Twitter Has Utility

I remember an executive meeting of an association of journalists, decades ago, where I explained how to automate communications with membership. The treasurer in the meeting, who worked for the top newspaper in town, responded “a computer is nothing more than a glorified typewriter.” The video terminal he used to create his prose was called a “dumb terminal.” The database software I proposed as computer automation was the power of personal computing in the hands of individuals. The treasurer changed his mind in regards to personal computers when he found email years later.

In an ever changing world journalists are determining ways to use Twitter. We’re all familiar with short text messages and instant communication. At one point, I could only leave the newsroom with a two-way radio, cellular telephone, and my ever present pager. The point I make is the concept of instant communications is known to journalists.

Twitter could be used by a producer or project leader to follow activities of all those responsible for the project or assignment. The leader tweets and all followers get information of a change in plans. Any follower tweets and the manager and their followers get the message of circumstances at the location. The manager or leader is at a desktop and the followers are at desktops, notebooks and mobile devices. Instant communication usually restricted to the newsroom crosses geographies and technology platforms to carry out a long required newsroom utility.

A journalist is conducting research and exchanges tweets with of all his sources on Twitter when circumstances are fluid. The sources also follow the reporter if they want to stay on top of his research. They are taking the simple question Twitter poses – “What are you doing?” to here’s what you want to know.

Consider limitations and possibilities of Twitter and I’m sure you’ll find more application for necessary tasks and even innovation.

Broadcast Newsroom Computing considers a smart phone a must. Why tomorrow.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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