Journalists Rule Twitter as an Authoritative and Legitimate Power?

By Emiree Campbell

According to the Nieman lab article, titled “ When Journalists put tweets in news stories, do they transfer too much power to Twitter?” it states Journalists have transferred some of their own power over presentation of current news to Twitter. At first this statement seemed excessive but when you really think about it, it’s true. The way Twitter is presented in many news publications shows audiences that this news is true. Thus, making Twitter an authoritative and legitimate power.

This wasn’t the journalist’s motive, this just happened. Audiences grew to believe by the association, that all information on Twitter is real and can be trusted. So can most stop pointing their fingers at politicians and social media companies when the issue at hand is the spreading of disinformation. 

Journalistic authority is very important. It comes from consistency. Journalists have to show evidence of their process and explain where all information comes from. A way that audiences grant journalists this authority, is by seeing journalists vetting sources, interrogating them, verifying information, and lastly communicating it. 

Journalists through this process show who has power to speak and position themselves near those sources. Journalists commonly make this mistake with the inclusion of Twitter. Audiences can easily look up the profiles of the politicians or the source mentioned in the publication and verify information for themselves.

 However what audiences and journalists are failing to do is judge whether what’s being said by them (Politicians, Twitter sources) is true. Instead information is mentioned and is used as content. Twitter is a cut corner towards this process. Especially when a tweet is the primary source for a story. A great example of this would be Former President Donald Trump. His presidency influenced this greatly. 

This type of journalism pushes the public back not forward. It leads to a heap of chaos and misinformation. It doesn’t benefit and or support our democracy. Although this action brings attention to things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Twitter should undergo scrutiny just as any other source commonly would. 

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