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News is made on Twitter?

Just saw one of the most substantial exchanges I've ever seen on Twitter:

rdsahl Gov Patrick: WashPost blog floats your name for HHS. Are you in the mix? Would you take if offered. Thanks.

(and, about an hour later...)

MassGovernor @rdsahl As the Governor has said countless times, he is staying put and running for re-election. - Kyle Sullivan, Press Secretary [approx. 2 pm]

I'm struck by this in several ways:

  • Did RD Sahl ask the question on Twitter because he thought it would be most efficient, or because he wanted everyone to know he was asking? Or something else?
  • By answering the question on open Twitter, Sullivan not only addresses Sahl but the rest of us as well, cutting out the media middleman.
  • Is Sullivan's comment news? I know Twitter's becoming fairly common to locate sources for stories, but it seems uncommon to find the business of journalism happening like this.

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"I don't think I'll make it through the day without some dark chocolate.
9:01 AM yesterday from web"

Random call for help in the middle of the news day... This guy is just an enigma.

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R.D. is in the middle of editing something, and I wanted to know, too. So using less technological means - I walked over and stuck my head in his edit room and said, "Why'd you ask the Gov's office over Twitter?"

"It was a direct way to do it," he replied.

Guess he was right.

And if I'm Kyle, might as well respond in the way the question was asked. It was asked openly - might as well answer it that way, right? But is it cutting out the media middleman if the media guy is asking the question?

Ted McEnroe

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It still cuts out the middleman because anyone who wants to see what the Governor('s press secretary) wrote can do so directly. In essence, the media guy became an end user, just like the rest of us always are and were even for that specific exchange. It used Twitter as if it were an open-ended press conference that we were all invited to sit in and ask questions. I like it, because even though a real media guy asked the question it doesn't mean the rest of us have to wait for him to report it (or possibly even *not* report it because he/his boss/station executives decided not to run it because they didn't think it was newsworthy/attention getting/revenue generating).

For example, while the governor may have already made it very clear that he intends to run for re-election to you, R.D., or even the general public, I had not heard that yet...and now I have. If it's been covered before, maybe R.D. doesn't mention it tonight (or maybe I don't watch NECN tonight if he were to mention it). Now I know, because I follow the MassGovernor Twitter account and also because someone else saw it and felt it worth mentioning here (where I do read more often than I watch NECN). All because I didn't have to wait on the one media guy to make the answer known since he was just like one of us and the rest of us are paying attention to Twitter too.

Also, after looking at the exchange and reading some of R.D.'s other Tweets, I now follow R.D. too to see what he has to say occasionally. I don't usually watch NECN news but at least I'll get to see what R.D. is finding important enough to broadcast...yet another benefit from having had it out in the open. Anyone, not just media people, ask questions through Twitter to the Governor and if their question piques my interest, I might just follow them too, same as R.D.

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I was being a little tongue-in-cheek in my 'middleman' comment - not sure that came across. But I agree with your overall point. That's the beauty of twitter and the array of new tools at everyone's disposal...

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Take a bow, Ted. NECN's Director of Digital Media put together a story on how Governor Patrick is reaching out online through YouTube, MyMassTV, and Twitter to connect with the people of the state (and even the press, sometimes).

No props to Universal Hub for this discussion of the Tweets, though? In fact, I noticed I couldn't find a single sci/tech story on Universal Hub (or the Boston blog scene in general for that matter) on the NECN.com website.

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How do you get Neighborhood Network News http://nnnonline.org/ to webcast their cable TV cablecast?... they are so behind the technology curve.

Is the news director somebody brought in from the West Coast, or a local guy?...

see also

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