Twitter appears to be a problem for the news wires as breaking news can be sent around the world in a matter of seconds. Reuters is asking it’s reporters not to scoop the wire by posting breaking news on Twitter. Politisite’s Twitter account is used for just that, to break political news on twitter ahead of the wires.
Reuters recently released an update to their handbook with a section on “Reporting from the Internet and using social media.” In addition to basic commonsense guidelines, one message stood out: Don’t scoop the wire.
Many reporters currently use Twitter as both a reporting tool and service for getting out breaking news faster. But Reuters wants their journalists to be very clear one on thing, you shouldn’t be breaking stories before they go out on the wire.
It seems like pretty good advice, right? Why undercut the basic premise of their business by spilling their ledes all over Twitter, right?
It’s a good short-term policy, protecting the core of their business, but ultimately real-time services like Twitter are going to really give old-fashioned newswires a run for their money. Sure, the amount of reporting you can squeeze into 140 characters is minimal, but for getting breaking news out fast and to a large number of people, social media is remarkably effective.