Twitter can have many different functions for many different people. But journalists can use it mainly for two reasons.
First of all, Twitter is a wonderful tool to gather information.Contacts are central to a journalist’s work. Contrary to Facebook, where you need to be accepted as a friend, Twitter allow you to follow people directly and get updates. The way you fill your Twitter contacts book is crucial to get come across a useful contact. Most of the organisations, political parties, activists are already on Twitter. The quantity of tools to identify useful contacts is amazing. For example, Twits like me allow you to find people with similar interests, or Tweetscan to search with key words, or Twitterlocal to help you find twitterers in your local area.
Then, Twitter is an excellent platform to publish and distribute. Many news organisations use Twitter to send headlines alerts on mobile phones. It’s a very good to inform quickly and generate interest or reactions following a breaking news. Many newspapers have separate Twitter accounts for different sections, such as business, traffic and sports. Twitter is particularly useful for journalists reporting live via text message themselves.
Twitter has become indispensable in a journalist’s toolbox.