11 March 2009

Sky Unveils Twitter Correspondent

The growing profile of Twitter continues apace as Sky News has created the post of “Twitter Correspondent”.

Ruth Barnett will be tasked with navigating her way through posts on the microblogging platform in search of breaking news stories.

In an interview with CNet UK, Barnett admits that the role will initially involve a degree of trial and error, but she believes Twitter is an important news-gathering tool as “that’s where people are talking about their real lives”

She added: “[For Sky News] it’s about having someone who can flag up news when something’s kicking off, and to talk back to people to see what their opinion is.”

TechCrunch features an excerpt from a Sky News internal email announcing the appointment, which states:

“The Twitter phenomenon continues to explode ... The first phone on the Buffalo plane crash came from Twitter. The first photo of the Hudson River rescue came from Twitter. Convinced?

“The Online team is using Ruth Barnett as a ‘Twitter correspondent’ - scouring Twitter for stories and feeding back, giving Sky News a presence in the Twittersphere.”

Time will tell whether this heralds the beginnings of Twitter as a mainstream communication tool or if this will sound the death knell for it as mass media gatecrashes the party.

[HT – Pda blog]

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