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I enjoyed a recent New York Times article on Twitter and journalists: ‘A cocktail party with readers’ (March 12, 2011).  NYT Public Editor,* Arthur S. Brisbane, writes fortnightly and in his article he notes that Tweeting can be quite beneficial for journalists, and adds some cautionary points.

(Disclosure: I haven’t joined the Twitterati yet**, (01:12 Mon 25 April 2011)…. but I am getting interested. I haven’t done any Online Journalism studies — but then my WordPress production probably indicates this.)

Back to Arthur Brisbane and Twitter for journalists… his article is swaying me towards trying it out. I know I’ll get irritatingly enthusiastic and very distracted by the shininess of it when I do start Tweeting… mental note: better wait till the semester break.

A ‘Public Editor’ is a specialist editor; a position the NYT first  created in 2003. At Brisbane’s appointment, the role was described as

“…the newspaper’s version of an internal affairs division… responsible for reporting on and writing about the 1,000 journalists who produce The Times.”

His job description includes “designated representative of the readers of The New York Times.

So, he is a type of ombudsman within the paper. At the start of his three year contract in this position, Brisbane said he was interested in looking at

“the effect on The Times’s journalistic standards of publishing articles for the Web on tight deadlines.  ‘I think that journalists and editors are struggling with establishing standards for digital news,’ he said. ‘Are those standards different from content in print? And if they’re different, how do we justify that they’re different?’…”

~ I don’t know if such a role exists in Australian news organisations…. Anyone?

~ What’s your own advice on and experience of Twitter combined with journalism?

A couple of Brisbane’s articles that I enjoyed:

‘Why would I do this?’ (re his role at the Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29pubed.html?ref=arthursbrisbane

‘Race, religion and other perilous ground’ (re journalists’ use of racial and other labels)


** I didn’t wait for the semester break, joining Twitter on 2 May, 2011 — the day before World Press Freedom Day.  My first Tweet commented on how Twitter featured in the news on Bin Laden’s death.

You can still find me on Twitter:  @ms_em_

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