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Shop Talk - February 7


The panelists debate whether journalists should be concerned about news makers using social media to circumvent reporters.

The starting point for the discussion is a New York Times piece by David Carr, who wrote about Rupert Murdoch's use of Twitter. Murdoch has only recently started tweeting and has used the platform to sound off on a wide variety of topics.

Some journalists fear news makers will use social media to eliminate the middleman - ie, reporters - and simply distribute their thoughts and information directly to the audience.

But panelist Bill Knight pointed out this has been done for years and started long before the advent of social media. He said President Franklin Roosevelt used “fireside chats” to speak directly to the people without having to answer questions from reporters.

Knight said tweets can be used as starting points or tips for larger stories.

Panelist Mike Murray said FDR put a lot more time and thought into his fireside chats than anyone puts into a tweet. He fears tweeting by news makers will simply clutter up the already cluttered information environment that editors and reporters must wade through every day.


Rich is TSPR's News Director.