Twitter, the website which created the art form of turning peoples opinions and lives into 140 characters of published content, should be recognised by Journalists and other students as a haven for information and advertisement.
As a second year Journalism and Media student myself, I have two main problems with my work – Finding quotes and information, and persuading people to read the fruits of my labour. I am not alone, not within my course and not within Coventry University, as it seems every student that needs to advertise what they have has a difficult task ahead of them. The problem is normally the simple fact that it is difficult to reach a target audience, as I can’t run through the city centre with my articles aloft yelling at people to read what I have, or post up on Facebook what I have achieved. Facebook has an audience, certainly, but friends and family posting that they ‘Like’ what I have written can only get me so far. Twitter, therefore, is the answer.
Writes Jon Dudley…
CU Today, this very website, is an obvious place to gain viewers of work as Coventry University’s online publication receives hundreds of views a day, but limits the audience to people with an interest in the goings on of this fine university. Twitter gains you ‘Followers’, or more specifically, a group of people who have clicked to confirm that they want to view your work, your opinions, and whatever you created for breakfast after a heavy night and an empty cavern of a fridge the following morning. It also gives you the option to ‘Follow’, where you yourself can divulge into peoples work and musings – and breakfasts. This allows you to follow the great movers and shakers of your chosen profession, from skilled writers Jon Snow and Steven Fry to celebrities such as Noel Fielding and Snoop Dogg, and therefore can give a wealth of information that would be nigh on impossible to achieve. Being students, we don’t possess VIP Everywhere passes to every event in the world, or a million pounds to fly across every continent and meet everyone required for what we need to write about, we’re mostly limited to Coventry citizens and friends with a student budget of zero (Due to the heavy night and breakfasts, no doubt).
Even locally, it may be incredibly difficult or time consuming to gain a quote from somebody crucial to what is happening. Darren Parkin, Editor of the Coventry Telegraph, is no doubt a busy man in the reality of life and his career, but a polite question on Twitter allows him to give a quick response, that being if he’s not already covered it in his own personal opinions or on the Coventry Telegraph Twitter. Equally, online published work can be passed on to those with the power to gain an audience. My small collection of followers would not be able to gain much publicity if I was to break an important piece of news to the public, but passing it on to accomplished Journalists or publications could allow their hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers to see what you have written. In theory, that published article could then be passed on, or ‘Retweeted’ to their friends, giving you a niche in the multi-million user social network, and the possibility of getting your name or blog recognised.
Any Journalist or similarly coursed student, in the opinion of this Journalism student, should get a twitter and get their work published and advertised beyond any level of realistic possibilities in the real world. Jon Snow, Channel 4′s most prestigious Journalist and newsreader, stated in his latest Coventry Conversation that he completely agrees with the idea of Twitter and that the idea of ‘Standing in Tiananmen Square, watching a man be beaten to the ground by seven police officers and being able to Tweet and say that I am there and watching it is an amazing concept.’ He too has a blog that he publicises on Twitter and believes that these technological advancements are what is bringing Journalism into the ‘Golden Age’.