Twitter on ABC TV – the impact on politics, media and socializing


ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) TV had a very nice segment on Twitter yesterday, as below.

As befits the august institution, the segment was more thoughtful than some other recent media coverage.

It begins with how politicians are using Twitter, including Barack Obama, Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, and South Australian state premier Mike Rann, who announced his new cabinet on Twitter, and talks about how he embraces it as a way of communicating with his electorate.

The segment then looks at how Twitter is becoming a media channel, including providing breaking coverage of events such as the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Australian bushfires, and quotes me saying that many news events are covered first and sometimes better on Twitter than on mainstream media.

On the segment ABC Managing Director Mark Scott says that most Twitter sources cannot be trusted, so people will look to credible sources such as the ABC, possibly delivered over the ABC’s own Twitter channel.

This approach just takes us back to the traditional view that news is only news once a journalist has reported it. In part of my interview that wasn’t used in the segment I noted that people are increasingly looking for primary sources for news. They are not interested in waiting until the broadcast journalists get to the scene, and they feel capable of assessing the validity of these unauthorized sources themselves.

The segment wraps up mentioning Twitter’s search for a business model.