For one of my journalism classes, we have been asked to create a Twitter account. I was reluctant at first because I used to think Twitter was just for people who wanted to constantly post “facebook statuses.” But after using Twitter for the past two weeks I realized it is more of a reporting tool.
We did a “Twitter Scavenger Hunt” last Tuesday in class. We had to go out on campus and do certain tasks, and post them on Twitter as we went along. This is what made me realize how useful Twitter can be for reporting the news. with only 140 characters, we were able to share our news with the world via our cell phones each time we checked an assignment off the list. The cool thing was, journalists students from other schools across the country participated in the same event. We used hash tags to find each other and compare. It became really cool when we began to interact with other student journalists. I foudn out I have a lot in common with one student journalist from the University of Memphis. He too wants to be a travel writer, but we both have different reasons for pursuing our aspirations. It was also cool to compare our answers for the scavenger hunt. I feel like I know a lot more about their campuses and how the students there receive the news compared to WVU.
Twitter is also useful as a reporting tool when you follow the right people. You have to follow the news to get the news. I follow the NYTimes, different Health magazines, other journalists, Barack Obama, Fox news, etc. In return, I can stay on top of the news and post my own input by retweeting or using my phone to post reports when I’m not at a computer.
Now, I log onto Twitter daily without even thinking about it. I like to see what is going on and what everyone thinks on one website. Also, I like that I can use Twitter as a referrer to my blog and vice versa. Generally, some of the people who follow me on Twitter are probably into health, so when they see the link to my blog, they most likely check it out. Being a good journalist is all about staying interconnected with the world around you. Twitter is a good way to be involved in the journalist community.