Twitter is inherently a social networking site for making short but unquestionably public statements about everything and anything. As you likely see in my Twitter feed to the left of this post, my Tweets are mostly about journalism, media, or international relations–my dominant fields of interest and study. My comments are ones that I would defend in person, because they are made in the public sphere. There is no expectation of privacy in Tweeting, unless done through the moderately helpful “Direct Message” system. Twitter might be compared to a bullhorn letting its users send brief thoughts into a noisy and confusing web space.
There is an increasing trend in journalism to aggregate Tweets by topic or user into “news stories.” Chief among the tools for this Twitter journalism is Storify, which organizes selected Tweets to form a narrative. This example from Canadian CTV news shows how it works…you list the Tweets to tell a story, and the journalist doesn’t necessarily need to talk to anyone directly. The Tweets are taking the place of interviews, in some cases. This is annoying, and a result of a race for posting “news” quicker in the digital age. Why talk to someone when you can just post their Tweets? Continue reading “Perils in aggregation journalism: public or ‘public’”