This election is a rather tense one. Lots of accusations being thrown around by all sides. One of the on going targets is the media. This morning Katie Bradford tweeted:
Which was followed up John Drinnan with:
Now this is a fair question, but it does kind of forget/ignore the fact that there are only 140 characters available (the tweet concerned ran to 131 characters). Katie could have followed it up with another tweet with who was claiming that. But that is not what I am interested in looking at. It is the following tweets.
As I have outlined, there is a case to be made that Katie should have added more context, via a second tweet, but the fact that she didn’t doesn’t mean that she has been “regurgitating convenient spin”. Katie responded with the following point (that I will talk a bit about more at the end):
But the reply that really sums it up is Ruminator: I should have made it clearer here that the point that Ruminator raised was not directly related to the preceding part of the conversation. The point he raised is something that I have noticed else where on Twitter and he put it into words that summed it up. I have seen cases of people, on both sides of the political spectrum, replying to reporter and media organisation accounts with accusations of bias or being mouth pieces for parties just because they are carrying quotes of varying types. I still stand by my comment that just because there is no second tweet, that does not make Katie guilty of “churnalism” or “regurgitating convenient spin”.
Once you look past the facetious manner of Ruminator’s tweet, he is making a good point, so much of the wider criticism of the media is based on them reporting things that those criticising them don’t agree with, or like. Which is the point Andrea makes:
Sacha tries to defend the tone of the tweet that sparked this exchange:
But I think the point is still made. There is a lot of criticism of the media, especially on Twitter, where those criticising are expecting the same level of analysis and discussion that they get in a full article, but within the constraints of a 140 character format. Twitter gives the media the opportunity to give running updates during the day of what is happening on the campaign trail. Instead of trying to either fit everything into their main out put, or leaving out things that some might feel are important. The balance of a reporter should not be measured on single, 140 character tweets, but across their whole feed. Nor should they be attacked for reporting paraphrases (to fit within 140 characters) of comments by those on the campaign trail.