Tweet One: How major news stories broke in Twitter

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The microblogging site Twitter has had a significant effect on news gathering and professional practice. Some journalists use it to broadcast their stories but the majority of journalists use it to gather information and contacts. This has made it extremely useful in Journalism Education because the live database of Tweets is freely available for use. Man organisations, from political parties and sports clubs to Royal Households use Twitter to make press announcements so many news stories are broken on Twitter. But there is another category of news story broken on Twitter which is when a Twitter user has seen something and chooses to broadcast this information to their ~Twitter followers, and find that they have broken the story to the word. Many stories are broken in this way and this paper examines those story timelines to establish who sent eh first Tweet and thus broke the story – Tweet One. The process of finding this Tweet One for major news stories is instructive in itself as it give a detailed anatomy of major news stories, albeit in reverse. It also reveals that while Citizen Journalism claims the ability to break major stories for the untrained journalist examination of major stories reveals that mostly it is working journalists who break stories on Twitter, suggesting that their instincts and “nose for a story” are more important factors than simply the availability of the technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation for Journalism Education Summer Conference
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2015


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