Journalism, Social Media with Reuters’ De Rosa on Reddit

8 Oct

Anthony De Rosa, Reuters’ social media editor, did an IAmA on Reddit a few weeks ago whilst flying to San Francisco for ONA. He answered what seemed to be all the remotely serious questions, even a couple days after opening the thread.

You can see all the Qs and As here, but below are what I found to be some of the more useful excerpts.

On editing/deleting tweets:

Only delete if it is going to put someone’s life in danger, otherwise send a follow up tweet with a correction.
I’m hoping at some point Twitter addresses this issue.

I don’t think you should be able to edit, there needs to be transparency. You should be able to note or flag a tweet that needed to be corrected.

On daily workflow, Twitter capabilities:

I still use the old Tweetdeck (0.38.1) and really dislike the new one with a passion. I use lists and am still frustrated with Twitter limiting how many lists you can build on one account.
I don’t really get much news value out of Facebook or G+, they’re not realtime enough.

I don’t think my job is to worry about “driving clicks,” my job is to do a good job at delivering news there.

On his role at Reuters:

The “sending tweets” aspect of our job is pretty low on the list of responsibilities.
Social Media is the end of the chain of reporting and the beginning of the chain of gathering information….
Most of the time I am monitoring, gathering, reading, consuming information on social media, on our wire and in traditional formats. I’m talking to our newsroom, listening to what they’re hearing, putting it into understandable context, and then finally disseminating it both on social media and on Reuters.com

On whether journalists should know how to code:

I think it’s ridiculous to expect journalists to easily learn to code. Do I think it would make them more valuable? Sure….People simplify this and honestly it sort of is an insult to pure coders.

What direction should social media take in regard to journalists?

Better tools for finding geolocated media (photos, videos), though I think Geofeedia is pretty nice for this right now.
I’d like to see Twitter and Facebook build better search tools, I’d like Twitter to lift the List limit.
I think we’re going to see things like UStream and other live streaming play a bigger role in reporting.

I think the ratio of talking and doing is out of whack. People need to experiment. Perfect is the enemy of good….The cost and barriers to entry are so low that you won’t see it disappear the way newspapers will eventually (in the middle).

Why do we need journalism?

You need good editors, you need people to help make sense of the deluge of information….I also think you still need to pay people to go out and do tough reporting that most people are unwilling to do.

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