Here’s a Thanksgiving dinner conversation starter for you: ask your family if they plan to stay on Twitter. I’m kidding. (Unless your family is really into social media controversies?) I’m a sporadic Twitter user — I’ll get into Twitter for a few weeks, tweeting and retweeting, then kind of forget about it.
But I did use Twitter regularly when I was moonlighting in a newsroom during the pandemic. In the spring of 2020, our public media newsroom was short-staffed, so I put my regular fundraising and newsletter-editing aside one day a week to cover New Jersey briefings with Governor Murphy. And Twitter was a godsend. The state posted their briefing slides on Twitter, and I could send a quick DM to anyone to grab a quote. Even better, people reached out to me on Twitter to share community news.
I don’t have to tell you the pros to using Twitter for journalism — as journalists, editors and publishers reading this newsletter, you all know. If Twitter really does shut down, or become less reliable and accessible, how will that affect journalism?
And is there a suitable replacement for Twitter? I haven’t dived into Mastodon yet, and I’m not sure I will. Others have: I recommend Nieman Lab’s Julia Angwin’s interview with Adam Davidson, staff writer at The New Yorker and admin on a journalism-based Mastodon server.
Are you — as journalists, editors and publishers, but also as people — planning to stay on Twitter? If not, are you planning a switch to another site? I’m interested in what you’re thinking. Send me a note and let me know — and pass the green bean casserole, please.