Daily Show host Jon Stewart took to his show on Wednesday for a segment that attacks just how ridiculous the use of Twitter in newsrooms has become.
Stewart wasn’t attacking news agencies that quote sports stars, business people and other Twitter users with knowledge about their own industries, but rather the use of random user accounts to chime in on the news as if it was a consensus of the general public.
“I’m going to assume by now you’re all familiar with Twitter, the social networking site that has become an increasingly popular outlet for news about Justin Bieber and popular revolutions. Did you also know it’s a great newsroom feedback delivery system?”
Jon then reveals that CNN regularly quotes the Twitter user @ladybigmac, a retired bookkeeper who says on her account that she spends her spare time watching golf and NASCAR races but only has 1,500 followers, many who began following her only after CNN began quoting her account, far from a highly influential account.
On another network news is reported by @krispibacon and @mrswisscheese while the best by far is the news reporting important of a user who goes by the name @dogfart. It should be noted that @dogfart has deleted all their tweeted except one adult tweet.
The best part about Stewart’s reporting? The fact that the newscasters quoting the Twitter accounts were able to keep a straight face while quoting @dogfart.
Here’s the Jon Stewart video:
While Stewart pokes fun at the news channels he brings up a good point, when is it okay for newsrooms to turn everyday people’s tweeted into news reporting? Personally I believe the “filler” of these tweets which tend to offer very short opinions and not news updates take away from the news by distracting from the actual story while slanting the news to the left or right based on the networks viewpoint. If the tweets were featured on O’Reilly or another news magazine program it would be different than Tweets used in a straight forward news programs.
For the record @Krispibacon spends a majority of her time asking celebrities questions, while trying to figure out when Kim Kardashian will be in Minnesota, I kid you not. her 26 followers must have made her an influential source for a major news agency.
What do you think about newsroom banter being created through Twitter accounts.