Is Twitter the final nail in the coffin for the press?

NewsWhile all the talk over recent years has been about the death of how the newspaper, it has always been said that the news industry is alive and kicking. So when Stephen Fry comes along and says:

“I’m not someone with press offices and all that kind of thing, but those like me in the public eye who have, have discovered it’s a magnificent way of cutting out the press.”

It got me thinking – could this really be the nail in the coffin for the press industry? Will we just follow the companies/people we are interested in to get the news?

I don’t think so.

For the people/companies we are interested in absolutely. I want to hear the minutest detail about Liverpool FC; I also want to know about the latest technology and I also want to know what is happening right now in the world.

The first two are easily solved in Twitter – I can find out the latest news about those two things in real time. The third is a bit more difficult – who should I follow? Do I rely on whats trending in Twitter search to find it?

No.

Here are the top trending items in Twitter right now:
Real Madrid, Chuck Norris, Ellen, Watchmen, Apple, Chelsea, #sxsw, Tweetie 1, #etech, #sf09

As you can see, it is somewhat populist (at least for the tech crowd) 😉 Not all the news I want to hear is populist. What about the news that Shakespeare’s first theatre has been found? That is interesting to me but I’d never see it if I was just using Twitter.

I also cannot subscribe to every person or company I am slightly interested in. I do not want to know every little detail about some companies just the key news stories.

For me, Twitter is a great news source for topics I am very interested in and telling me about populist news/events. But I do not always need real-time news. I want a place where I can also catch up on news and find out news that is deemed of interest to the general public.

For me that means news companies like the BBC, Sky et al need to have a presence on Twitter to monitor the major companies and catch the news, before packaging it up as a news story as they already do today. Twitter for them is just another source.

It looks like Sky have already started doing this..

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