This week on Media Bullseye’s Radio Roundtable, host Jen Zingsheim was joined by co-host Bryan Person. The two discussed the fate of long-form journalism, whether social has been relegated to a secondary role, and the Congressional kerfuffle over Rep. Weiner’s Twitter account.
This week’s show is 30 minutes long.
- First, Jen and Bryan discussed two posts, one by Jeff Jarvis titled “The article as luxury or byproduct” and the other by Mathew Ingram titled “No, Twitter is not a replacement for journalism.” Jen asks if short bursts through Twitter are sufficient to tell a story–but it’s definite that Twitter and other social tools are changing the way news is being reported. Bryan discusses how Brian Stelter covered the aftermath of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and how much of it was done via texts and Twitter. Jen notes that this really gets at the question: What is reporting? Is it quick bits of on the ground information, or is it the narrative, putting the story in context? Bryan says that it’s the difference between raw data and the story. The series of Tweets gives information, but the long-form article gives the context.
- Next, the two discuss the contrast between a blog post by Geoff Livingston that asks “Has social taken a supporting actor’s role?” and a TechCrunch piece titled “Facebook, it’s time for an iPad app.” Both pieces, interestingly, focus on the iPad–Geoff’s piece takes the position that apps for social channels are not highly in demand, demonstrating a possible shift away from social. He further argues that social might have peaked in 2010. The TechCrunch piece, on the other hand, seems to make the case for the opposite: that Facebook apps are some of the most downloaded, so the question is, why hasn’t Facebook developed its own iPad app? Jen points out that Geoff’s data–from Memorial Day weekend–might be too small of a snapshot in time from which to draw conclusions. Bryan points out that the TechCrunch piece also looks at a single snapshot in time.
- Finally, the two discuss the Curious Incident of the Errant Congressional Tweet–and all the consternation surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account. Jen asks if perhaps celebrities and lawmakers are too high-profile targets to participate on somewhat-easy-to-hack social networks: is it worth the potential risk to reputation? Bryan notes that high profile figures, including sports stars, have long been the target of allegations that later proved to be incorrect or unsubstantiated. Is it a risk worth taking–or is it riskier to not be visible in these channels?