The Guardian Takes NSA Coverage to Twitter’s new Timelines; Politico Creates Energy Insider Tweet Hub

Twitter How to TweetWhen Twitter rolled out its custom timelines Tuesday, two major media outlets were already taking advantage of the new features.

The Guardian used a custom timeline to conduct a Q&A with readers about its recent NSA coverage. And Politico put together a list of tweets related to energy policy.

My first impression is that The Guardian came up with the more interesting use for custom timelines. But I’m also uncertain whether either feature was particularly new, or if custom timelines just offer a different way to do something media outlets have been doing without the new feature.

I’ll have more to say about this later as I explore custom timelines on my own. But in the mean time, this is a sample of what The Guardian did. I’ve also included a simple screen-shot of the Politico “Energy Insider Tweet Hub” brought to you by Chevron.

I’m less impressed with what Politico has done here. This kind of looks like three lists anyone might have been able to create on Twitter before the custom timelines became available. Also, they lose points for allowing an energy company to sponsor their timelines about energy policy.

Politico Energy Insider

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Quality journalism requires a lot of reading – MISA

The following speech was made by Vuyisile Hlatshwayo, national director of Swaziland’s Media Institute of Southern Africa, at a conference on free speech in Pretoria on August 20 2013. The conference was organised by the African Union’s Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Media Institute of Southern Africa, and University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights. Hlatshwayo argues that good, informed journalism and editorial content requires reporters and editors to read as widely as possible.

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Journalists have been attending short, specialised courses in technical subjects locally, regionally and internationally for years. Not only that, some would have left university with minors in political science, development studies, sociology, psychology, and economics. The aim is to “equip students with knowledge and skills to be able to analyse, interpret and report on political and economic issues at national and international levels”. As long as they have passed the exams in the…

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Content Matters: Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post, and the Future of Journalism

Sean Ketchem, PhD

The surprise announcement that the Graham family is giving up control of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos seems to signal another tolling of the bell in the death knell of journalistic content: lack of readers and relevance in the commercially all-important 20-30 demographic segment. But in fact, it is a sign that content is healthier than ever: it’s the financial model behind newspapers that is in need of tinkering.

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Senators spar over definition of ‘journalist’ in seeking to protect them

Media Politics in Perspective

By Kate Irby | McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee, looking to provide protections for journalists and their sources, ran into a roadblock Thursday when lawmakers couldn’t agree on the definition of “journalist.”

Under the legislation, journalists wouldn’t have to comply with subpoenas or court orders forcing them to reveal sources or confidential information unless a judge first determines there’s reason to think that a crime has occurred and government officials have exhausted all other alternatives.

It’s the third time Congress has considered a “shield law” for journalists. Similar bills have failed despite bipartisan support.

“I’m hoping the third time’s a charm,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee’s chairman.

The bill defines a journalist as a person who has a “primary intent to investigate events and procure material” in order to inform the public by regularly gathering information through interviews and observations. The person also must…

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