This report is showing my findings and conclusions.
MY SUB QUESTIONS •How is Twitter used now?•Do you find out news initially through twitter these days? •Are tweets normally factual or rumors? •Is Twitter a reliable source? •What kind of news is Twitter used for?
HOW IS TWITTER USED NOW? This is my main sub question that I found out a lot of information for. What I did find is that Twitter has multiple uses. You can use Twitter for business uses; businesses connecting with their customers, competitors can check out the competition and so forth. But I mainly found that Twitter is used for personal and leisure purposes. Essentially Twitter is micro blogging site where you can connect with people in short bursts. (1) While the above information is official information from Twitter inc. I found that from myquestionnaire (2) for example that users mainly use it for personal purposes with 83% of people using twitter for personal uses rather than business. Twitter is very useful for PR Specialists to get their stories out very quickly and to change personal appearance. While it is not always a reliable and safe site to do this on it is a quick way to get information out to the masses. (3)
HOW IS TWITTER USED NOW? (CONTINUED)Joab Jackson of Computerworld.com says that we should ‘think of Twitter not asa truncated Facebook, but as a speedy news site where anyone can be a reporter’ (4). This is quite contrasting with the fact that when I spoke to my interviewees and my focus group none of them said that this is what they use Twitter for, with most saying that they use Twitter just as a social networking site to contact friends and tell the world what they are doing. (5) From my results from both my primary and secondary research it would appear that different demographics use Twitter for different reasons with older peopleusing Twitter mainly for more professional uses such as business and seeking out breaking news whereas the younger generation would much rather use Twitter for personal reasons such as just another tool to keep in touch with peers and meet new people. (2)
DO YOU FIND OUT NEWS INITIALLY THROUGH TWITTER THESE DAYS?Throughout my research especially among the younger respondents I found that a lot of news is initially found out through Twitter whether or not they find it reliable or not is another question. (2) (6) Source 14 (7) which is from an unidentifiable source shows a bar graph which suggests that before Twitter online publishing was faster than other publishingbut now that Twitter is around while it is online it is the fastest source on the netfor finding out news. Which is evident with the fact that new technology is being created so that Journalists can find out breaking news quickly and easily from Twitter using a program. (8)
DO YOU FIND OUT NEWS INITIALLY THROUGH TWITTER THESE DAYS? (CONTINUED)A lot of people do find out news initially through Twitter the type of news that they receive is dependent on who they follow on Twitter mainly as well as thetrending topics. Different demographics again are finding out different news on Twitter just like the different demographics use Twitter for different purposes.Younger people tend to find out much more trivial news on their timeline such as ‘Nicki Minaj leaving Twitter’ & ‘Tulisa’s sex tape’ whereas older people are finding out about more serious topics such as ‘Syria’. (6)
ARE TWEETS NORMALLY FACTUAL OR RUMOURS? A lot of people find that tweets are actually quite helpful as they do help to spread news quicklysometimes quicker than the actual news but I also found that people tend to believe tweets if they are from a reliable person/source rather than parody accounts etc which may just be causing trouble online. (5).This question closely links with my next question (is twitter a reliable source?) as the content of tweets and the nature of the site helps for people to decide if they find twitter reliable or not. Different demographics have different opinions on this question, while most of the older generation from 20-53 feel that Twitter just corrupts news and the younger demographic of 15-18 generally feel that twitter is helpful(2). This information leads me to believe that this question has a different answer depending on age and other factors, you are more likely to be following people of the same demographic as you on Twitter and so this skews what you actually see on twitter and what you believe. On the other hand Twitter is the PERFECT place to spread rumours and PR specialists can use this to their advantage, not only stopping at PR gurus but celebrities can use it their advantage turning their whole image around; Charlie Sheen did just this starting the hash tag ‘#winning’ (3). I feel that this question is left unanswered as the answer to this question is much more of a matter ofopinion rather than fact. Everyone has a different view on what they believe on Twitter.
IS TWITTER A RELIABLE SOURCE?I feel that this is one of the most important sub questions that I have as if Twitter isnt a reliable source it could be corrupting news and having a bad effect on it. (2) My questionnaire results show me that majority of people do feel that Twitter is a reliable source but as mentioned in my previous slide majority of people who took part in my survey were aged 15-18 so this adds to why this opinion may be most common.While people feel that Twitter is a ‘reliable source’ a lot of people said in the focus group(5) and during the individual interviews (9)(10) that when they first see new son Twitter they nearly always go and check it out from a more official source.In regards to this question Takara (9) says ‘it can be as long as its from a verified source’which also raises the fact that actually the ‘verified tick’ on official twitter pages also addsto peoples views of authenticity when it comes to tweets and the news they provide. The types of pages she is referring is like Source (11).
IS TWITTER A RELIABLE SOURCE? In conclusion to this question I think Twitter can be a reliable source, and maybe bequestion should of been can Twitter be reliable source which from my results I think it can. It may not always be reliable but that is up to the individual to seek out further research and to check out who they are following and if what they are saying is facts.
