October 4, 2022

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Radio Roundtable: Twitter and Activists, Journalists, and…Coco-ists?

Radio Roundtable: Twitter and Activists, Journalists, and…Coco-ists?

This week, Jen Zingsheim is joined by co-host Sarah Wurrey to discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion that the “revolution will not be tweeted,” the Washington Post’s recent statement telling journalists not to engage with readers on Twitter (but encourages “everyone in the newsroom” to embrace social media…wait, what?) and Conan O’Brien’s use of video through the “Coco Cam.”

Click here to listen to the 35-minute program.

  • First, Zingsheim and Wurrey discuss the ongoing coverage and debate surrounding Malcolm Gladwell’s piece in the New Yorker, titled “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be Tweeted.” Biz Stone has replied in a piece on the Atlantic, and others have weighed in too. Sarah kicks off the discussion by pointing out that Twitter is one tool to use to communicate–this holds true for anything from PR programs to activism. Jen agrees with Gladwell that true activism–especially those situations in which your life or property are at stake–need the deep ties that Gladwell talks about. Clicking a link doesn’t equal activism, but that doesn’t mean social media tools aren’t relevant to activism.
  • Next, the two discuss a post on TechDirt covering a recent incident at the Washington Post, which resulted in management at the paper sending out a memo to staffers asking that they not engage with the public on Twitter–but in the same statement, said that the paper encourages staff to embrace social media tools. Sarah thinks they went about this all wrong, and that the paper should have outlined what might be acceptable engagement rather than banning it outright. Jen thinks the Post is trying to walk a fairly narrow line between engagement and maintaining the need for journalistic objectivity–which can be tough when tempers flare.
  • Finally, the two turn to the lighter side, and discuss Coco Cam–an ingenious use of online video by the team working with Conan O’Brien. The launching of “Coco Cam,” generated considerable buzz. Instead of a dull, static “behind the scenes” camera, an ongoing series of skits were paraded before the camera for viewers.
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