer people more than just our own journalism”.

The immediacy at which information reaches audiences, however, is yet another area where social media is hammering tradition. It has become common case for everyday people to break news stories on Twitter and create a buzz before mainstream media have had a chance to confirm reports. If Whitney Houston’s death can initiate over 2.5 million tweets in the hour that it took the Associated Press to confirm her passing, then surely the need for journalists is diminishing.

Not at all, says Mills. “We act as filters for what really is news. Sifting all the information out there to discover what the real story is” he tells me. In the event of the London riots last summer, ITV News’ twitter coverage primarily consisted of debunking rumours and fact checking. “People criticise old media for being slow. It’s necessarily being slow. It’s making sure it’s accurate” he says.

As Pew Internet & American Life Project’s 2010 report concluded, online news has largely become a shared social experience and constant mobile connectivity has turned news awareness “into an anytime, anywhere affair”. Yet our obsession with speed has accelerated the pressure to be first, often at the expense of being correct. Whether it’s tigers walking the streets of London or yet another celebrity Twitter death, social media has poisoned susceptible audiences and journalists with a dose of misinformation in many cases.

Perhaps the risk of inaccurate reports and hoaxes undermine the credibility of social media as a news source and simply reiterate the responsibilities of the journalist to guard the facts. Reuters set the trend for the BBC and Sky by introducing a strict social media policy in 2010 that prohibited their journalists to break news via Twitter, insisting staff have their posts double checked and remain suspicious of unverified online sources.

Ultimately, then, social media has irrevocably changed journalism from two key standpoints. While we expect mainstream media to get more interactive, portable and socially integrated, we also expect them to stand up amongst the sea of voices in public communication. “It adds two way interaction to journalism” says Mills, “but it doesn’t change journalistic values”.

Today, Sohaib Athar can make the news. People are able to “write the first draft of history” as digital media columnist Dan Gillmor puts it. Events such as the Arab Spring could not have been told were it not for social media platforms, yet claims of revolutionary change in news must not be overstated. Social media powers a faster distribution channel for news and adds multiple sources for fact gathering, but only a journalist can do the fact checking.

For Jason Mills, it’s just another tool to add to how journalists operate, and nothing more. “Whatever technological advances have been made and whatever is still to come, journalism in its purest form still remains the same” he insists.

During the past four months I have experienced Twitter as a fundamental communications tool in today’s online media environment, as a journalist, a blogger, a reader and a member of the local community. Initially I was surprised by the interactivity and immediacy of information diffusion across the platform, particularly with users that I did not know. My blog posts have been tweeted as ‘top stories’ numerous times and an interest in my writing has brought many new followers.

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The hash tag is the site’s most resourceful feature, providing streams of searchable content and instant discussions around a certain debate, news event or place. By frequently using the tag #Bournemouth and relevant @mentions, I was able to reach many people through sharing my blog posts and having conversations with them over Twitter – as the examples below demonstrate.

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The second blog post I had written with a local angle about a portrait of ‘Gordon the Tramp’ in the National Portrait Prize showed just how powerful Twitter can be for journalists, and potentially citizen journalists too.  A significant amount of ‘Retweets’ within several hours of publication and further sharing over Facebook drew large numbers of readers to my blog, as my following post detailed (https://elliottkeene.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/the-power-of-twitter/). I feel this blog post in particular is important, as I learnt how my observation that ‘everyone is a journalist’ in the digital age proved seemingly correct.

As I continued to blog, I allowed myself to be more creative with my writing, use of images and involvement with Twitter. I attempted to interact with my followers by asking them questions, using key hash tags and directly linking both my posts and online news stories (see below).

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I tweeted about stories from national newspapers and other news sites frequently, often through retweeting or linking my followers to stories I came across that were of relevance to my own blog posts. Doing this brings a level of continuity and coherence with Twitter posts, in an effort to not simply post randomly but to engage with Twitter users over a topical subject.

