Twitter breaks the news again

I knew about the LA earthquake as it happened. Not through the immediacy of online news services, but through Twitter. In fact, my ‘friends’ on Twitter informed me that there were 942 tweets in 10 seconds of the quake and within 1 minute after the first earthquake shock was felt, more than 6,500 people Tweeted about it.

In case you aren’t aware, there was a significant earthquake of 5.0 in Los Angeles at about 1.40pm Australian time.

Just a snippet from Twitter:


Again thanks to someone I follow on Twitter (@SilkCharm) I found that only the Courier Mail online reported the story in a timely manner (10 minutes of the quake). At 4pm The Age still did not carry the story, nor The ABC nor

A perfect example of why journalists need to be engaging with these online tools and the online world.

4 thoughts on “Twitter breaks the news again

  1. I’d argue that this turned out to be a non-story so the websites you mention probably assessed it well for what it was – a tremble in California, which isn’t that unusual. Aren’t those sites serving their audiences better by focusing on Australian news as a priority? You can’t cover everything.

  2. Thanks for your input reporter. But I would argue that the beauty of online is that it allows for news to be immediately available to its audience. Twitter allowed that with the earthquake and for reporters following Twitter this could have been easily followed up

  3. Hi Renee,

    I’d argue that this is a great example of how Twitter creates false positives.

    Like yourself, I thought there was great drama afoot when I saw all the earthquake tweets. I switched on the telly, switched to online news, eventually found myself a quake reporting centre website.

    By which time I’d spent 15 minutes finding out that nothing much was happening.

    It reminds me of covering a local newspaper beat. The fire brigade gets called out maybe 100 times for every drama. The local newspaper only puts the drama on the front page; Twitter does it every time.


    Tim – Mumbrella

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