Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Friday, June 19, 2009

No, tweeting isn't the end of journalism

So a couple of days ago, MPs went head-to-head with each other on Twitter during the Parliament sitting on Tuesday where Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin got kicked out.

Interestingly, a journalist mused whether this would spell the end of journalism on the competition MPs (and brands, companies, individuals) who could go directly to readers on a mass-distributed platform such as Twitter would bring to journalists in breaking news.

I'd add: would this actually mean the end of journalism as a profession? Well, actually - no.

In fact, I don't think there's ever been a time where the journalism profession has ever been so important. Yes, I could hear what Lim Kit Siang or Khairy has to say, straight from the horses mouth, on Twitter; but I also want to hear a 3rd party with an unbiased viewpoint provide a report of the proceedings.

As uppercaise so kindly points out: breaking news is just one aspect of journalism.

I'd want to hear a 3rd party commentary from someone who's trusted as non-partisan, non-biased and with my best interests at heart. That's what a journalist is (at least, that's how I was sold when I went to journalism school) and that's why people will keep reading news - whether on paper or online.

"Journalists serve as the main purveyors of information and opinion in contemporary society" (source: Wikipedia). They aren't the source

So it's sometimes funny how I hear social media is killing journalism. Journalism is a profession that isn't tied to its medium. People will still want to read gadget reviews from an expert, whether its on a blog or in a magazine. People will still want to read good political commentary.

What's changing is how a journalist does his / her job. Mind you, there can be no generalisation here - not every journalist needs to get a Twitter account. Rather, the journalist can reach his / her audience in the most relevant way possible. Even if that's handwriting news on papyrus. But new and social media are opening up new vectors to receive and disseminate news, and the best journalists will always be the ones who can get their news out in the most timely and relevant fashion.

And that could be tweeting.

Note: I've updated and edited this post to more accurately reflect Uppercaise' views.


Niki Cheong said...

"Journalism is a profession that isn't tied to its medium."

Spot on :)

Nicholas Leong said...

Yep, agreed. Social media is a medium, not a source.

It just changes the way journalist work. I certainly hope Twitter is not the main source of information.

140 characters is not my ideal reading material.

Nicholas Leong said...

Yikes. Bad internet. Triple post for nothing. Feel free to delete them. Including this one :)

uppercaise said...

You seem to have missed the whole point of my posting.

bryanlyt said...

Journalism and blogs/twitter/whatever social thingy needs each other..

it helps contributes to the accessibility and interactivity towards news organization..
think of cross pollination ;)

ShaolinTiger said...

Yah, the same reason traditional media shouldn't be scared of new media. Everything has it's place and it's all complementary.

There's space to grow together rather than looking at is as competition.

When you share you don't lose, you multiply.

Stanley said...


davidlian said...

@Niki: Thanks.
@Nicholas: I've cleaned up your comments.
@Uppercaise: Thanks for the clarification, have updated the post.
@Bryan: Indeed.
@ST: I think many mainstream media are starting to see interaction within social networks as a key part of their strategic growth now.
@Stanley: Preach what? :p