I’ve been thinking a lot about my use of social media and how helpful it is in informing the people who consume it. This election season has particularly made me think more critically about how sometimes the short, context-less text updates can lead to a poorly informed public. I’m certainly not the first person to realize this, as Craig Kanalley recently wrote in detail. People increasingly latch on to the latest minutiae of the campaign, the Big Bird, the binders, the memes, which have little relevance to the actual issues that matter: employment, foreign policy, the expanding income gap, so on and so forth. Here’s what we plan to do to improve the signal to noise ratio.
Anthony De Rosa
In an attempt to shoehorn the social media genie back into the bottle, Sky News has told its reporters they cannot retweet non-Sky sources and must not stray from the topic area or beat that they cover when posting tweets on their Twitter accounts. Not only does this make for a staid and boring feed, but it also puts Sky News reporters at a significant competitive disadvantage to places like Reuters, where we have reporters verifying and tweeting out sources of news from all over the web and from many different news outlets.
I am pleased to announce that Matthew Keys will be joining Reuters as our Deputy Social Media Editor. He will produce online content for Reuters.com; expand our presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and on new platforms; and play a key role in helping to train Reuters journalists on best practices in social media.
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.