Tag Archives: itv

Twitter. Does your boss check you out?!

1 Apr

by Georgina Leggate @GeorginaLeggate

I went for an interview yesterday, for a work-experience placement at ITV. I was up to date with current affairs, the political situation in Libya and I had been watching ITV news all week. Enough, maybe, but I definitely would have prepared even more if I’d thought about the concept of my interviewer following me on Twitter?! One thing I hadn’t given any thought to was the state of my Twitter page. My profile, what does it say about me? Well I’ll tell you. The picture I have is of me lying on a bed in Beijing, waiting for a foot message. (From my traveling days.) There is nothing rude or inappropriate about the photo, just perhaps not the most professional photo I could have chosen. Also, I have a relatively low number of tweets (for a trainee journalist I suppose)…20 tweets to be precise. I am following 170 and am followed by 57….hardly 497,085 but a good start?!

Damn you Piers Morgan!

Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve ever felt sightly self conscious about any of my tweets, even though I don’t think I have ever ‘tweeted’ anything particularly offensive and/or controversial!  Quite the opposite in fact. In my opinion I use social media for what I believe to be all the right reasons. Journalistically I follow others who are in the know, I absorb the news feeds, I keep up to date with all the latest developments in current affairs and most importantly (in my view) I am able to find information and people, that I wouldn’t be able to, anywhere else. A good example of this was a recent package I produced for local TV station a month ago. For confidentiality reasons I won’t reveal the participants name, but he essentially gave me a lot of helpful and perhaps controversial pieces of information all through Twitter. What I am trying to say here is; just because I don’t use Twitter to report about my every moment, my every outing, my every meal (who would be interested anyway?) That doesn’t mean I am any less interested in social media. Perhaps I should tweet more. Perhaps I should spark up a debate with Lord Sugar…that should up my followers if nothing else!

Throughout all of my blogs, I have discussed the importance of social media in online journalism, AND, (you’ll be pleased to hear) I remain committed. I don’t see papers as ‘old news’ (excuse the pun) and I don’t want everyone to replace newspapers with twitter but what I do think is we have developed an amazing platform on which to transport information….to the world!

A website I visit regularly is www.mediahelpingmedia.com stresses the importance of social media in online journalism. One bit of advice I picked up on recently was the following statement.

‘Try to offer original, stimulating and compelling content’

Watch out for my new and improved tweets..!

Also, I got the placement, so either I managed to impress at interview, or perhaps he hadn’t seen my Twitter page ; )


Twitter promoted Tweets – does it corrupt online journalism?

13 Mar

Caroline James @CarolineJames1

It began with Toy Story 3.  Finally, Twitter happened on a means of making money in the form of “promoted Tweets”.

Fair enough: if you don’t like the look of what’s being promoted, you don’t have to click on it.

But what happens, when news channels start promoting their news coverage via Twitter? The issue of how commercial pressures impact upon news coverage is something oft discussed by journalists: The Independent’s David Lister wrote about it back in 1993.  Commercial broadcasters, like ITV, are dependent on advertising revenue to finance their programmes, including news coverage.  So, the debate comes when viewers feel the news agenda is being dictated by these financial pressures, rather than editorial ones.

Al-Jazeera is having something of a moment in terms of its news coverage right now.  As early as January, it saw an increase in traffic to its site by a staggering 2,500%. Positioned in the perfect spot to cover the protests in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya, it has leapt on the Twitter band-wagon to take advantage of this:

Al-Jazeera began promoting their tweets with the Egypt coverage

So, not only are they in the perfect spot to provide the most “on-the-ground” or “close-to-the-source” journalism, but they’re directing more traffic to their news coverage via promoted Tweets.

While it’s a fantastic application for social media on a new journalistic distribution platform – TV – the idea of paying to increase the size of your audience has its critics.

Data scientist, Ed Borasky points to Al-JAzeera’s purchase of major Egypt-related hashtags: #Egypt #jan25 #Mubarak and some of the new cabinet ministers, too.  He concludes: “This is about money pure and simple.  This is about closing sales.”

