Monday, December 1, 2008

Tweeting Towards Tomorrow

The New York Times today published yet another article about the changing face of journalism and the decentralization of news gathering [h/t Jesse]. We wrote about those topics here. Today's article provides more evidence that in the future, news will be created, shared, and reported as it happens by bloggers, so-called "citizen journalists" (blah), amateur photographers, and your jackass neighbor with a twitter account. From the article:

When gunmen started spraying Mumbai with bullets and seizing the city's landmarks, countless people around the globe turned not to the television or the radio for news, but to each other.

Blogs and social networking sites like Twitter and Flickr buzzed with eyewitness accounts from India's financial capital, providing some of the first photos of the besieged targets and serving as a forum for pleas for updates on friends and family...

The lightning-quick updates of the attacks that killed 174 people read like a sketchy but urgent blow-by-blow account of the siege, providing further evidence of a sea change in how people gather their information in an increasingly Internet-savvy world.

The article goes on to say that although the information was instantaneous and often from first-hand sources, some of the information was wrong. Oh boo hoo. NY Times, it seems we've forgotten about Judy Miller, your disgraced journalist who went to jail to protect Karl Rove's right to disseminate false information.

If you're reading your news from a twitter account, you should to be going into it with some skepticism. Candygirl101 might be near the Mumbai blasts, but she might be talking some bullshit. If, however, Candygirl101 has some photos to back up her story, she might be worth listening to. Judy Miller, on the other hand, had access to the highest reaches of power in our government, and she should never be listened to again.

In the event that anything important ever happens near this blog, we've added a "follow me on Twitter" do-dad at the top. Now you can know what's for lunch, or if something horrible happens in Midtown!

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