The Newsroom script carries the wit and sophistication of a really well-written tweet. A media junkie myself I've savored each episode of this deliciously wry series.
Now with the first two episodes of season two behind us it's clear Aaron Sorkin -- also the writer of The Social Network -- decided to move Newsroom in a more social direction.
Citizen journalism has taken a front seat in the world of breaking news and we're starting to see this explored in the script. Finally, traditional media morphs into more multi-faceted reporting on Newsroom.
To celebrate the increasingly social Newsroom, I've captured a handful of important Twitter-how to's gleaned from the series. Here are my top four lessons on how to engage on Twitter.
#1 Love It or Leave It
If you're a traditional newscaster who hates social, don't ruin the party for everyone. With more than 500 million users, there's no denying the fact that Twitter is becoming an increasingly more important part of today's news landscape. This year during the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Boston Police used Twitter to announce the suspect was in custody.
But not everyone on Newsroom shows excitement about Twitter. In episode two, "The Genoa Tip," ACN anchor Elliott Hirsch (David Harbour) is disgusted that Charlie (Sam Waterston) wants to scroll Twitter feeds across the bottom of the screen during his show.
There is no doubt Twitter is changing how we get our news. It's also making it possible for users to connect and react to that news in real-time. Twitter is only gaining popularity as a tool to get raw quick information. If you're still a naysayer espousing the evil of social, better to just skip the tool and avoid talking about it out loud.
#2 Take A Stance
A handful of fake Newsroom character Twitter accounts have surfaced. Art imitates life. The audience wants to know more from media voices other than what's written on the news prompt. They're looking for meaning and critique.
Twitter is a place to share news but it's also a place to share an opinion. Think about it: If you don't share your opinion on Twitter --or anything personal -- what's the difference between your Twitter account and a news aggregator written by a bot? Caring and explaining why makes us care more about you as a twitter head.
#3Don't Sell Yourself Out For Short Term Gains
Finance anchor Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) accompanies ACN staff member Maggie (Alison Pill) to a laundromat in Queens to track down Erica, who shared Maggie's Sex and the City tour bus melt down with the world. Sloan offers to send Erica's cheesy blog to 450,000 Twitter followers in exchange for taking down the video of Maggie.
While Erica shakes on it, she then writes on her blog about the celebrity encounter rather than pulling the video. Sloan shouldn't have volunteered to use her Twitter account to promote something she didn't believe in just for the sake of a barter. For the most part anytime a blogger or a brand asks you to tweet something (and it seems disingenuous) it takes away from your credibility -- and it's not worth whatever shiny object you're offered at the time.
#4 Use Twitter to Mine Data
Twitter provides documentation and data. In the episode "Willie Pete" (season two episode three) Jerry Dantana (Hamish Linklater) turns to social media to find out if a village in Pakistan was attacked by nerve gas while trying to get Americans out.
A translator faxes translated tweets into the newsroom about unmarked helicopters and burned bodies. If you're a journalist or the new intern at work, Twitter is a place to search for information -- no matter the data. Twitter can always be included in your search for information, and it's becoming an increasingly important and credible source.
Those are my tips. Share with me what your favorite Newsroom moments are in the comments section below.
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