Twitter’s growth in popularity over the last few years has seen it expand into a market its creaters never foresaw: breaking news. The real-time, rapid-fire nature of Twitter, combined with its high level of mobility makes Twitter perfect for breaking news stories as they’re happening. Heck, I knew about the deaths of Michael Jackson, Osama Bin Laden, and Steve Jobs from Twitter well before I learned about them from mainstream media sources.
So thoroughly has Twitter penetrated the news world that nearly every news organization has a Twitter feed. Many post news as its happening, and only pause to write up stories to post on the web after breaking the initial story.
The BBC, however, have just released fresh guidelines meant to ensure that breaking news hits the BBC’s network before its journalists post to Twitter. According to a note posted this morning on the BBC’s website, the BBC wants to make sure their journalists get breaking stories into the hands of the their colleagues in the newsroom before putting them out on Twitter. While they acknowledge the value of Twitter as a way of both gathering news and publishing their own content, they insist that “our first priority remains ensuring that important information reaches BBC colleagues, and thus all our audiences, as quickly as possible - and certainly not after it reaches Twitter.”
What do you think? Is the BBC right to prefer more traditional methods of handling breaking news? Let us know what you think in the comments.