My interaction with followers proved to be insightful as several provoked discussion over the stories I distributed (see below). For a professional journalist, this allows for a two-way communication with their audience and an effective way to source further information from the public. For a citizen journalist or blogger such as myself, it exemplifies the possibilities of online discourse with virtual communities and the potential for more collaborative forms of journalism in the future.

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Finally, my proudest moment during my experience as a journalist – getting my published feature in the Bournemouth Rock over a double-page spread seen by the subject of the story and shared across Twitter!

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Last month (April 2012) the latest mobile application to embrace citizen journalism was launched in the Middle East, placing the power of news gathering and disseminating roles into the hands of those on the ground. ‘Signal‘ was inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, and more specifically, the citizens involved in the chaos who are striving to report on the unreported.

The creator behind the application, Mark Malkoun, claims the tool allows its users to geo-tag their content to organise it by location and filters breaking stories by their importance using a voting system, giving total jurisdiction to the audience and defying mass media control – as Malkoun notes “traditional news is centralised and can be slow or biased”.

Biased, I would say, is an understatement here. Both foreign and Middle Eastern journalists suffer severe restrictions. Many are being banned from the streets, imprisoned, or in extreme cases killed – as my previous post on British reporter Marie Colvin’s tragic death exemplifies. Social media has played an essential part in breaking the news across the world – but no where else has it proved to be so fundamental to the truth and to freedom. It’s pivotal role in supporting the news production without political constraints during the Arab Spring provides alternative narratives to that presented by the heavily controlled corporate media.

Citizen journalism collective Mosireen (meaning ‘Egyptians determined’) had the most viewed worldwide non-profit channel on YouTube in January this year (see here). During the brutalities in Egypt that surround them, the group provide independent coverage of events they see as untruthfully reported by the mass media – often getting seriously injured in their attempts to do so. (See video below from Mosireen’s YouTube channel).

I recently came across the book “Tweets from Tahrir” (see here), which documents the successful uprisings in Egypt by telling the narrative of the President Mubarak demonstrations through the Twitter updates of those involved. Through the cries of both violence and liberation, Tweets from Tahrir presents a rich historical archive of the real reactions captured on the micro-blogging site as the events unfolded.

Connecting citizens during the revolution in a way that requires no professional reportage at all is testimony to a mass resistance against authority. Simon Cottle supports the current shift in power in his study by giving credit to social media platforms for “communicating, coordinating and channelling this rising tide of opposition and managing to bypass state controlled national media”. (See Cottle’s research here)

But there’s more – the media are not the only barrier to transparent reporting in the Middle East. In response to high levels of Twitter activity that inflamed the revolt, Egyptian government blocked social media sites. Many managed to bypass the restrictions using proxy servers  to share their content with sites such as Flickr and YouTube, which demonstrates the sheer passion of those who were once news consumers as transformed news activists.

As internet access becomes more widely available around the world on just about any medium – tools such as ‘Signal’ are amplifying citizen’s voices in completely new ways. Consequently, mainstream media are beginning to take note…but you have to wonder whether its because they don’t want to be left completely out of the loop. It seems unlikely that the mainstream media will effectively become the outsiders, but organisations have every reason to worry as their ‘audiences’ recognise that in intense circumstances citizens are the only direct source of truth.

Today BBC chiefs warned their staff not to damage the organisation’s reputation by striking – but what dilemma do they face if they did?

As the BBC prepares for its biggest summer of live events ever seen, perhaps the organisation should really be looking after staff a little more carefully. Earlier this month broadcasting unions asked BBC staff to ballot for strike action following a “hostile” pay rise offer of just 1%. The strikes plan to directly target the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in early June, pulling the plug on a series of high-profile events across the bank holiday weekend that celebrate the monarchy’s 60 year reign.

Unions and the staff themselves are clearly protecting their rights to a wage increase as their salaries have apparently fallen 8% behind inflation since 2007, but the BBC say their offer will not change regardless of strike action. Though it may seem fair to take a stance against the pay offer, can those behind event coverage operations justify boycotting a national event of such historic importance?