Borasky also flags up the fact that Al-Jazeera has gone even further than just hashtags and tweets.  It’s purchased a “Twitter promoted account”, which means it can crop up at the top of “who to follow lists”. 

So is it a question of Al-Jazeera unfairly exploiting Twitter and tricking users for its own gain? Or, is it merely an example of excellent mutual opportunism from both sides?

Twitter makes money from its promoted tweets and accounts and I’m sure Al-Jaz are paying handsomely for the privilege.  There doesn’t seem to be any definitive answer from Twitter on how much this all costs – whilst the Twitter blog introducing the concept in April last year raves about how “really excited” this new platform makes them, it doesn’t mention money and more significantly, the specific costs of promoting a tweet. Surely, this is a key question? Can I afford to promote my tweets, too? Or, do I need the financial backing of the Qatari Emir, as Al-Jazzera has?

Jeremy Shoemaker with his blog post on advertising with Twitter is more scathing still, asserting: “users get the shaft”.  He reminds us that, if Twitter chooses to promote my tweets, his tweets, or your tweets, we don’t get a penny.  He sums it up: “This is the first advertising model I can think of where the user who is creating 100% of the content being paid to advertise is getting zero percentage of the revenue”.

While I don’t like the idea of one news outfit attracting more coverage than another, simply because it has more money, Al-Jazeera does seem to have struck gold with Twitter promoted tweets.  It’s in the right place at the right time and exploiting that position to cement itself as THE place to go to for the latest on what’s unfolding in the Middle East.  It looks like we’re going to be hooked on what’s happening in the region for the foreseeable future so you can’t help but admire Al-Jazeera’s new marketing strategy.

This is beyond social media in online journalism, this is social media in online AND TV journalism: a new and exciting concept altogether.


My Twitter Epiphany

11 Nov

By Ian Kearney

Only a matter of weeks ago I joined Twitter and subscribed to the various news agencies, merely as a college exercise, and already Im using this social media tool as a first source for all my online journalism needs.

On my last trip home to Ireland I sat in an average restaurant in Heathrow airport, paying above average prices for below average food.

Affixed on the wall in front of me a plasma television broadcasting Sky News.

“Breaking news – Suspect packages found on planes at UK airport and in Dubai.” Not the words you want to see on any news report, especially if you are at an airport and even more so if you’re a nervous flyer.

Sky News Television coverage from East Midlands airport

The airport was noisy and I couldn’t quite grab the details of the story, needless to say Sky’s Steve Dixon was infinitely calmer than I was. Then as instinctively as changing gears in a car I pulled out my smart phone, logged into my Twitter account and intercepted updates from Sky Breaking News, BBC Breaking News, Itv News, Channel 4 News and various other news agencies.

As the various agencies tweeted away I was finding out the latest updates soon after the newsrooms themselves and from what I could gather before the venerable Steve Dixon, himself.

I could have used the internet on my phone to go to any news agency’s website but instead I chose to go straight to Twitter.

Why? Quite simply Twitter gave me the ability to check what all the agencies were saying all at once and in 140 characters rather than having to go in and out of each website reading through reams of copy.

In March 2009 Sky News hired Ruth Barnett as their “Twitter” or “Social Media Correspondent” and earlier this year Journalism.co.uk revealed that Sky News had installed Tweetdeck on all their reports computers in what Ms Barnett described as a process of embedding social media throughout the whole team.

This is as clear a sign as any that social media and online journalism go hand to hand and are here to stay.

Sky's Breaking News Twitter account instantly updating the suspect package story.

To get back to Heathrow, when it emerged that the suspect package was on a runway in East Midlands and of no immediate threat I breathed a sigh of relief, ordered a stiff drink and made my way to the departures gate, for which I was already running late.

A whole multitude of questions arises in this field; how is social media affecting online journalism? How is journalism affecting social media? Is social media changing how we source stories? Is social media changing the way we consume news?

This blog will attempt to address some of these questions as well as others in the area.