Once over lightly

I have been noticing a trend in the media lately. There has been an increase in the number of stories they have been doing on exchanges on social media. However these stories seems to have a very process type nature to them. They follow the format of Person A did this on social media, Person B responded in way X. In a lot of cases there is no indication of the media seeking comment from those involved. There is also generally a vox pop quote from a social media user who was engaged in the exchange. This is what happened last night with a Stuff article. The article is about a tweet by former MP Tau Henare: West_Side_Tory_on_Twitter___Just_wondering_if__Lorde_has_epilepsy__ The Stuff story can be found here. The final quote from the story reads:

Joining in the discussion was Labour’s new deputy leader Annete King who tweeted, “Come on Tau that’s nasty. Both to Lorde and to those who suffer epilepsy.”

Now this whole blog is focused on the use of social media in politics, and I do posts such as Twitter Conversation of the Day, but I try to take a critical and analytical look at most of what I post about. Where as the story by Stuff, which doesn’t even carry a by line, provides no analysis, nor does it appear that there has been any attempt to obtain comment from the MP/former MP involved. What happens on social media can be indicative of deeper aspects of peoples views, which may be worth writing stories about. But it seems that for many in the media, social media is seen as a way to get quick and easy stories to fill column inches.   This story contributes nothing. This isn’t to say the tweet wasn’t worth writing a story about, but this story isn’t it.