I thought at first this job posting at Twitter had to be a joke:
Media – Head of News and Journalism (SF or NY)
Full-Time — New York City, NY
Twitter is playing an integral role in the evolution of the news industry — both as a tool for reporters and newsrooms and as a way for consumers to find news in real-time. Twitter has already changed the way news breaks and provided journalists new ways to connect with their readers. We are looking for a seasoned leader to shape and drive the next growth phase of Twitter’s partnership with the news industry. We believe Twitter is a valuable complement to the great work already being done and want to find ways for Twitter to help ensure the industry’s success.
You will be responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensable to newsrooms and journalists, as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks. You should have a strong vision for the broad potential of Twitter and news, while also being able to rigorously manage and scale the news team’s daily impact.
You will be also Twitter’s representative to the News industry. You will manage Twitter’s partnerships with newsrooms in the United States as well its relationships with journalists. You will be responsible for representing Twitter at industry events.
You must have deep experience leading teams in reporting, editing or managing journalists, as well as a strong record of executing strategic partnerships. (This role will report to Head of Media)
But if it is, then the Guardian UK fell for it.
The thing is, I think that The Guardian’s enthusiasm–while infectious in that reserved, British-style–might actually be well-placed. The updates that have come through Twitter on newsworthy events like the Boston Bombing were timely and uncannily accurate; crowd sourcing huge public events like that give you a very accurate picture. Twitter as a communications platform is unrivaled for real-time information.
And before you laugh at the thought of news in 140-character bites, consider how that limitation would force you as a reporter to not embellish who, what, where, when. Why and how? Well, maybe that becomes a link to a more in-depth piece. But by its very limited nature, Twitter should remove the editorial from news reporting.
The problem is, and will always be, about the credibility of the news sources. But that is the problem with the MSM, too. CNN has crashed and burned so many times with bad reporting that few people turn to them any longer. The challenge with Twitter for news junkies is going to be the same challenge with using Yelp: who do you believe?