Sure, other channel providers will be covering the Diamond Jubilee extensively, but should the British Broadcasting Corporation miss out on this rare Royal celebration in what is an undoubtedly patriotic year for Britain, it would severely damage their reputation. It would be like Sky Sports not reporting on Euro 2012 football. It’s surely their responsibility to saturate our tv screens with her majesty and thousands of flag waving Britons .

The director of news at the BBC, Helen Boaden, certainly recognised that strike action would fail licence fee payers “at a national major moment”, as she urged staff not to strike during the Jubilee event. It was reported today that in an email Boaden claimed that viewers would not tolerate disruption and they would lose faith in the organisation for not serving its responsibilities to audiences.

With the Murdoch empire controlling a large part of the national press and advertisements every 10 minutes on some commercial stations, perhaps we really should support the BBC staff and recognise how valuable they are – particularly if their chief overheads are taking them for granted.

The results of the ballot are yet to be seen, as an announcement over the strike action is expected by May 21st. Though striking action at the BBC is far from anything new, these threats jeopardise the television, radio and online at the core of the UK media at a time when the entire world is watching. If the strikes disrupted coverage of the Wimbledon championships, the British Grand Prix, the British Open Golf tournament and, of course, the London Olympic Games – then it’s not just the BBC under threat but the reputation of this country. BBC bosses, please, stop being so stubborn.

How much do you trust professional journalists to tell the truth? 2011’s PBS Trust Report revealed that just 1 in 4 people (24%) thought UK media organisations were accurate in their reporting.

With the recent phone hacking scandal and the damage to News Corp‘s reputation still in the public mindset, audiences are doubting the ethical standards of journalists while the likely demise of the offline newspaper industry inches closer. The majority of the public (58%) agreed that they further lost trust in the news following the allegations of underhanded practices and the unfolding Levison enquiry, according to the PBS Report.

But the most surprising statistic of all from the findings last autumn were that 3 in 4 people (74%) agree that media outlets in the UK lie to their audiences frequently. Of course, it’s no revelation that news organisations are often driven by sensationalist reports, political bias and corporate interests. Perhaps audiences are becoming more sceptical – or depending on which way you look at it, just more aware – of ‘bad journalism’.

Sensationalism in the Daily Express: March 27th’s paper tells us of strike chaos ahead, where March 30th’s tells us to calm down.

Tabloid Watch is an excellent website highlighting the lies, mistakes, exaggerations, ethical issues and general blunders in the UK press by “blogging about bad journalism” as it says itself. Several themes on Tabloid Watch came to my attention and I was shocked at just how appalling some editorial standards appeared to be in national titles, particularly those belonging to the Daily Mail.

The Mail’s online counterpart, MailOnline, became the single most visited news website in the world in January 2012. With an average of 45.3 million unique visitors per month, the site overtook The New York Times. Spearheaded by celebrity gossip, large visuals and headlines with shock value,  the organisation has progressively become more tabloid entertainment orientated but seen enormous online audiences – perhaps by leading with what could be described as ‘share-able stories’ (such as the recent viral sensation Samantha Brick).

It may come as no surprise that as little as 1 in 10 (10%) said they trusted tabloid newspapers in YouGov‘s 2010 poll. Yet evidently, their diminishing influence as a trustworthy source does not seem to be impacting what audiences read.

As Tabloid Watch investigates, on regular notable occasions the Daily Mail misrepresents facts and does not research thoroughly enough, if at all. Just last month it ran an article claiming over two-thirds of young Muslims in Britain believe honour violence is acceptable. In fact, the study referred to shows that this amount was just 6% and the survey was on young Asians, not just Muslims. (See below for the original headline on the right & the corrected headline on the left after it was changed).

 

 

It is also common for tabloids to use a single celebrity tweet to create an entire news story, many of which are found to be fabricated and taken out of context. It seems in the online environment of accessible information, some ‘professional’ journalists  are cutting corners with the fact checking and sensationalising at every opportunity they have to entice volumes of audiences for profitable gain. The 55% of audiences surveyed in the PSB Report that claimed UK media content had dumbed down in recent years would certainly agree.

