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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Haste makes waste?

There's a lot of good to be found in the growth of Twitter as a news source -- and a lot that leaves me shaking my head.

As a wire service reporter, speed was of the essence to me. So was the motto get it first but get it right. Twitter has exploded the definition of speed. But is all of it right? Or worth getting first?

After David Carr's look at our 140-character phenomenon, I signed up to follow a few of the tweeps he singled out. And while I'm not sure I have much more interest in The New Yorker's Susan Orlean's serious travel headaches, I am impressed how CBS News' Mark Knoller can summarize breaking news into tiny chunks.

But with that speed comes some serious downsides -- beyond the obvious question of getting things right when you are reporting on something not as highly organized as a presidential press conference of briefing.

And that's the boredom factor.

On the one hand, I can understand that there are folks even more news-obsessed than I who were probably counting the seconds until Barack Obama stepped up to the podium to discuss the intelligence breakdowns surrounding the Christmas Briefs Bomber.

But when I see blog posts about "Delay of Game" in The New York Times and snarky tweets about crashing speechwriters by the Washington Post's Howie Kurtz, I wonder if we are breaking the news cycle down into even more damaging chunks. After all, the 24-hour cable news talking heads cycle has created enough nightmares.

Oh, but then again, don't forget to check out this blog post on Twitter.

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