Writing at Reportr.net Alfred Hermida says most journalists approach Web 2.0 services like Twitter with a 1.0 mindset. He’s right, my personal bugbear is that many media organisations insist their reporters use Twitter as a broadcast media and not for dialogue.
Hermida, a journalism professor, looks at a list of best practices guidelines for journalists using Twitter. Top of the list are two I consider the most important:
- Have a voice that is credible and reliable, but also personal and human
- Be generous in retweets and credit others
Too often media tweeters come across as cold and impersonal. In some cases the Twitter accounts feel robotic, because that’s exactly what they are.
And media outlets are often the least generous when it comes to crediting sources. Perhaps they fear they’ll lose readers if they point them elsewhere. Of course, they will lose some traffic that way, but they’ll gain more in terms of credibility by being more open and generous.