I have been in television news for about 12 years now. And one of the biggest parts of my job is the researching and confirming of stories.
Lately, I have been turning to twitter to look for and find information. I have only been using twitter for a year and the power of this social media still amazes me. I used twitter in a way, I never thought I would.
Several years ago, I would have been switching from cable news networks looking for the latest on the big news story. When I heard about the earthquake in Haiti, I did not turn to the cable news, I went to twitter. Within an hour I was seeing the first photos of the devastation of what happened. A few minutes after that, I started noticing journalists “tweeting” to the people with the pictures asking them for permission to use them on air.
I couldn't turn my head away. For hours, I sat there watching the live tweeter feed with all the Haiti updates. It was amazing to me all the information I was getting from just watching the feed.
It was heartbreaking to see some of the updates from Haiti and the people just looking for family. And since the earthquake, the campaigns to raise money have taken off through this simple social network have been wonderful.
It isn’t only the international or national news, that I watch break on twitter.
Here in Tampa Bay, I first saw reports of a possible gunman on the campus of USF on twitter. From there working through our contacts, confirmed the story and went to air. I was again watching twitter and saw the story unfolded on campus.
And it isn’t only breaking news. Through twitter I began to follow @missdestrutco (her blog can be found here: missdestructo.com). She is a great blogger with ties in the Tampa Bay area. Her tweets are always fun to read and her blogs interesting. One day one of her tweets caught my news eye…”Rare JFK images found at thrift store”…
After seeing that...I contacted her and ended up setting up a story with her on her awesome find…we turned a story that can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/ycj5uhm
I don’t only use twitter for work, I use it for me. Keeping up with friends, keeping up with news, keeping up with my favorite authors and celebrities and developing new relationships with people that have the same interests as me…
I am an aspiring Documentary film maker and have met so many people within the independent film community that have given me support, encouragement and ideas. I would have never spoken to these people if I didn't use twitter.
Twitter is an amazing tool for journalists and to develop relationships with people across the country.