Tech & The District » PoliTwitch http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/techandthedistrict Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 PoliTwitch! http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/techandthedistrict/2010/05/07/politwitch/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/techandthedistrict/2010/05/07/politwitch/#comments Fri, 07 May 2010 20:36:39 +0000 Lauren Wilson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/techandthedistrict/?p=443

Last Night I attended PoliTwitch!: Public Relations and Politics in the Age of Social Media hosted by Mopwater PR + Media Notes.

On the panel:

•Peter Cherukuri, Huffington Post-DC Bureau Manager
Mark Preston, CNN-Political Editor
Patrick Gavin, Politico-Staff Writer
•Rachna Choudhry, National Partnership for Women & Families-Policy Manager
Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call-Staff Writer

Theme: How social media and new media technologies have influenced news making.

I’ve been to a thousand and one of these panel discussions with top notch journalists usually saying about the same thing. The discussion typically focuses on how Facebook and Twitter are changing/revolutionizing how we receive news. For the first time, I witnessed a group of panelists crush this notion. While social media has impacted the discourse in politics and has advanced issues such as the Tea Party Movement and Haitian relief efforts, last night’s panelists believed that social media was still at its infant stages and by no means the way these journalists receive leads on news stories.

Patrick Gavin, Politico’s staff writer remarked that journalists are still not sure how big of a deal social media is and that most reporters don’t pay attention to comments on a blog. Interesting, I disagree. I think most journalists KNOW that social media is a big deal, considering many are asked to blog in addition to writing print stories and many journalists have twitter pages. I think what Patrick meant was that many journalists aren’t sure how to use social media as a platform in creating their own news stories.

On Twitter— These panelists were right on when they said that “you’re getting the message out to a room full of your friends.” You choose who you follow which lends itself to a bubble of followers. Jackie Kucinich from Roll Call gave an example that Republicans are tweeting to Republicans and they aren’t getting their message out to other groups who they want to influence, i.e Independents or Democrats. When used correctly, Twitter can be successful in building yourself as a brand. However, it is much easier to be a candidate than an elected official using Twitter. There is no filter when it comes to twitter and tweets aren’t fact checked. Some politicians have accidentally disclosed sensitive/private information on Twitter without their press secretaries in sight which has gotten them into trouble on a National level.

All and all, did I learn something new? –Yes! I learned that there are 123 Republican Congressman on Twitter and only 61 Democrats. But really, most importantly I learned that not all journalists think the same way about social media. Some think social media is at its “infant stages”, some think social media is becoming traditional media, and others are over social media all together.

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