On February 6th 2012 the Daily Mail Editor in Chief Paul Dacre told the Levison enquiry:

“I’m very proud of the Mail Online…it’s evolving and clearly everything can improve, but I think to come from a cold start to being the world’s number newspaper internet site is an achievement that British journalism should be proud of.”

The very idea that the Daily Mail is flying the flag for quality British journalism  is enough to make every award-winning writer or investigatory journalist shudder. While I do not doubt that the organisation harbours some talented writers, it is astonishing how slack their editorial standards have become.

As nearly 1 in 5 (17%) UK adults say they will be less likely to use newspapers by the end of 2012, it seems an industry with dwindling future prospects needs to work harder to uphold public trust if it is to survive.

(For full details of the PSB Trust Report visit http://labs.yougov.co.uk/news/2011/11/14/trust-media/)

The power of the Retweet – would you say it’s a help or a hazard for journalism? 

Using social media as a news source is becoming increasingly apparent, but increasingly dangerous too. The social nature of the web is revolutionising how stories are broken and distributed, yet all too often speed is being valued over accuracy.

Unlike traditional media, social media platforms bypass censors and can place false information into the public domain. Any regular Twitter user probably remembers the last time they saw a RIP next to a celebrity’s name as a trending topic, only to find it was a hoax.

Twitter is becoming a social media assassin – reporting on famous deaths from Nelson Mandela to Britney Spears. Those that kick start these rumours are probably just up for a bit of fun, but it can have damaging consequences.

From riots to RIP’s, a need for speed is putting facts in jeopardy.

The recent death of Whitney Houston serves as an example of just how fast breaking news can reach millions across the internet without a single confirmed news report. A whopping 2.5 million tweets related to Houston’s death were counted within an hour alone – before the Associated Press could even confirm her passing. However, Twitter’s reputation for hoaxes left many doubting any truth behind the claims of Houston’s death.

Reporting threats in inaccurate locations was rife when the London riots began to spark apparent uprisings across the UK. People throughout the country were left terrified as false rumours of rioting in their local town broke on social media. One image that surfaced on Twitter had even been digitally edited with Photoshop to depict a blaze attacking the London Eye (see below) which exemplifies such deliberate attempts to corrupt the use of Twitter as a news source.

But it’s not just audiences – journalists too are taking to the platform to distribute news, give commentary and interact with their readers. One in particular decided to experiment by purposely spreading false stories. Mike Wise, the Washington Post reporter, was suspended after taking the company’s reputation too lightly by fabricating material through a user account but he demonstrated how other bloggers and journalists will republish unproven rumours.

Journalists told to ‘be suspicious’ of all information online

These cases are a startling reminder of the weakness social media can have as a news source, at a time when media organisations are tightening the reigns on journalists as a consequence. International news corporation Reuters  introduced their social media policy in 2010 to prohibit their staff from breaking news through Twitter.

The policy states that staff must get tweets double-checked and approved by managers before posting anything. The handbook for journalists working under the organisation clearly states “do not use news until you are certain of its authenticity” and to be suspicious of all information online that “is not sourced in a way that you can verify”. (The full guide can be accessed here- http://tinyurl.com/ctquehq)

Clearly Reuters is acknowledging that these platforms pose a threat to the traditional news cycle by breaking news first, but are the attempts to control social media use making their content less relevant to audiences? Are they in fact trying to maintain professional standards in an era that no longer values accuracy over immediacy?

Using Twitter for news means journalists are vital, not redundant.

Perhaps, though, the rise of misinformation on Twitter means it is increasingly vital for journalists to filter information and guard their role as the gatekeeper. “Twitter simply reiterates the essential role of journalists in sifting through the rumour mill” writes  journalist Hermon Manson (http://tinyurl.com/866sv4h).

Whichever way you look at it, fabricated news is a manipulation of the social power the internet has. Twitter is uncurated as of yet and this makes it easy to pass along fiction as fact.

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