Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Here is an interesting essay by a dedicated Twitter user. In his call for an edit function he has discovered the past. Before new media, editors knew reporters made mistakes, sometimes willfully, but most of the time not. The editor exercised caution, was a second pair of eyes and an inquiring mind to what another has banged out. As the author of the essay says, with Twitter, you don't get a check function. Once you've written 140 characters and clicked the send button, your words are out there for all to see and retweet. The romantic view of human nature would argue that everyone must now become his own editor, but that is fallacious. Humans get locked into concepts and insights and cannot see their errors. It takes another to show them mistakes and if need be, to spike their copy. The Boston bombing demonstrated the best and worst use of internet media. There were verbal persecutions of innocent people but at the same time, swift reporting of the capture of the second bomber. PR cannot afford to act in a "cowboy" fashion, if it is to maintain credibility. We are paid to be accurate, and we should have editors on staff.