WHAT KIND OF NEWS IS TWITTER USED FOR?From my questionnaire results I found that all news is on Twitter, but Twitter is mainly used for technology, celebrity and entertainment news(2). Which isn’t surprising a sit is mainly the younger demographic who use Twitter also a much more tech savvy psychographic as well those wanting to follow celebrities and find out what they are up to. While saying this u seems that people didn’t really feel they find out about localnews on Twitter (10) but Source (12) shows that actually during the London riotsTwitter was full of local news for Londoners in fact impacting the news so much that Twitter often had the much more latest news than Sky news and BBC. Another example of Twitter being used for breaking news is the Mumbaiattacks(13) if it was not for Twitter and Flickr world wide news rooms and other sources wouldn’t of found out about it as users uploaded endless tweets and pictures to get attention to what was happening.
WHAT KIND OF NEWS IS TWITTER USED FOR? I have found out that Twitter is used for all kinds of news while it is mainlydependant on who you follow with regards to what news stories will show up on your timeline (your personal twitter homepage) the hash tagging system also allows for you to see other news with a lot of news channels now having hash tags showing throughout the show.There isn’t solely one type of news that Twitter is used for, there is all kinds from politics to celebrity gossip! These are the trending topics on 13th May 2012, just from seeing these I can see some quite trivial news such as that it is mothers day in the US and that Arsenal are playing Spurs today.
CONCLUSIONS Overall I feel that the development of Twitter has impacted the news while not in a major way, it has and is still doing in small ways. When watching ITV news they always hash tags coming up of their journalists twitter usernames and hashtags of news stories so that audiences can get in contact and give their opinion. I definitely found out what Twitter is used for these days which is definitely not just a place for communicating with friends and family but to also get in touch with business and spread news easily, quickly and hassle free. While I also found out that actually Twitter is not always reliable when used correctly it is very useful for both the general public and media professionals such as PRconsultants and journalists alike. Rather than impacting Twitter impacting the news I think it has rather helped aid it and is just another way to find out news especially making more convenient for the younger generation who are always online.
CONCLUSIONS I don’t think I found out if tweets are normally rumours or factual as I feel thatpossibly this question was more of a question of opinion which if I had to do thisresearch again I would rephrased this question. Bu tone major contradiction thatI found from my respondents is that while majority said they find Twitter reliable they still nearly always go to check for more evidence of news stories which if you find something initially reliable there should be no need to find out more evidence from other sources. I think if this programme for journalists (8) finallypulls through then Twitter will definitely impact the news as it means diminishing some older methods of journalism and using solely Twitter. But while I do not feel this is wise, new technologies will always be improving and Twitter might become much more of a reliable news source than what it currently is.
CONCLUSIONS I feel I could have used other methods with this research rather than doing a questionnaire and two interviews I feel I could of done a experiement possibly over twitter of spreading a rumour and see where it ends up etc. This wouldprobably have been more beneficial as I could be experimenting on masses rather than just two respondents opinions on things.
BIBLIOGRAPHY/WEBOGRAPHY• – The fastest, simplest way to stay close to everything you care about, 2012, online, available from (https://twitter.com /about), accessed 23.4.12 • – My Questionnaire results ( http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/21206769766/these-are-the-results-from-my-online-survey-this) • - Twitter Rumours: Changing Public Perspective, 2012, online, available from ( http://www.pha-media.com/digital-pr-blog/2012/01/31/twitter-rumours-changing-public-perspective/), accessed 24.4.12 • - Twitter used more as news site than social network, researchers say, 2010, online, available from ( http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9176198/Twitter_used_more_as_news_site_than_social_network_research ), accessed 24.4.2012 • My focus group session, 2012, ( http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/20408078776/this-is-my-focus-group-session-i-had-1) • Question 9 results of Quesstionnaire ( http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/21714520521/these-are-the-results-to-question-9-of-my)• Bar graph from unidentifiable source – (http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/18437393101/source-14 ) • Twitter Tool Will Help Journalists Break News [VIDEO] – 2012, online, available from ( http://mashable.com/2012/02/15/seriously-rapid-source-review/), accessed 24.4.2012
BIBLIOGRAPHY/WEBOGRAPHY (9) –Interview with Ta’kara a Twitter user - http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/21642303005/interview-with-takara-a-twitter-user, accessed 13th May 2012 (10) – Interview with Jonny a Twitter user - http://toni-leighresearch.tumblr.com/post/21642331651/interview-with-johnny-another-twitter-user, accessed 13th May 2012(11) Breaking News, 2012, online, available from https://twitter.com/#!/breakingnews, accessed 13th May 2012 (12) London riots needed Twitter news curators, but where are they and who pays for them?, 2011, online, http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/08/08/london-riots-needed-twitter-news-curators-but-where-are-they-and-wh , accessed 13th May 2012 (13) Mumbai attacks: Twitter and Flickr used to break news, 2008. online, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/3530640/Mumbai-attacks-Twitter-and-Flickr-used-to-break-ne , accessed 13th May 2012
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