Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Why is @Reuters yelling at me?

Anthony De Rosa
Jun 22, 2012 15:22 UTC

We conducted a survey of our @Reuters followers recently, and asked them this:  sometimes the Reuters wire publishes alerts in ALL CAPS, usually when the news is urgent.  Should we run them in uppercase and lower case on Twitter, as we would for normal conversation? What is more important?

The answer choices were: a) Receiving accurate news quickly even if that news is delivered in an “all caps” tweet or b) I’d like news to be reformatted from “all caps” before being sent, even if it takes longer.

At the time of this post, we received 1181 responses, 77 percent were in favor of “all caps,” while 23 percent were opposed.

I want to address why I think it’s important to sometimes post “all caps” tweets. First, I need to explain for some who don’t subscribe to our wire why they’re in “all caps” to begin with. Urgent one-line messages on our wire are called “snaps.” They precede longer, more in-depth reports.

They alert people to urgent news. The folks who manage our Twitter accounts don’t post in “all caps” to the wire. We receive the snaps that way. When there is urgent news, the quickest and most accurate way to share that news with our Twitter followers is to take that snap directly from the wire to you on Twitter, without rewriting it, without caps and without the possibility of rewriting it and making a mistake.

News agencies must evolve or meet extinction

Anthony De Rosa
Nov 16, 2011 21:47 UTC

Imagine you’re a reporter and you suddenly witness a major news event occurring right before your eyes. Do you snap it to the wire, file a story to your website, or tweet it out to your followers? If you’re at the AP, you damn well better not choose the latter.

In a perfect world, you’d want to do all the above, though your employer is going to likely want you to do the first two before you tweet. Today, Reuters is a lot more than just a wire service. We’ve built — and are continuing to build — what we think is the world’s greatest news website, in the form of Reuters.com, and part of that is providing our readers with reliable and timely news, information, opinion and analysis.

An extension of that website is the information we post on our social media accounts, at Google+, Twitter and on Facebook. We’re not just reporting our own news there, but have become a beacon for all news, being as comprehensive as possible so readers come to us first for all they need to know. We’ve got things like Counterparties, created by Ryan McCarthy and Felix Salmon that does a great job at bringing news from around the web to our readers.

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