Saturday, September 7, 2013


Natalie Bochenski, the arts/entertainment reporter for brisbanetimes.com.au, talked us through the emerging online news trend that is live-blogging/live-tweeting in yesterday's lecture. With twerking and porn-references galore, Natalie was thoroughly engaging and entertaining, and fortunately I'm not feeling quite as apprehensive as I was beforehand about our live-blogging assessment next week. 

Earlier this week, I decided to 'practice for my test' by live-tweeting an episode of Gilmore Girls. Admittedly, a political speech or a reality show grand final may have been more suitable for the exercise, but wherever I can fit some Gilmore Girls into my life, I will. So, get excited for a play-by-play of Tuesday night's intense live-tweeting, interspersed with some of Natalie's best and most important tips:

Live-tweeting is still new. Journalists are still woking out the best ways to reach audiences through live-tweeting and at the moment, there aren't a lot of rules. What remains as important as ever in the news industry, though, is the truth. Make sure what you're putting out there is correct, because sure-as-sunrise, lies will travel faster than the truth.

Re-iterating the above point, Natalie says you should always choose accuracy over speed. Yes, we want to be as quick as possible and get the scoop, but it is worth taking the time to make sure it is correct. Or it will come back to bite you!

Tweeting provides the opportunity to make news sharing a bit more fun. You're able to delve into a more 'media rich' landscape than usual. Use hashtags and provide links. There's also room for a bit more humour, if it suits what you're covering, to keep things interesting. And interact with your audience! That's the beauty of Twitter. It can become a conversation.

Keep it brief. Filter out what isn't important. News values are just as important with tweeting, so keep things relevant. Your audience wants the need-to-know facts, and it's your job to get rid of the clutter and make it clear what is most important.

You're a journalist first, so make sure you aren't neglecting those duties for the sake of tweeting. For example, at a press conference or something similar, journalists still need to be asking questions and getting all the information they need. You need to be proficient at that before Tweeting.

So, in summary: keep it relevant, keep it brief, include hash tags and links, keep it interactive, don't be afraid of humour, make sure the facts are right and choose accuracy over speed.

(Does it weaken or strengthen my case if I admit that I realise I only used about two of those tips in my live-tweeting practice? I got caught up in the drama.)

Do you feel informed about Gilmore Girls? I hope so. I hope you feel 100% on top of it.

Also, one of my favourite bands favourited a bunch of these Tweets, so we can definitely call the whole thing a success.


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